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First of all, while I agree with all Bunki had to say about art
education, I must say a few things.
One: Remember that all we say about our art education upbringing is with
Two: You will be hired by products of education degrees. And, therefore,
in order to understand, speak and outwit their lingo, you must first be
indoctrinated in it. Art teachers are synonomous with "rebel" or
Three: In order to be an efficient advocate for the art program for the
students in your community, you must be considered "professional", and
above all "exemplarary"....and the community feels safe with what it
knows, and that is "teaching certificate" from a reputable established
college or university.
Four: And probably one of the most important, you must be able to work
within the guidelines established by your educational community.
Translation: the other teachers need to see you at committees, using
your educational knowledge on the different ways that students learn,
and creative problem solving. Teachers in the academic areas tend to
see those of us in the "non-academics" (I call it the "pink degree"
areas), as of lesser value. Once they get to see that we have the same
level of intelligence (and in some cases, more), and are able to debate
educational issues, using the jargon we ALL had to gulp down during our
education courses, our credibility jumps.
Granted all of this has very little to do with actual TEACHING, more
with clout, power, and ranking on the food chain. But ultimately in
order to have the freedom to do what Bunki or I do, we have had to
maintain a level of "professionalism" given to us at the ripe young age
of 21 with that piece of paper certified by our respective states. Over
the years, as my hair has greyed, and I start to look like Yoda, I have
noticed that I have gotten more respect from my colleagues, and the
community. This has come from a long battle, on many committees,
writing miles of curriculum, standing on many soap boxes. I am now
waiting for that young art teacher to come into my school, smile at me,
and say to themselves: "I want her job, I can do better." I said that,
and did that, and now am ready to pass the torch. (Well, in 10 years,
someone can TRY to rip it out of my hand, anyway!)