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Art teachers/artists (long)

---------

artrageous_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sat Sep 30 2000 - 21:33:04 PDT


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My goal to teach art was one that took the last 11 or 12 years to =
achieve. Some of you know my (long) story.

I majored in Studio Art at a small liberal arts college. In addition to =
art history, the program required courses in design, drawing, painting, =
and sculpture. Some of my electives included Foundations of Education, =
Educational Psychology, Adaptive Recreation (which included an =
internship in a rehabilitation center for adolescents), Behavior =
Modification, Drama (including childrens' theater), etc., etc. =20

Because the school was so small, things like photography, ceramics, =
fiber arts, pottery, jewelry and printmaking weren't offered. Instead, =
the painting, drawing and sculpture courses were emphasized, and I also =
did a couple of independent studies to further explore things that =
interested me in art.

I'd begun doing portraits professionally right out of high school at the =
prompting of my HS art teacher--took all the classes I could get there. =
But after college, with a degree in Studio Art and with crazy-quilt =
transcripts, I worked in therapeutic recreation, picking up courses in =
gerontology and other related classes and workshops that were offered =
through the state health care organization.

Flash forward to 1987. By that time I was a single mom with 2 kids and =
no "real" job. Doing commissioned artwork (portraits and other things) =
and designing and marketing counted cross-stitch kits provided a way for =
me to stay home with my kids, as I'd left my job in the nursing home =
when I was pregnant with my first child.

By '88 or '89 I'd decided I wanted to teach art in schools. I'd always =
worked summers as an art counselor at different camps or whatever in =
addition to my commissioned work, and part of my work with the elderly =
involved teaching a variety of art classes. So I started back to school =
in a Post-Grad Teacher Licensure program; I was accepted because I =
already had a B.A. in Studio Art.

I could only take classes as I could afford to pay for them--and I could =
never take more than 1 per semester due to time constraints. (To make =
ends meet, I was also babysitting for twin girls, keeping other children =
after school, giving beginning guitar lessons, doing computerized =
recordkeeping from my home for a couple of small businesses, etc.)

I couldn't qualify for financial assistance because I wasn't taking =
enough credit hours, so every scrap of the money came out of my savings =
account or was from sales of my artwork. Some classes in the program =
included elementary methods, secondary methods, teaching exceptional =
individuals (gifted/special needs), specific art-teaching classes, =
adolescent psychology, etc., etc.

Finished course work, practicums (practica?) and NTEs by '96--and had =
started working in an elementary school as a TA in '92, thinking it =
would be a good foot in the door. Hadn't student taught, but by that =
time I was locked into a job--paltry pay but I was dependent on it as =
well as the insurance benefit. Taking a leave of absence to student =
teach wasn't an option, financially (between lost pay, what it would =
have cost to student teach through the college I was attending, and =
paying for my insurance would have cost nearly $8000--I was barely =
making that much as a part time TA!!)

But I could NOT get a job as an art teacher in the district where I'd =
worked for (by that time) 7 years. It always boiled down to lack of =
formal certification (due to no student teaching!) Didn't matter that =
I'd had daily classroom experience for years, didn't matter that I'd =
been teaching in one way or another for years, didn't matter that I'd =
been attending all the meetings and seminars offered by art teachers in =
my district and was hanging out in a middle school artroom with a friend =
and "mentor" a lot of days after I'd finished working for the day at the =
elementary school. I even offered to student teach over the course of a =
year (during the late afternoon), to try to meet that part of the =
requirement, but the "system" wouldn't budge.

Last year I applied for a position as an art teacher at a private =
school. Certification wasn't a major issue there--they were looking for =
experience, skills, etc. and I was hired. So last year was my first =
official year of teaching art, and I jumped in with both feet, (and =
hands and heart). And finding this list (thanks to Deb Sterner whom I'd =
"met" in another art ed forum) was a godsend!

