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>I am interested in hearing opinions about the importance of the
>art teacher modeling the role of artist as he/she manages the classroom.
>I am a middle and high school art instructor who travels between
>schools. I love my job, but I am sad because I do not seem to have time
>or energy to get my own art urge fulfilled. I would like to hear from
>educators who can relate to my distress because misery loves company.
>What I need is to hear from working artist who are also art teachers.
First of all, just an interesting note: In Italy both working artists and
teachers are called "Maestro" (or "Maestra") which translates to both
"Master" and "teacher". To me that indicates that one who teaches should
also be one who does...I do feel that I receive as much from my students as
I try to give them. I teach them the basics, the skills, the techniques, to
look and really see, etc...and they inspire me with new ideas I would have
never thought of...with a freshness and creativity that only kids can
have....In fact, I always seem to produce more art work during the school
season than in the summer when I should have more time to do my own work.
Doing my own artwork seems to fuel the teaching because I get excited
about what I am doing and I want to pass the joy of the creative experience
on to my students; vice versa they inspire my own art work. The teaching
and doing seem to balance each other.
Then you said:
> Those who respond will be helping me with my graduate research
>paper that deals with the importance of modeling the role of artist in
>the classroom. My questions are ; How do students respond to the works
>in progress? Do they ever adopt a similar style? Do you as the educator
>make art in the classroom for a client, artshows, galleries, or for your
>ouw personal satisfaction? Do you think it is important to be an
>artist/teacher? Why or why not?
I am a bit perplexed about your questions because it seems to imply that
the teacher/artist creates his/her own artwork ...in the classroom. Apart
from not having the time to do so, (I am too busy teaching) I certainly
don't think it would be positive for the students. As for making art in the
classroom for a client.....I should think that would be conflict of
I hardly ever show my artwork to my students in the class, as examples, and
if they should produce work that looks like mine, I would feel I had failed
as a teacher. I don't want them to imitate me....I want them to express
their individuality. There is an art teacher for adult classes here in
Rome, and all his student's work looks just like his....to me he's not
teaching art...he's teaching imitation....
I do, however, invite my students and their parents to my exhibitions, and
the kids love seeing their "Maestra's" work and are proud to say "that's my
teacher" . And their parents seem to have added respect for their
children's artwork because they are being taught by an "Artist" .
Last year Valentina said to me "Maestra, are you famous?" . I laughed and
said, "No, Valentina, not yet" ....well, this year when school started the
first thing she said to me was "Are you famous yet?" ....made me
laugh...wish it was that easy, Valentina!
In any case, my reply to your questions would be that teaching and doing go
together like peanut butter and jelly!