Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.

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November 08, 2010

Staying the Course

Many years ago a professor in my doctoral program remarked to me that I was “Superwoman”. This remark brought a smile to my face and a secret thrill within me. He was astounded that I, like many of you, was teaching full time, taking graduate courses, raising a young family and active in local and state art education organizations. This “Superwoman” came crashing to a halt professionally as cancer ravaged me for a year. In the following years I reordered my priorities.

And then I began to undergo huge amounts of guilt during this ”healing”time. Why was my career not on the fast track? Why had I not been published? Why wasn’t I more active in state and national organizations? My family had stuck with me through a doctoral degree and cancer. I felt that I was letting them down. I was letting my professors down. I was failing as a professional art educator.

During this time of career anxiety I attended a workshop at national convention presented by several women discussing significant women art educators. As they discussed the stellar careers of various women, they noted the times that these women had placed their careers on pause to attend to family and personal matters. Their contributions in the field of art education were duly noted to be as significant as those of raising a family and attending to other familial issues.

Here it was…..a huge weight was lifted from my consciousness. I was able to let this guilt dissolve. I can’t stress enough how this was a professional and personal breakthrough. Discussing these important issues with the women at the presentation was uplifting also. They validated my work as a mother, wife and caretaker.

My priorities had been in order and now my guilt was erased. I was able to resume my career in art education…..MY WAY!

-Dr. Judith Haynes

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Theartofeducation.wordpress.com

Dr. Haynes-

I am very inspired by your posts. When you write I feel you are right inside my head, thinking exactly what I am thinking about art education. I would love to feature you on my blog, TheARTofEducation this week. I would also love to further a conversation with you, I am interested in your career path. Thanks for inspiring us all!
-Jessica
The ART of Education

Jessica

Here is the link to my site. For some reason the above post does not send you to the correct link.

www.theartofeducation.wordpress.com

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