This school year has a different feeling to me than the past few years. When I say "School is in Session", I'm not just talking about all the little children who have been filling the neighborhood streets, but also me. Before you start imagining me sitting behind a desk listening to lectures, taking test, and doing homework, let clarify...I will not be a student, but the teacher!
I used to teach Elementary Art at a local private school, but when my youngest daughter was born, I decided to stay home with her. Then a couple years later I was given the opportunity to teach for a homeschool Co-op that not only included elementary students, but also high school. It was exciting to teach a larger range of students, and to watch their growth throughout the year. Five years have past since I stood in front of a classroom teaching my favorite subject to future artist (except for the occasional private lesson or substituting), and I'm looking forward to teaching again.
I believe it is good for artist to do a little teaching whether it be private lessons, workshop, in a school, or at a arts and crafts store. Why? Here are three (Although I chose to list three reasons, there are many more).
1. When you teach, you learn. Teaching gives the artist opportunity to do a little studying that they may not make time for otherwise. You get to explore with your students a variety of mediums and techniques you haven't thought of since art school. You also get a refresher on some of the foundations of art and art history.
2. When you teach, you give. Teaching gives the artist the opportunity to pass on their passion of art to others. One of my favorite things about teaching was watching the students who said "I can't" do...they just needed someone to help them discover their creative side.
3. When you teach, you earn. Teaching allows the artist to supplement their income. Let's be honest...unless you have made it in the art world, and your paintings sell for high dollar as quickly as they are completed, you need other creative means of income. Teaching is a great and rewarding way to do so.
Teaching is one of the jobs that doesn't seem to get as much recognition as it deserves... it is hard, exhausting, time consuming, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences when you see those students learn and execute what they have been taught. Both teacher and student benefits so I say that is a "Win, Win".
Now that I'm going back into the classroom, I have decided to add a new category to my blog called "The Art Room" where I will share this year's journey back to school.