• Emma Theedom

Where do I come from? Where do I go?

Alas, all education comes to a dramatic and unexpected end eventually. I see students scramble together thoughts and I watch them plan the next step, thinking hard, applying for jobs, any jobs whether it's relevant to what you've just studied or not. Money is always a back-burner thought in any young students mind, especially after you realise you're going to have to start paying back what was given to you. So, ANY job will do as long as it brings you an income to ease the pressure of doing well. Unless, you are incredibly determined and will do anything to get that job you so wished and dreamt for. That's where I stand.

All my life art has been a constant flow, no matter what I studied at school or what job I had I would find myself thinking about what might be when it comes to my artwork. I would spend my time drawing portraits of strangers in magazines or from my imagination, I would practise painting with what little materials I had. After sixth form education, my biggest regret was not continuing onto university straight away and studying my passion. I did what most post-graduates do after their degree, find a job, ANY job as long as it gained me money at the end of the month. I worked an office job in a glass factory, answering the phones to complaining customers, typing their complaints into the computer and making coffee. Completely mind numbing activity and not, me; I didn't recognise myself. However, I was fooled for 3 years as every time that paycheck came in I was relieved and I finally could buy nice things for myself and go out with my friends, go on holiday, all the good things in life. But, I often forgot how sad and empty my job made me feel. I would wake up in the morning and feel so frustrated and depressed that I would have to go back and work at that desk, doing the same mindless tasks. It got to the point where I could no longer take it, I was not putting 100% effort into my tasks and people were starting to notice. I began to look online for art degrees, applying to UCAS and searching around of where I would like to go. After deciding to stay close to home and go to University Centre Colchester, I left my job and the rest is history. But now it's my future again, that I need to think about.

Throughout school, sixth form, work life and university something has remained solid. I've been involved in amateur dramatics and eventually become a teacher in sixth form with a company where I live. Music and performance has been the other two passions in my life aside from art. I have almost always been involved in a drama group and I just adored those classes, I see myself as someone that HAS to be creative and expressive. However, when I started teaching my own class I realised how much I enjoyed it. I felt right at home being the educational figure helping students progress in their confidence and knowledge and to be honest, I haven't looked back, I still teach now and still perform (I wouldn't be able to stop performing yet, I enjoy it too much). I suppose in a way I've always felt like I held a natural leadership and I often found myself growing up to be the 'decision maker' of the group or the person that organises events/gatherings. I decided that I would use this skill and that I would eventually become a teacher and I decided this when I was about 18. Despite loosing my way slightly in working that awful office job, I always had teaching in the back of mind. I suppose that's why I applied to study Fine Art, I wanted to expand my skills as an artist and then use that skill and knowledge to then again, use my skill in teaching to teach others. Obviously, I knew during my degree that I would have to apply to do a teaching course.

Now here we are, end of third year in my art degree and I'm applying for my teaching degree. I feel like it's been a long journey already and I still have a couple more years to go until I feel I 'could' be settled down. However, I feel and know I am on the right track. I've been building up to this moment and I know I cannot turn back now. I will finish this teaching degree and move into the education field professionally, preferably teaching higher level subjects in art. I have already made steps to accomplish these goals, I volunteer weekly at a private school in Gosfield in the art departments for GCSE level and also encourage a lunchtime art class for the prep school for the younger ages in year 5. Through this one day a week job, I learn each week what it takes to interact professionally with students, how other teachers teach and learn about the behaviours that I could face and the best way to teach art to those different behaviours. I'm hoping, the longer the volunteer the greater a job opportunity may occur at the private school for myself. However, if that doesn't happen I will try every school possible to achieve my goal to become an art teacher. Obviously, I will not give up my art practise. If anything this degree has taught me, is to be experimental and to explore different revenues in art practise - BE AMBITIOUS. I know that I will want to continue learning myself with different materials, I know having a full time job that may become difficult, but even if I make art once every few months, I will be happy knowing that I am doing everything that I planned when I was 18. This is where I want to go, teacher, artist, performer and rich with life!

© All image and content belongs to Emma Theedom

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