Thanks to guest writer and Leadership Trainer Julianna Rusakiewicz for this piece. For more on keeping the artist in teaching artist, visit ArtFire.
By Julianna Rusakiewicz
When I taught yoga to middle school students, lessons on balance were my favorite. While balance is a major component of one’s yoga practice, I find it much more important in one’s personal life. When discussing balance with young ones, it tends to be more about homework against television and ice cream against vegetables, but sometimes, even as an adult, I have to remind myself to choose green beans over cheesecake for dinner. Despite these small daily obstacles, I don’t feel like balancing the rest of my life is a difficult task, except when the 4 train decides to go local.
As a teaching artist, I posses two jobs; making art and teaching others to make, and appreciate, art. While I balance the two weekly, I find that they inform one another rather than interfere. When developing theater, I collaborate with many other artists. It is through these conversations that I discover more about the piece on which I am working. I learn of different perspectives and alternate ways of presenting information. So, I find the time I spend with my students can be used as another way to learn more about art, myself, and the world around me.
Of course, there are weeks when I wish I could be in two places at once, and sometimes I have to remind myself to think about my art after class, but if I view teaching as another opportunity to collaborate with artists, everyone benefits.
Oh, and a sturdy daily planner helps, too.