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Art Teachers/Artists (A Little Long)

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From: Debra Kozak (berkana_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 08 2000 - 07:48:58 PDT


Although I have been scanning the list for the last few weeks, I have
been too busy to send any posts. This particular thread has given me
incentive to do so now.

I am a professional artist with my own studio, etc. who has just begun
teaching K-8 this year at my daughter's school. My previous teaching
experience has been at arts organizations (children through adults) and
privately in my studio. Teaching in a traditional school setting is
totally new to me. However, I am having a GREAT time so far. I have
just a couple of annoying problems...only 5 minutes between classes and
no sink or running water in my room. I use a bus pan to take home items
that need cleaning. I also made certain that almost all my art
materials (paints, inks, glues, etc.) are water soluble. I do most of
the clean-up in my room as my classes are only 35 to 40 minutes long and
the many of the students have to travel to my building from others which
cuts into their time with me. I have been lucky in that students are
eager to come assist me during their recess and other free time periods.

The school has never had any sort of art program until I volunteered to
teach...and I do mean volunteer. I am receiving no compensation for
teaching this year other than a sizable discount in my daughter's
tuition (it is a parochial school). I will be paid next year.

The reason I offered to teach art was obviously not for monetary
reasons. It was due to the fact that I believe the arts are an
essential component to everyone's education. (I won't jump up on my
soapbox concerning this statement because I know that I am preaching to
the choir.) Teaching three days a week does limit my time to create my
own work. However, I am still painting and drawing for myself in my
studio. I am participating in a two-woman show during the month of
November and I have several commissions. But the bonus is that working
with the kids is stimulating my creative juices. Also, I am working on
a piece in the classroom during my little bit of free time. The
students love to see how it is progressing and I am teaching them that
creating art requires patience and dedication. In fact, I have had two
students and one teacher commission me for portraits. (My prices are
reasonable.) Therefore, in my case, I am having my cake and eating it,
too.

Just thought I'd share and thank the members of the list once more for
all their assistance in helping me implement this art program. I look
forward to more great ideas and assistance in the future.

Deb K.
Elyria, OH