Is becoming an art teacher right for me?
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How to become an Art Teacher
Becoming an art teacher involves specific educational and certification steps. Here is a general guide on how to become an art teacher:
- Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education from an accredited college or university. This program typically includes coursework in art history, studio art, and education methods specifically tailored to teaching art.
- Complete a Teacher Preparation Program: Enroll in a teacher preparation program designed for art educators. This program includes both classroom coursework and a student teaching component, allowing you to gain practical experience in an educational setting.
- Develop Artistic Skills: Throughout your education, continue to develop your artistic skills. A strong foundation in various art forms will enhance your ability to teach and guide students effectively.
- Pass Required Exams: Many states require teachers to pass standardized exams, such as the Praxis series, to demonstrate their knowledge of general education principles and art education concepts.
- Student Teaching Experience: Complete a student teaching experience in an art classroom under the supervision of an experienced art teacher. This hands-on experience is crucial for applying theoretical knowledge to real-world teaching situations.
- Obtain State Certification or Licensure: After completing the required education and testing, apply for state certification or licensure through the education department in the state where you plan to teach. Check the specific requirements for art education certification in that state.
- Consider a Master's Degree (Optional): While a master's degree is not always required, some art teachers choose to pursue advanced degrees for career advancement or to specialize in a specific area of art education.
- Build a Teaching Portfolio: Develop a teaching portfolio that includes samples of your artwork, lesson plans, and evidence of your teaching effectiveness. This can be useful when applying for teaching positions.
- Participate in Professional Development: Engage in ongoing professional development opportunities to stay current with best practices in art education. Attend workshops, conferences, and join professional organizations related to art education.
- Apply for Art Teaching Positions: Once you have obtained your certification, start applying for art teaching positions in school districts that align with your career goals. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your artistic expertise and teaching experience.
- Prepare for Interviews and Portfolios Reviews: Be prepared for interviews where you may be asked about your teaching philosophy, experience working with students, and your approach to art education. Some positions may also require portfolio reviews, so be ready to showcase your artistic and teaching abilities.
- Build a Professional Network: Connect with other art educators, attend art education conferences, and join professional organizations to build a network of support and stay informed about developments in the field.
Continuing education is essential for art teachers to keep up with the latest techniques, tools, and trends in the art industry. Here are some options for continuing education for art teachers:
- Workshops and Conferences: Attending workshops and conferences can provide art teachers with opportunities to learn from experts in their field, network with other professionals, and gain new insights into art education. Many organizations and institutions offer these events throughout the year.
- Online Courses: Online courses can be a convenient and affordable way for art teachers to gain new skills and knowledge. There are a variety of online courses available, from basic art techniques to advanced art theory.
- Professional Development Programs: Many art education organizations and institutions offer professional development programs that provide teachers with ongoing training, resources, and support. These programs can help teachers stay up-to-date with the latest developments in art education and provide opportunities for collaboration with other educators.
- Independent Study: Art teachers can also engage in independent study by reading books, attending exhibitions, and exploring new techniques on their own. This can help them develop their own skills and provide new ideas for their classroom instruction.
There are many great online resources available for art teachers to help them plan lessons, find inspiration, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in art education. Here are some of the best online resources for art teachers:
- The National Art Education Association (NAEA) - The NAEA is a professional organization for art educators, and their website offers a variety of resources including lesson plans, professional development opportunities, and research on art education.
- The Getty Museum - The Getty Museum website offers a wide range of resources for art teachers, including lesson plans, art-making activities, and resources for teaching art history.
- The Art of Education - The Art of Education website provides resources, courses, and webinars designed specifically for art teachers. Their content covers a wide range of topics including teaching techniques, curriculum planning, and career development.
- ArtsEdge - ArtsEdge is a resource of the Kennedy Center for the Arts that offers a variety of free resources for art teachers, including lesson plans, student activities, and professional development opportunities.
- Smithsonian American Art Museum - The Smithsonian American Art Museum's website offers a variety of resources for art teachers, including lesson plans, teacher guides, and online exhibitions.
- Artsonia - Artsonia is an online art museum for students that allows art teachers to share their students' artwork with the world. The website also offers resources for art teachers including lesson plans, art contests, and fundraising opportunities.
- TeachersPayTeachers - TeachersPayTeachers is a website where teachers can buy and sell educational resources, including lesson plans, activities, and worksheets. Many art teachers sell their resources on this website.