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Re: [teacherartexchange] Artist/Teacher Portfolio


From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jun 09 2006 - 18:51:26 PDT

On Jun 9, 2006, at 11:47 AM, Amy Broady wrote:
> But I do not feel that one HAS to be a practicing artist in order
> to be a highly effective art educator.
>> This is a situation that somewhat irks me about art teachers
>> applying for jobs. Does it seem that we're the only ones expected
>> to have a professional body of work, if not an actual exhibit
>> schedule? Is the language arts applicant expected to have
>> published, or at least show the Great American Novel in progress?
>> Does the math applicant have to develop new theories of algorithms
>> in her spare time? Does the science applicant spend the summer
>> searching for a cure for cancer? Does the P.E. teacher bring in a
>> teaching portfolio in a gym bag?
>> Maggie, playing the devil's advocate

I have always believed that art teachers who kept themselves active
as an artist made much stronger teachers.
Perhaps I don't mean a practicing artist, but at least a serious
attempt at individual creative efforts. In my
district we expected every art teacher to display work in one teacher/
artist exhibit each year. Hardly a difficult
thing to expect. It could be jewelry, ceramics, painting, fibers,
etc. anything in the visual arts. Of course drawings
are always a possible choice. One would expect an art teacher who
teaches drawing to be able to show their
ability to do it. Just as a teacher of writing should be able to
write if they expect to teach it.

Perhaps at the elementary level it is not as important, but I'm not
sure. Understand that an art teacher, a music
teacher, a shop teacher, etc needs a solid grounding in the methods
and skills of the field they are trying to transmit
to young minds. More importantly we need to understand the working
process of a creative mind. My students
knew I painted and exhibited my work. I talked about getting together
with other artists about our work. I explained
to them (tongue in cheek) that the science teacher worked on serious
research on the weekends and that the
english teacher wrote poetry. I only wish this were the case. Our
educational system suffers in part because we
have far too many people teaching subjects they only know about
through reading and study and not through actual

My son would not be a skilled carpenter now if he had not had a shop
teacher who knew how to use tools and materials as
well as how to instill in young minds a love for constructing things.
I watched our shop (industrial arts) programs go
down the tubes as more teachers taught with ready made kits. Now the
programs have disappeared all together.
The need for trained talented workers in the building trades is there
more than ever but it has disappeared from our
schools. Let's not let the visual arts go the same way.

                                        My two cents worth, Woody

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque

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“The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork
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of your artwork that soars.” from: “Art & Fear”

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