Today is one of those days that qualifies as a not great day. I guess the subtopic of today is, how to feel unsuccessful as a teacher.
After aproximagely two weeks the Back to the Future projects are due. Students bring their projects to a group presentation where we share stories of production and provide constructive feedback to each other. After my efforts recreating my own image, I was excited to see the students results. To say the least, I was underwhelmed with the results. Of 23 students, only 5 had completed projects.
It is totally deflating to see this type of result. I see myself as someone who is supposed to inspire others. I come up with ideas that challenge them. I really thought this project would get them fired up. Clearly it did not. This semester there has been a steady decline in participation by students on each successive project.
So not only do I work my butt off to come up with ideas that are inspiring (apparently only to me) and create content to present the idea and spend hours conversing with students, encouraging them to start their projects but now I have to become and ogre and tell these students that they are not towing the load. So essentially I have to resort to threats about grades in order to motivate them; trust me this is no motivator. No one will feel successful in situations like this. They only feel like they survived something terrible, this is not what I want at all.
Not only do I feel like a professional failure but it also effects my personal art practice. The two practices, teacher and art, are intertwined in many ways. I have lost all interest in completing the images I have captured for back tot he future. I still have 4 more to complete. I have the photographs done but they need to be edited. It just doesn't seem worth it anymore.