BEST news is that the state will sometimes waive student teaching =
requirements based on employment if all of the other requirements have =
been met, and so I just saw the fulfillment of a long-term goal: I =
received my state-issued professional TEACHER'S LICENSE from the VA =
dept. of education two weeks ago!!!

From what I've gathered, we've taken many different routes to becoming =
teachers, and what's important is the passion (as Woody might say) that =
makes this important to us. =20

Goodness knows there are times I'm only a step ahead of my students =
(hence my frequent posts for help!) and I work my butt off on weekends =
and during holidays learning new skills and techniques that I want to =
pass along to my kids. My own artwork is put on hold during the school =
year, and I look forward to the day (when?!) that I can move away from =
commissions to do more of "my" artwork. =20

But for now, teaching and sharing what I've learned (and am learning!) =
is what excites and inspires me. As someone on the list said (and I =
wish I'd saved the post), our students are our canvases. Seeing them =
achieve and "get it" is just as fulfilling as when I create a piece of =
personal artwork. I'm where I need to be at this stage of my life, even =
if it took me more than a decade to get here!!

Sharon
WEBSITE: http://www.bigfoot.com/~artrageous
Featuring art and art lesson plans, examples of my
artwork, genealogy resources, information about=20
contra dancing and Celtic music--and more!
EMAIL: artrageous@bigfoot.com
AIM: SKBK56, ArtrageousSBK, & others

