In my opinion, this second blog post is must needed and a great topic pick. In general, I find it an extremely good idea to connect and socialize with my mentor, considering I’m going to be spending the next 5 months learning from them and their experiences.
My mentor’s name is Grace. She’s been an art teacher, for about 14 years now, starting from 2004. When I say art teacher, I actually mean that she’s started her own “business” in a sense, teaching all ages from kindergarten to seniors, in the comfort of her own home. I visited her class today, February 1st, and had the opportunity to observe her lessons, students, and ask a few questions while I was at it. I’d like to think that I learned a pretty good amount about her.
When she was younger, she was oblivious to how life was going to take her where she is right now. Originally, before graduating high school, Grace had no intention to become an art teacher, much less an artist. At that time, she was thinking about being a businesswoman, but after graduating high school, came to the realization that she wanted to pursue art. A big factor in her sudden change, were her parents, both of them coming from China, and being incredible artists. Grace then decided to follow her career choice, and began to study at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.
Before 2004, she met plenty of amazing artists and great people from her school, and took a couple part time jobs, doing commercial art for a few companies, specifically murals. To this day she enjoys what she does, meeting new people, socializing with all ages, learning new lessons daily. Grace continuously states that she “likes to stick with that view” of loving her work.
A piece of advice she gave me, was to be patient and never let your students get to your head. I dropped in at the perfect time, during a class of kindergarteners to middle schoolers, loud, upbeat children that won’t stop whining or calling for help. Grace told me that you always have to be prepared for students, explaining how middle school students are the hardest to cope with. Most become rebellious and talkative, needing reminders every couple minutes to stay on task or to stop wasting time. The class I was in today, there was a certain little boy that would not stop sassing back, wasting almost all of the hour and a half their parents were paying for. I watched Grace deal with it as best she could, but at no point in time did she lose her cool, simply stating her side, and telling him he was only slowing his growth and wasting time and money.
To sum up, I’ve taken a lot away from this little bit of time spent with my mentor, especially about how to deal with people as a whole. This is going to be incredibly helpful, considering I have a younger brother that is just as troublesome as some of her students.