Painting as Metaphor

The wrapping of our house was in bad shape – the paint was peeling, selected shakes were rotting, and roof badly in need of repair. I had put this project off for a number of years – it could no longer wait. After long deliberation with dozens of paint chips taped to the exterior, a color was chosen. Since the color was markedly different than the old, it would require two coats. But first the long period of preparation had to occur. The house had been painted just before we bought the house, but appears was done quickly to assure a quick sale. Each and every cedar shake (of thousands) had to be firmly scraped – getting down to bare wood wherever possible. After weeks of hard labor, I borrowed a pressure washer and found many more flakes of paint were stubbornly waiting to fly away. Sanding followed, and then to pry off sections of siding that needed replacing and pounding new pieces on. Finally, I could pick up paint brush and apply the primer. Seems with primer covering 75% of the old house, the house in transition looked for-the-moment worse. Only after that, could we begin to put on the new wrap, giving the house a clean, fresh, crisp look. (and then the second coat). After a summer of painting, I put the brush away (will need to take it out again next spring to finish some of the trim). With winter’s arrival, I finally rest.

Not unlike my day job. The art of teaching, similarly requires an artist’s eye to see the beauty that lies inside each of our students, the craftman’s touch to chip away at the rough edges – all in preparation for wrapping our students anew with a fresh abundance of knowledge and skills. It is harder to stand back at the end of the day and immediately see the fruits of the labor, but when it comes, it is exponentially more radiant.

Our paint has a lifetime warranty … hmmm … is it possible? Time will tell, but I know for certain, the transformative power of new learning will change a life forever.


About wlindquist

I'm a career educator currently teaching pre-service teachers at Hamline University - Master of Arts in Teaching program. Interested in science education, inquiry-based science, and the intersection of science and literacy.
This entry was posted in Building, Educational Psychology, General, The Art of Teaching and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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