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238Re: [art_education] New to the group

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  • Wayong@aol.com
    Dec 4, 2002
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      hi- I'm originally from NYC. FYI, every state has different rules & regulations. If you want to remain in NY, you are very lucky. Prior to moving out of state, I was not aware of any of my friends/colleagues having a full time position. A full time art teacher position is very rare in NYC (and elsewhere). You are more likely to get a position like that upstate. However, there are more opportunities for part time & contract positions. But if you want to slowly get into the field, this is a good way to go. NY, along w/NJ, Pennsylvania, Conneticut & much of the east coast, it is not required to have a degree in education nor initially have a certification. Board of Ed will hire you in lieu of you completing cert. requirements if they are in need. Many other private org. won't require a cert. or license.

      Your strong portfolio & people skills will definately be an asset. However, your lack of experience will work against you. There are many very qualified people vying for contract positions at Studio in the School, Marquis Studios, etc.
      Your options are to either volunteer doing the work you ideally want to do professionally, or take less than ideal jobs to get started. Hospital Audience Inc. - HAI, will sometimes hire artists with no prior teaching experience. However, the commute tends to be long to get to your contract positions, & most likely will be placed with adults/elderly until you 'prove yourself' for several years.

      Before applying for a graduate program in art ed, I strongly recommend getting field experience, reading books (although most of the art ed books, in my opinion are subpar technically & often suffer from lack of imagination), going to conferances (art ed, ed, special ed, creative arts therapy), and talking to people in the field.
      It's nice to be idealistic & all, but you may not be able to
      avoid 'corporation hassles' - there is a lot of beauocracy, red tape, internal politics, paperwork ESPECIALLY if you get a full time job.
      Also, working with kids and/or special needs populations can be very stressful & wearing. I love working with 'difficult' kids, but it's not for everybody. If you are too gentle & green or easily irritated, kids can pinpoint you as a target.

      With all of that, you do have a lot of options. Shop around!
      There are several organisations that have volunteer artists working with homeless kids & community settings. While that place may not have a paying position, getting yourself out there & making yourself known is important. Personally, I'm very against established professionals volunteering (don't ever suggest that to me, it wouldn't help my situation) because people assume you are not worth a paycheck & not professional. But for artists who are trying to break in, it's a different situation.

      Also, check out Earth Celebrations... they can use artists & teachers to develop puppets, masks, costumes.

      With any of these org, set boundaries & don't end up getting abused.

      Now, if you want to look for work in the Wild West, don't even bother. I tried 2 yrs in Colorado & I'm happily moving to Boston...

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