Why I am proud to be a teacher…
Growing up, for me, involved a lot of change. I was always interested in becoming an artist or animating for Disney. As I made my way to high school, that began to change. I enrolled in a specialized program for gifted artists that wanted to explore graphic design. I made it in, but didn’t know that my life was about to change forever.
The teacher I had for the following two years in that class opened the door to a new world of possibilities. I didn’t give up on my artwork, but I did transform how I go about doing it. Introducing technology into my life enriched and positively energized me. I began to make a successful career as a freelancer going into college for multimedia design and development. Then, I found myself working with large, globally recognized corporations as their designer. Despite my success, I felt like the pace of the environment and the culture wasn’t the right fit. After seven years, I transitioned into working with a local sign company. I enjoyed it, but something was still missing.
Regardless of all the techniques I had gained over a decade of designing and being a digital creator, I lacked purpose in what I was doing with my life. I realized that over half of my life was being spent lending my skills to people I didn’t know or really cared for. Then, I thought about my awesome teacher from high school. She taught during the year, then spent summers traveling or working on her own creative projects. Suddenly, I thought to myself, ‘that seems much more worthwhile.’ I began to see that I should be devoting my time and energy into something meaningful in an area of my expertise AND have time to further my own passion projects.
Long story short, I joined TeacherReady and student taught full-time for a semester at the school where I’m currently employed. Every day, I’m proud when my students walk away with new skills and knowledge. It’s only been a month, and I’ve already seen the wonderful change I felt in myself for other students and young artists. I’m proud that every day I get to make a difference instead of just receiving a paycheck.
Kevin Allen, TeacherReady® Teacher Candidate