Inspiration vs. Purpose

I think it is fair to say that many art teachers went into education because they love art. Perhaps the K-12 environment is where they first experienced this passion for themselves and they wish, honorably, to promote this same love to their students, but the purpose of K-12 education is not for teachers to recruit lovers of their preferred subject.

Cairn by Donna Sinclair, art teacher
Cairn by Donna Sinclair, art teacher

I do not mean to say there is not value to sharing your passion for the subject — there is. A teacher’s passion can be contagious and improve student engagement and motivation. My concern is that art teachers too often confuse what inspired them to become a teacher with the purpose of teaching. The purpose of education is to promote student learning.

Your beliefs, words, and actions reveal the truth. Do yours suggest that you teach for the love of art, or that you teach for the love of student learning?

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