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<HTML><HEAD>
<META content=3D"text/html; charset=3Diso-8859-1" =
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<STYLE></STYLE>
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<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>My goal to teach art was one that took =
the last 11=20
or 12 years to achieve.&nbsp; Some of you know my (long) =
story.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I majored in Studio Art at a small =
liberal arts=20
college.&nbsp; In addition to art history, the program required courses =
in=20
design, drawing, painting, and sculpture.&nbsp; Some of my electives =
included=20
Foundations of Education, Educational Psychology, Adaptive Recreation =
(which=20
included an internship in a rehabilitation center for adolescents), =
Behavior=20
Modification, Drama (including childrens' theater), etc., etc.&nbsp;=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Because the school was so small, things =
like=20
photography, ceramics, fiber arts, pottery, jewelry and printmaking =
weren't=20
offered. Instead, the painting, drawing and sculpture courses were =
emphasized,=20
and I also did a couple of independent studies to further explore things =
that=20
interested me in art.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I'd begun doing portraits =
professionally right out=20
of high school at the prompting of my HS art teacher--took all the =
classes I=20
could get there.&nbsp; But after college, with a degree in Studio Art =
and with=20
crazy-quilt transcripts, I worked in therapeutic recreation, picking up =
courses=20
in gerontology and other related classes and workshops that were offered =
through=20
the state health care organization.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Flash forward to 1987.&nbsp; By that =
time I was a=20
single mom with 2 kids and no "real" job.&nbsp; Doing commissioned =
artwork=20
(portraits and other things) and designing and marketing counted =
cross-stitch=20
kits provided a way for me to stay home with my kids, as I'd left my job =
in the=20
nursing home when I was pregnant with my first child.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>By '88 or '89 I'd decided I wanted to =
teach art in=20
schools.&nbsp; I'd always worked summers as an art counselor at =
different camps=20
or whatever in addition to my commissioned work, and part of my work =
with the=20
elderly involved teaching a variety of art classes. So I started back to =
school=20
in a Post-Grad Teacher Licensure program; I was accepted because I =
already had=20
a&nbsp;B.A. in Studio Art.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I could only take classes as I could =
afford to pay=20
for them--and I could&nbsp;never take&nbsp;more than 1 per semester due =
to time=20
constraints. (To make ends meet, I was also babysitting for twin girls, =
keeping=20
other children after school, giving beginning guitar lessons, doing =
computerized=20
recordkeeping from my home for a couple of small businesses, =
etc.)</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I couldn't qualify for financial =
assistance because=20
I wasn't taking enough credit hours, so every scrap of the money came =
out of my=20
savings account or was from sales of my artwork.&nbsp; Some classes in =
the=20
program included elementary methods, secondary methods, teaching =
exceptional=20
individuals (gifted/special needs), specific art-teaching classes, =
adolescent=20
psychology, etc., etc.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Finished course work, practicums =
(practica?) and=20
NTEs&nbsp;by '96--and had started working in an elementary school as a =
TA in=20
'92, thinking it would be a good foot in the door.&nbsp; Hadn't student =
taught,=20
but by that time I was locked into a job--paltry pay but I was dependent =
on it=20
as well as the insurance benefit.&nbsp; Taking a leave of absence to =
student=20
teach wasn't an option, financially (between lost pay, what it would =
have cost=20
to student teach through the college I was attending, and paying for my=20
insurance would have cost nearly $8000--I was barely making that much as =
a part=20
time TA!!)</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>But I could NOT get a job as an art =
teacher in the=20
district where I'd worked for (by that time) 7 years. It always boiled =
down to=20
lack of formal certification (due to no student teaching!)&nbsp; Didn't =
matter=20
that I'd had daily classroom experience for years, didn't matter that =
I'd been=20
teaching in one way or another for years, didn't matter that I'd been =
attending=20
all the meetings and seminars offered by art teachers in my district and =
was=20
hanging out in a middle school artroom with a friend and "mentor" a lot =
of days=20
after I'd finished working for the day at the elementary school.&nbsp; I =
even=20
offered to student teach over the course of a year (during the late =
afternoon),=20
to try to meet that part of the requirement, but the "system" wouldn't=20
budge.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Last year I applied for a position as =
an art=20
teacher at a private school.&nbsp; Certification wasn't a major issue=20
there--they were looking for experience, skills, etc. and I was =
hired.&nbsp; So=20
last year was my first official year of teaching art, and I jumped in =
with both=20
feet, (and hands and heart).&nbsp; And finding this list (thanks to Deb =
Sterner=20
whom I'd "met" in another art ed forum) was a godsend!</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>BEST news is that the state will =
sometimes waive=20
student teaching requirements based on employment if all of the other=20
requirements have been met,&nbsp;and&nbsp;so I just saw the fulfillment =
of a=20
long-term goal: I received my state-issued professional TEACHER'S =
LICENSE from=20
the VA dept. of education two weeks ago!!!</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>From what I've gathered, we've taken =
many different=20
routes to becoming teachers, and what's important is the passion (as =
Woody might=20
say) that makes this important to us.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Goodness knows there are times I'm only =
a step=20
ahead of my students (hence my frequent posts for help!) and I work my =
butt off=20
on weekends and during holidays learning new skills and techniques that =
I want=20
to pass along to my kids.&nbsp; My own artwork is put on hold during the =
school=20
year, and I look forward to the day (when?!) that I can move away from=20
commissions to do more of "my" artwork.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>But for now, teaching and sharing what =
I've learned=20
(and am learning!) is what excites and inspires me.&nbsp; As someone on =
the list=20
said (and I wish I'd saved the post), our students are our =
canvases.&nbsp;=20
Seeing them achieve and "get it" is just as fulfilling as when I create =
a piece=20
of personal artwork.&nbsp; I'm where I need to be at this stage of my =
life, even=20
if it took me more than a decade to get here!!</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR>Sharon<BR>WEBSITE: <A=20
href=3D"http://www.bigfoot.com/~artrageous">http://www.bigfoot.com/~artra=
geous</A><BR>Featuring=20
art and art lesson plans, examples of my<BR>artwork, genealogy =
resources,=20
information about <BR>contra dancing and Celtic music--and =
more!<BR>EMAIL: <A=20
href=3D"mailto:artrageous@bigfoot.com">artrageous@bigfoot.com</A><BR>AIM:=
SKBK56,=20
ArtrageousSBK, &amp; others</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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