Laughing at a funny comment from Murray Park/Quest third-grader Max Reabe, right, are  third-grader Kellan Martin and art teacher Maggie Dykstra. In the background, drawing ideas for their art projects are, from left, third-graders Alyssa Weinkauf, Logan Beahm and Paxton Bishop.
Laughing at a funny comment from Murray Park/Quest third-grader Max Reabe, right, are third-grader Kellan Martin and art teacher Maggie Dykstra. In the background, drawing ideas for their art projects are, from left, third-graders Alyssa Weinkauf, Logan Beahm and Paxton Bishop.

   Exhaustion.

   It’s a common emotion teachers encounter at some point in their careers, especially early in their first years teaching

   “I think at some point, all educators feel stretched thin,” said Maggie Dykstra, art teacher for both Barlow Park Elementary/Journey Charter schools and Murray Park Elementary/Quest Charter schools.

   However, not all educators are shared among several schools in a district like Dykstra is.

   What motivates the second-year teacher when she feels drained?

   Her students.

   “I try to celebrate those little things where a kid shows me how proud they are of their artwork because they worked so hard on it, or they figured out some new techniques that they’ve been trying really hard to get down, or they come in for extra time because they’re so excited for a project,” Dykstra said. “Those little things remind me why I do this and that I love to teach and I’m so passionate about art ... Those little experiences are what really keep me going when I’m feeling a little exhausted or a little stretched thin.”

   Read the full story, including Dykstra's challenges and why she is shared between the schools, in the Jan. 17, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.