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Re: art school and how we become art teachers (Linda)


From: Mark Alexander (markcalexander_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 26 2003 - 04:11:53 PST

Your initiation into the art world and art ed world makes for an inspiring story. Mine was quite different....I was one who everyone felt had great potential, but my lack of discipline was and is a stumbling point. I went to art school (Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA in the 70's, non-accredited at the time). My mom, an uncle, and numerous family friends, all teachers, suggested I should become a teacher too, but I resisted. I felt I was an artist destined to be the topic of one of those big coffee table art books, not a teacher trapped in a classroom. So I attemped to balance an art career while I struggled through a number of unrelated employment careers until I reached a dead end at about the same time I reached my 40's. I was under-employed at the time and my art career wasn't 'booming' either, so I was spending a lot of time volunteering in the classrooms of my own young boys. It was one day in a pre-school class, sitting with a half dozen 4 year olds making clay volkswagens that it struck me.
... how inspiring it was to be working with kids! I realized that these kids were actually learning important stuff from me, and I was learning important stuff from them, and this was a really cool position to be in....combining my passion for art with my love of children, and if I became a teacher, they'd actually pay me to do this fun stuff! My mom was right. So I went back to college, got my BS in Art Ed, and now, after 7 years of teaching I'm almost done with my MS in Art Ed, with an emphasis in puppetry. My teaching has been inspiring personally and artistically, and this series of art work (puppets) is actually receiving some recognition, too. I'm glad I found my way here, but do not reccommend anyone take this route.
Mark wrote:Being hired for my job was TRUE fate.

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