I was a little hesitant to offer a class to 10-11-year-olds, as I prefer high school age students. However, the cooperative needed another class for that age group and I decided art was fun no matter the age.
I was blessed to find a class of 12 attentive and enthusiastic students, all ready with their colored pencils. They followed directions and did great work. It will be an enjoyable and productive semester.
On Authenticity (Being Yourself)
I must conclude either I am an excellent teacher or I am so scary they dared not misbehave. The truth is likely a mix of both. I don't have the sweet, sing-song, elementary teacher voice and I don't smile unless there is something truly amusing or delightful. Nevertheless, I have been surprised over the years that children still seem to like me. My theory is that children have not yet learned to be fake, so they appreciate authenticity. If you are really the happy kindergarten teacher type, then the voice and smile are authentic to you and kids respond well to it. If I tried to mimic that, I would be inauthentic and the kids would instinctively react to my deceit. So I am authentically blunt, matter-of-fact, and--well, Vulcan, perhaps?