In my 27 years of teaching art I have only been responsible for hiring 7 art
teachers all at the secondary school level, so my experience may not be typical
of the run of the mill art supervisor in a large urban area. The factors I
look for in deciding who I will interview are:
Tone of the letter of introduction
Experience or demonstrated excellence complimenting my strengths and weaknesses
and reinforcing the needs of the department at the time.
Artistic experience and what one can bring to the school and classroom.
During the interview process I look for the following:
Demonstrated excellence and passion for art - evidenced through a portfolio of
and discussion about art
Personality - Ability to get along with people, be collaborative and effective.
A love for kids - Evidence of classroom management, delivery of instruction,
and assessment of progress.
A passion for lifelong learning - Evidenced by reflective practice, questioning
of the norms, risk taking, and accepting challenge.
If I had two equal candidates for one position, only then would I weigh the GPA
and reputation of the schools attended to make a decision. It has never
happened. I look at the transcripts of begining teachers only to see of scope
and variety of courses taken. The grades are not important as long as they
have a portfolio demonstrating their artistic skills, and character references
which I always call.
In looking at teachers with 3 or more years successful teaching under their
belts, I don't even look at the transcripts except to verify that they actually
earned their degree (s).
For opening the initial doors for the first job out of school, it helps to know
someone within the system you are applying to who will vouch for your abilities
and nudge the process forward. It also helps to graduate from a school with a
strong reputation for academics and/or teacher preparation.
Hope this helps.
Souhegan High School