I'd like to add some other fuel to the fire to say that whether an art
teacher is prepared or not to teach is a combination of many factors,
including the undergraduate college courses/program, and the desire of the
individual to take their education past what they learn in their classes. I
have, over the years, been able to sit in on interviews for prospective art
teachers, and have also worked with a variety of individuals. While this is
a generalization, I have found that those who came "alternate route" (not
from a traditional art education background but with a background in one
discipline, i.e. painting BFA), were a bit surprised at what they perceived
to be a lack of passion on the students part for what they were teaching.
While being an "artist" is a great role model, it can be limiting in that
those of us (back in the day) who went through traditional art education
models (anyone remember the "teaching schools of the 50's and 60's, some
were called "normal schools"?), can teach ANYTHING because we had to take it
ALL and succeed in it all. When I think of how I was trained, I am so
greatful for my education. I learned everything from casting silver, to
making movies, to printmaking, to drawing, ceramics, fibers, sculpture and
art history. I supplemented my education on my own. I made it my business to
vist as many art colleges in the tri state area and check out their programs
so that I could help my students tailor their portfolios. I have attended
many of those schools taking weekend or summer courses to check out the
faculty and facilities. Over the years I have brought students AND their
parents to Open Houses and portfolio reviews, and in some cases acted as
surrogate parents for students at those Open Houses. As for gallery
preparations, I hang out in NYC going to museums and galleries and take
notes. We run a gallery in our school (when we are not under construction).
I choose to make teaching "my art", and devote my spare time to the calling.
I could have been painting, weaving, printing etc. A great many teachers are
able to combine teaching, doing their art, and family and I truly admire
that. I could not make that arrangement work for me and be able to breathe!
A degree whether BFA, or BA in Art Education is NOT the end point, it is the
beginning. Art Teacher preparation courses can only bring students to the
trough, they must drink the water of knowledge and experience on their own.