When I tell people that I teach in a public school, especially when I go on to say that I teach at the Junior High level" there is almost aIways snickering sounds and rolling eyes followed by horror stories from the past. They relate memories of crowded, noisy hallways filled with bullies; classrooms that felt like jail, teachers that were bored and lots of hormone driven mis-adventures. I just smile because I know it is all too true. I do not attempt to explain why, as an artist, I choose to return to the classroom after so many years or how I am inspired everyday by the energy and truth of the students I encounter. I have come to learn that this immediate reaction by others is only a small part of the whole experience.


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