Prior to pursing Art Education, what I did for work and what I deeply enjoyed were separate worlds. After graduating from Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) in 2007 with a Bachelors of Fine Art, I was faced with the reality that the previous 6 years of my life -although wonderful- resulted in a degree that provided no future job potential. I continued my work as a behavior therapist for children on the Autism spectrum, which I had begun in my early years of college. My experience in the field widened as my own satisfaction with my work dwindled. I started considering what would be next, knowing that I no longer wanted to continue the path I was on. Teaching was the obvious and practical option, but I remained hesitant to immediately jump back into school before truly thinking about what the consequences would be.
I moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Maine in 2009 eager to start another phase of life in a fresh part of the country. Bridging the gap between my nearly decade-long experience with exceptional needs and my curiosity about art education, I found work as an Educational Technician at Gorham Middle School, where I worked for 2 years before deciding that-yes, a school environment was a place I could flourish in. The two years at Gorham reassured any remaining doubts that I had about becoming a teacher and it was there that I decided my next pathway would be etched in the world of public education. I began seeking opportunities to teach in whatever capacity I could, including: after-school drawing programs, visiting artist workshops, and teaching art at summer camps.
Life experience between my two undergraduate degrees has allowed me to become more aware of myself as an adult. This "in-between" time has allowed me to exist outside of the comforts of home and prevented me from degree jumping in the safety of the academic world. Although I am pursuing a job in narrow field, I am confident I am exactly where I need to be. Soon what I do for work and what I sincerely enjoy will no longer be separate.