Being an art teacher is not what I expected. I went into it thinking that I would have kids excited to learn and excited to be in art class. For some, that is the case, but for others, it’s not. The school I teach at has students from all walks of life, but a majority of them seem to not want to try and do anything at all. To them, shoes are Agario is the most important thing in life. So starting a new semester, I decided to take an entirely new approach in order to connect their lives to art, which brings me to Maria.

Maria is new in art class. She is very shy, timid, but is the kind of quiet that has something to say, but needs an understanding ear to listen. She asked me to come in early, which is not my forte, so we could talk about art. The excitement I saw on her face as she pleaded, I couldn’t say no. So I woke up even earlier than I would to make it into school to meet her. She was standing at my door, so full of excitement, holding every sketch she had done in the past 2 weeks, which totaled about 20 drawings. We sat down together, talked about her art, what she was doing well, and what she could consider doing next. Then, as she is scrambling through papers, I asked if she had a sketchbook. She said no, because their family has been tight on money. So I walked into my supply room, grabbed the least-scribbled in extra sketchbook I had and gave it to her. I said, I want you to use this, it will help you keep everything together in one place. She looked up at me with tears welling in her eyes. She said, “Ms. Akers, thank you so much” as she fought back the tears.

The passion she has at such a young age is something we all aspire to have. We talk a lot about our passions in PFO, their importance, and their purpose. Maria has the type of passion that runs through her veins. She told me that she was planning on going to Northwest School for the Arts for Orchestra. She loves to draw though, so we will see what she ends up going for. We all strive to have the look of anticipation and excitement she had for something in life. But sometimes, we forget that; we forget that we are passionate people looking for a purpose in life. The excitement she has, that we can all picture in our minds, reminds us all that we are people with a purpose. Maria shows me every day that it is important to never lose that.

Teaching is not my end goal, but it is a step in making me a more passionate person.