Finding the Person You Want to Be

When I was a kid, I hated being sick. I’d pretend to be fine for the first few hours, and then end up in the nurse’s office. I ignored my sore throat or nauseous stomach, over and over. Not out of fear, but out of what my teaching artist friend and administrator calls FOMO. Fear of Missing Out.

I loathed the idea of missing school. This might make you think I was an A+ student. I wasn’t. I was pretty average in most subjects. However, school was where I could find adventure, excitement, and new possibilities.

I could sing in a choir with a group of my friends. I could play the flute in band. I could join a team. I could share my thoughts. I was lucky. I went to a public school where and when the arts were fully funded. To boot, some of my teachers were even practicing artists! I could take an art class, chorus, band, musical theater, and/or literature elective.

All of these creative opportunities gave me options to be validated, outside of grades, and find the person I wanted to be.

It’s no wonder I became a writer and am excited to be the new Creative Classroom Director here at COMPAS. Every day I have the opportunity to catalyze partnerships between artists and schools that give students these kinds of validating options.

I know I’m in the right place and program when Creative Classroom receives feedback like the below.

When [COMPAS artist] Susan Marie Swanson works with the students individually, she validates them and gently helps them communicate their thoughts and memories. I admire her desire to reach out to each student to help them feel successful. Students just shine when she shares their poems with the class. We continue to use the writing tools she shares with the students throughout the school year as a basis for writing other poems. Writing is a difficult task for first graders; however, Susan Marie inspires them to write beautiful poems.”
- Julie Scroggins, Peter Hobart Elementary

Give me a call (651-292-3254) or send an email so we can talk about ways to inspire the students in your life… and help them become the person they want to be.

By COMPAS staff member Julie Strand