Throughout this semester I have been working at Pyramid Studios in Tallahassee as an art instructor for adults with disabilities. Pyramid Studios is an arts-based day training program that adults with disabilities can attend to take classes in visual and performing art, dance, music, and life skills. Since I am working to become an art therapist, this internship seemed like the perfect match.
My responsibilities as an art instructor included leading a table of up to 6 students, assisting each student with their own project, developing new projects and teaching new art skills, managing disruptive behaviors, assisting with personal care, and maintaining a clean and organized classroom. Each day was challenging in its own way from having to think of a project to teach on the spot to learning how to handle a severe behavioral outburst. Through these challenges I learned many valuable skills that will benefit me for life.
Although I have been temporarily laid off because of the pandemic, this internship has helped me become a more patient, adaptable, and driven artist and professional overall. I am looking forward to when I can return and get back into the art room. I absolutely loved getting to know each of my students, seeing their progress, and witnessing how proud they were of their accomplishments. I will always remember how happy they were to see me each day and how much effort they put into each project. I valued this internship so much that I plan on staying with this company for the next couple years–hopefully working my way up from an art instructor to an art coordinator. I came into this internship thinking my background in art, psychology, and experience with working with people with disabilities would make it a breeze, but I ended up walking away with more valuable skills and experiences than I could have ever imagined. If you want to challenge yourself as an artist and as a person in general, I highly recommend this internship.