Let us introduce you to Mr S, our new primary visual arts teacher
Sacha Sukasam, ISUtrecht’s new primary visual arts teacher started work exactly one week before all schools were closed in the Netherlands. This basically meant he started teaching from home, without properly meeting his new students and colleagues. Fortunately Mr S likes a challenge!
By Sacha Sukasam, primary visuals arts teacher
I am incredibly excited to be your new visual arts teacher, but first I would like to formally introduce and tell you a little about myself: my name is Sacha Sukasam otherwise known as Mr. S, the one responsible for some of the primary art lessons during our online learning these past couple of weeks.
Like many of our students I was brought up in an international world from a very young age. Being originally from Thailand, I grew up in Austria, did my Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art in London and got my Masters Degree in Art Education in New York, before finally settling here in The Netherlands three years ago.
First and foremost I am an artist, specialising in painting and photography. I have always enjoyed creativity in all of its forms, and I was fortunate enough to be able to explore my artistic curiosity in school. During my last year of university I volunteered at a studio for aspiring low-income artists with learning and physical disabilities where I taught my first class.
Though teaching these classes was incredibly challenging, I could not get enough of this overwhelming sense of self-worth and pride after each lesson. I have never felt more worthy or fulfilled, than when I am in a classroom inspiring and guiding young artists to reach their fullest creative potential.
During my teacher training, it became very apparent that the thing that resonated with the children the most about me is my international upbringing, which had prepared me to engage with children from all nationalities and backgrounds.
And yet nothing could have prepared me for this global pandemic. Some of you have not met or even seen me at all, this is due to me having only worked at ISUtrecht for one week before we shifted into online learning. The transition was surprisingly easy for me, I enjoy a challenge and from teaching an after school art course I am used to creating art projects on a weekly basis. The hardest part is of course is not seeing the children’s faces light up when projects are introduced or when a light bulb comes on in their heads when they get an idea. The by-product of working from home and spending every weekend at home too, however, is that it has given me the chance to start some of my “if I have time” projects such as returning to painting, growing plants and finally learning Dutch!
Earlier this week I attended a meeting in my pyjamas; there is no denying that we are living in a historically strange time. Remember, we are in this together and ultimately we will come out victorious and stronger as a community.
In the past weeks I have witnessed teachers work harder than ever to ensure normalcy in education for their students. The same teachers that welcomed me with opened arms (metaphorically speaking, of course) took the time out of their already hectic schedule to reach out to make sure that I am supported and not overwhelmed by our new reality.
I hope we will soon be together at school again, but for now I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to all the hardworking teachers and the leadership team for demonstrating to me what a group of incredible educators can do and for allowing me to be part of the ISUtrecht family.