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Job resignation: Whats next?

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 06 2005 - 08:33:39 PST


Reading Cathy's post makes me so happy that I have strong union support.
I understand that we need all kinds of alternatives in education --
private, charter, etc. and some of those alternatives do a great job,
but when you hear of situations like Cathy's you wonder what the kids
are getting if the teacher is being so perplexed?

> I am feeling pretty overwhelmed at this point and ready for a new
> adventure, but I am spinning my wheels. Anybody have any
> advice/recommendations?
> Some thoughts:
> -Subbing
> -Teaching homeschool kids
> -Home art classes
> -A combination of the above
> -Something completely different!

I subbed for 2 years before finding a position. It was an unfulfilling
experience. Little opportunity to teach, mostly baby-sitting and
usually the pay stinks. Phone calls at 6AM to be someplace by 7, going
into strange buildings with little direction, and putting up with kids
who know just how to take advantage. If all you want is a few extra
bucks, then sub, at least you don't have to bring it home with you.
And everyone knows we need good subs.

There is something I find a real need for and I'd do it myself if I had
the time.
High school kids going to art schools need portfolio help - especially
those that should be looking for scholarships. From what I hear from
college admission people, good figure drawing is often a determinant in
scholarship. Well. I can't do "life drawing" in the high school.
Although I'm not far from major schools that offer this on weekends,
the kids don't want to do the travel. The competition for scholarship
is fierce. And these kids looking to good art schools are facing costs
equivalent to Ivy league schools. RISD is almost $40,000/year now.

I had a home schooled kid last year who came to me after school for my
club to get the art. He returned to public school this year - for the
art. I suspect art for the home schooled is mostly independent or web
based without much guidance. You could perhaps research how many in
your area are home schooled and what are the needs? Perhaps you could
set up some kind of situation where you would take groups to museums or
organize speakers and artist studios to go to. I'm really not sure what
happens with home schooling and art, but I think it's an area that
could use some attention. I know often I am asked for a textbook for a
home schooler. I don't use textbooks, so I don't know what the
substitution becomes.

When I was subbing and looking for a a position, I volunteered at a
mental health facility. That volunteering led to a position. I worked
nights and weekends with the patients on what we called "recreation"
because I wasn't a degreed therapist. But i found much need for the
"arts and crafts' I provided. Sometimes volunteering offers unique
opportunities. I didn't wait to be asked for a paid position. I told
them what the need was and the position was made.

Changing jobs or paths can be scary or exciting. Look to your
strengths, look to community needs and you will make a fit. I truly
believe in the adage that "when one door closes another opens." Just
look for the crack in a door and you can make it open.

Good luck to you

Patty

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