Connie Norman
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Connie Norman

This I Believe

I’m a big fan of NPR, and one of my favorite shows is, This I Believe.  I was inspired to write my own belief statement.  So without further ado…

Gibberish is My New Language “I love the smell of art in the mornings!” Frequently, I’ve started my  classes with this statement. Usually I get weird looks, a few giggles, and always everyone’s attention.

My students have transformed my life of mediocrity, to a life full of intensity and zeal.

My goal early in life was to become a rich and famous artist. This didn’t happen; I floundered through my youthful year’s right after graduating from college. I didn’t produce a piece of art. After ten years, of my feeble life as a cook, I stumbled into teaching; I started teaching adults two nights a week who wanted to learn pottery. I felt like a fraud. It had been years since I had even touched clay. The first few months I struggled making my hands remember what they had been so good at years before. One day one of my students touched me in a way that changed my life forever. She stopped me at craft fair and critiqued the pottery. I realized I had taught her something. This tiny moment has shaped and formed my life; from this experience I discovered I loved teaching. Believe in Make Believe

Now ten years later, my junior high students affect me in this way everyday. My role as an educator is to be an art cheerleader, I cheer to my students, adults, and colleagues alike. I teach as if this will be my student’s last and only year of art. I have to cover it all in such a short time. In this year, they will make art, write art, talk art; dream art and most of all appreciate art. Of course, I want my students to grow up and become rich and famous artists, but if they survive my “art boot camp” I know they will be lovers and appreciators of the arts.

I believe my students have given me the most beautiful gift; they have awakened the power of creativity in me. With so much artistic potential in my classes my students give me the energy to create, and to be a working, professional artist.

Invisible Strength In return, I give the arts to my student’s; the arts are everywhere you just have to notice them. Once you become aware of art you have to know what to do with it. I transform my students to art detectives. They are not allowed to causally look at art, but to carefully inspect the clues and details. This is a tool that will serve them well; it will tell them the real meaning of art. What is the real meaning of art? It is; to make the viewer think, ask questions, connect to the artwork, and how it correlates to your life. It will fill you with a sense of wonder, and a sense of satisfaction.

I believe in the power to share your passion. I believe in the power of art. I believe with the help of my students I am on my way to becoming a rich and famous artist.

Dogs Should Be Allowed in Restaurants and Stores

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2 Responses to “This I Believe”

  1. jim Says:

    hi connie, although my high school art teacher was pretty good in retrospect, i would’ve been happy if it had been someone with your attitude and passion for the teaching of it. in addition to your sentiments, i heard on the radio last week and have read too that making things with your hand (art being the main example of this) is actually crucial in the development of our brains as humans since up until only recently, everyone made something. therefore being an artist helps young people to concentrate, set and achieve long term goals, accept failure as a step toward learning something difficult (instead of viewing it as a failure and quitting) and become more self reliant in the physical world, not viewing all the mechanical devices around them as magical machines that they have no control over. sorry, i digress. lovely sentiments.

  2. Connie Says:

    Hi Jim, I try. Teaching jr. high is such a roller coaster ride. But it really can be fun. I know that teaching really pushed me to become a working artist. I can’t have all that creating around me and not go home and make stuff.