In My Own Words

Writing and Images from the heart...

In My Own Words

Writing and Images from the heart...

Design & Visual Communications

For the last seven years of my teaching career I have been a traveling photography instructor. I have loved being in both buildings. It was great to see the dynamic between both locations and the way the students are different, but still the same. Although many people often say it, I don’t really think everyone always means it when they say “I work with really amazing people”. I am not one of those people who doesn’t mean it. There isn’t a single person who hasn’t helped shape me, teach me, or encourage me to be a better person, artist, or instructor in some way, shape or form. With that being said…

Before becoming a teacher I had never really been exposed to what exactly Vocational Education was and how it relates to photography and art. My small minded mentality believed that Vocational Education was a bunch of guys with hammers, sawdust, and kids covered in dirt. What does this have to do with ANYTHING I do?! I would soon learn – well, actually, it has EVERYTHING to do with what I do.

When I was first approached about the possibility of starting in a new CTE shop, Design and Visual Communications at CCHS I was excited but terrified. How could I possibly leave CHS?! All my friends, Beth and Tom, who I don’t really know how to function without. Its too scary and I don’t know if I can do it!

Then I went to see the schools and meet the instructors who are running this program.

After seeing the work that was being created, the motivation and work ethic of the students, and how professional each of them were at the high school level I wanted nothing more than to peruse this extraordinary possibility. I saw students who were designing Apps, who have their own websites and logos for their artwork and small businesses, and who are freelancing – in high school! I couldn’t believe the great possibilities that were right under my nose and the only thing standing in my way was my own fear. In that moment of watching these students I discovered that I have always been a vocational girl – I just had never found my shop. I’m a hands on girl – who was never hard wired to sit in a desk. Why did this originally seem so far fetched for me?!

It was enlightening. It was amazing. It was obvious that this would be a great career direction for me if I was brave enough to take on the challenge.

Besides – since when have I been afraid of a challenge?!

Lots of people have asked me ‘So what is Design and Visual Communications?’ In its simplest form – It is art school for high school students, that is technology driven, and integrates photography, web design, and everything in between. On my visits to schools with this program implemented I found myself thinking ‘If only I had been so lucky in high school to have been exposed to this program – then everything would have changed for me.’ Now this will be the program for the Trish Kemps out there where everything will change forever once they walk through my classroom door. I couldn’t be more excited and proud to take on this responsibility of guiding them through four years of high school.

As bittersweet as it is for me to leave CHS and everything I know – including the people – the tides have changed and it is time for me to set sail. I’ve found my home with a wonderful new family who is welcoming me warmly, and excited for this new option for our students. Besides – blue is the only color I have ever been able to commit to in my wardrobe. It is just meant to be.

Thank you CHS for the memories. Each one of you area amazing. I am blessed to have worked with all of you.

Here is our article on MassLive as well:

‘Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides.’

Here I go!


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© Trish Kemp 2024