Under Different Skies: Teaching, Learning, and Loving at The Chicago Academy for the Arts
Lichtenstein, Amanda Leigh
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When I was sixteen and attending a public high school just outside of Chicago, I heard about a private high school for the performing arts in the city called the Chicago Academy for the Arts, and was immediately intrigued by its very existence. I was a passionate and outspoken student full of love for the arts, and I was disappointed by our public high school because I felt that they did not prioritize funding or support for the arts programs at our school. I dreamed of going to a high school where teachers and students valued the creative spirit and where students had the freedom to express themselves openly. Unfortunately, my parents could not afford sending me to a private school in the city, and ultimately, I am not sure I was ready to commit myself so seriously to any given art. I learned to appreciate attending a public school, and continued to write, dance, and act, regardless of where I was or who was watching. I always wondered, though, if I would ever have the chance to experience a school like the Chicago Academy for the Arts, so when I discovered that I might be able to student teach there, it was like a dream come true. I was thrilled at the prospect of teaching in a community so full of love and support for students whose passions lie in the performing and fine arts, and I could not wait to share my own passion and enthusiasm for writing and literature with the students there.