I just finished RAGBRAI, an annual bicycle ride across Iowa, for my 20th consecutive year. This year is the first time my stomach has not done somersaults over the contemplation of preparing for a new school year.
My new role in life is as CEO of our family company, Hoppe Roofing, Inc. As much as I will miss my students (all great teachers understand this kind of love), it was time for a new "job."
Even though it is out of my hands now, I am concerned about my students' future visual arts education; the school I left did not hire an art teacher or even an artist to fill the art education position. They simply transferred a generalist into this specialist role. The real deal that I truly want to share is that no matter how much heart, soul, passion, love, and more you pour into building an elite visual arts program and relationships with high quality student artists, the teaching position is sometimes seen by the school as nothing more than just another position to be filled by a warm body. This makes me sad for the future of art education.
-K - 12 Visual Arts Educator