I sit at my desk for the last thirty minutes before driving to school where I will teach a painting lesson on abstract art. I am an after school visual arts intervention teacher who travels among ten K-6 urban schools in the Bay Area of California. When I am not on campus, I am working at the district office coordinating visiting artist programs and developing integrated arts curriculum. Yet each day, I notice an increasing disconnect between my duties as a teacher and my own arts practice. My painting, collage, and drawing lessons look just like the ones in the textbooks: how to, step by step, with safe subject matter like animals and landscapes. But my art at home is different; I contemplate how to achieve peace, express anger, and relate my frustrations with the world's oppressions to my hopes for the future. I rarely speak of this motivation for creative expression with students at school; I fear not knowing how to facilitate the conversations that emerge or that I will say the wrong thing. And the world's oppression is too big to tackle anyway. J feel myself un-becoming the artist I am when I step into the classroom. I am alienated from my own worldview. Then I worked at Cleveland School.


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