Artist is Not a Dirty Word

About Alice Trosclair

Alice has been teaching for eleven years. She currently teaches English III, English Language and Composition AP, and English Literature and Composition AP. She lives with her husband and son in south Louisiana. She also has hundreds of "adopted" children.

I have been accused of demoralizing our profession by using the word “artist or art” when I refer to teaching. I stand by it. I was an artist before I was a teacher, a mother, or even a wife. Teaching is an art, and I challenge anyone to question it.  Yes, we are artists, but do we deserve to be starving artists? Absolutely not.

Teachers change roles, design creative lessons, and perform a show every hour on the hour. We take more classes to perfect our craft and are constantly doing improvisation in the classroom. We change to entertain our audience and trust me, not all of them want to be there-even if our show is free.  The idea that because teaching is part of the arts means we are to be paid less is absurd.

We change to entertain our audience and trust me, not all of them want to be there even if our show is free. Click To Tweet

There are movements taking place all over the country for teachers to be paid more and they are criticized for trying to obtain a livable wage. How can we have a four-year bachelor’s degree and other advanced degrees, but like other artists, we have to take on extra work so we can make ends meet?  We pay millions of dollars to football players, hundreds of thousands for our political representatives and only thirty thousand dollars for an educated person to teach our child? It is not the word “artist”  that is the problem.

Society sees teaching as a part-time career though we put in more overtime than we should- without pay. We are similar to an artist, who spends hours upon hours painting, but will only be paid for the actual result. No one pays the artists for hours they spend writing, painting, or designing. They only want to pay for the final product. And our final product as educators is our children. Which makes me ask, is our future not worth more than thirty thousand dollars a year. It is not the word “artist” that needs to be changed; it is society’s mentality and refusal to acknowledge our worth.

Society sees teaching as a part-time career though we put in more overtime than we should- without pay. Click To Tweet

We do not deserve to starve, even if we are artists proud of our work- the students. Artists make people see things in different lights. We make people think and see things within themselves. The more talented the artist, the higher the pay as it should be within education.  Our “art” inspires the next generation of innovators, is that not worth more than what we are being given?

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By |2018-03-18T22:24:32+00:00March 18th, 2018|Opinion|0 Comments

About the Author:

Alice has been teaching for eleven years. She currently teaches English III, English Language and Composition AP, and English Literature and Composition AP. She lives with her husband and son in south Louisiana. She also has hundreds of "adopted" children.

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