Art and Creativity in My Gap Year

In elementary school, my favorite subject was art. I would stay in the art room during recess and do extra projects. I was never exceptional at drawing or painting, but I still loved creating. In second grade, I did my career fair project on an elementary art teacher and I danced for 13 years, so the arts has a special place in my heart.

In planning activities for the after school program, I was reminded of how much I loved coloring and decorating when I was their age. I attempted to do a complex project with our 30 kids, though holding their attention proved to be difficult. I knew some of them would much rather be in the gym playing basketball than decorating a poster. But, this project was a special one because we created a banner for their teacher’s birthday and I wanted it to be great, to show her how much we appreciate her work.

As they were working, I started to become anxious. Fourth graders were scribbling all over the poster, kids weren’t listening to directions, and some refused to start the project. After sitting down with some people individually and explaining why we need to make sure they do their best work, the class started to follow instructions and the poster started coming together.

I went home later that day and started to glue the project together. I read the messages they wrote their teacher, and my heart melted. They thanked her for spending time with them every day, for reading to them, and teaching multiplication facts. Children may not follow directions the best, but they observe and absorb every detail. The poster came together and I was so ecstatic to see each kid’s personality coming through.

We presented our project to her and it was a great success. I am overwhelmed by how amazing my kids are. They make me so excited to have a career with children in the future. This experience confirmed that I am on the right track for my gap year because I found my passion.

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