Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We'll miss you, Mrs. Wain!

Remember how excited you were as a kid when school was out for the summer? Now that a lot of my friends are teachers, I know the teachers are equally excited...maybe more!

Our daughter Sarah is an art teacher, and she just finished the most interesting year of her short teaching career. But her feelings were a little bittersweet as she finished her first (and last) year in tiny Medora, Indiana. She said to me "I hope I can find another job I like as well as this one!".

She commuted 45 minutes, twice a day, to teach art in a bitty district in rural Indiana with only 230 students from K-12...and she taught the whole school! There just weren't any jobs in Bloomington, where her husband Jeff was in grad school. After spending the previous year as a special ed para in an elementary school, she was anxious to get back to teaching...so she decided to take a radical step and apply for jobs within an hour radius.

Sarah was hired 2 days (that's TWO days) before the fall semester began and she was thrilled. She got right to work inventorying supplies (not much) and making lessons plans (lots of those for the varied ages!). She had previously taught middle school and high school, so the elementary kids were a complete mystery to her. 

The experience turned out to be amazing! The staff and rural community were very welcoming. How small is Medora? It's so small the district superintendent doubles as the Methodist pastor! It's the 2nd smallest school district in the state. Sarah heard chatter about "squirrel hunting" the first day of school and wondered if they were kidding or serious?!

Right away, Sarah started sharing the kid's art with the school, papering the hallways with awesome projects. You know how exciting that is to see your creation in the hallway!

From clay creations...

  to dragonflies and rubber duckies for the young ones...

 and self-portraits for the middle schoolers...

and cool custom cars and a largeVan Gogh reproduction for the high school kids! The school secretary reserved this finished piece for her office!.

Alas, the year is over and Mr. and Mrs. Wain are moving to Chicago, because Jeff finished grad school and got a job - we love that! And...Mrs. Wain is looking for a job...AGAIN!  If anyone knows an opening for a art teacher in Chicago...let me know!

I think my favorite pic of the year was Sarah with her youngsters on "Colonial Day" at school. She figured out how to help kids make candles (without burning themselves), found a cool prairie dress, and had a good old-fashioned time!


  1. Art teachers RULE. My high school art teacher, Mrs. Blackwell was a great influence in my life. Here is hoping the schools in Chicago know what a treasure Mrs. Wain is. Awesome art work by the kids of all the grades!

  2. Those children were so lucky to have such a dedicated and creative teacher, even if it was only for a year. I am certain they will remember what she taught them for the rest of their lives, and any school that hires you will count themselves blessed :)

  3. I work in a tiny Illinois school district and I love visiting the art room. Sometimes I take my break in the art room with whichever class is in session. I call it my art therapy.

    Have your daughter check out this website: https://www.illinoiseducationjobbank.org/JobSearch/JobSearch.aspx

  4. OOOOh, sounds lovely. I hope she finds a good job in Chicago.

  5. Here's another website for your daughter to check out:

  6. I live 30 miles west of Chicago and our school is literally less than a block from a Metra train station. Our "art teacher" leaves a lot to be desired, especially when dealing with special needs kids like my son or with moms who hope for reasonable communication like me. We'd love a teacher who loves teaching to teach art at our school, although that might be hard because we have a small school so the art instruction isn't full-time, but I know the current art teacher works as a paraprofessional (oddly enough) to increase her hours...Anyway, it's Winfield District 34, in case Sarah's interested in checking it out! I can dream, can't I? I hope this helps!

  7. Love the photo roundup! Those kiddos were so lucky to have her. :)