Art Majors: Consider Art Education

Why Studying Art At School Is Good?

In college, I majored in art. My plan was to become a studio artist. When people would suggest art education to me, I would tell them that I was not interested in teaching. I was in it for the pure art and expression and not going to baby sit children. At that time, I would have never have been caught dead as a teacher.

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993. After graduation, I was thrown in to the real world of rent, car payments and bills. I was forced to go out and get a real job to pay the bills. Reality was that in my town that I am from in North Carolina, it was a very slim chance that I would have been able to make it on my art alone. I spent the next ten years working full-time and doing my art on the side.

Then I had a baby (another thing I thought I’d never do). I quit my full-time job to become a stay at home mom (yet another thing I never thought I’d do). When my baby was 2 ½, she was taking some extra-curricular, after school type classes. One day, we went and it was time to re-enroll. They suggested taking an art class. I told them about my art degree and that we do lots of art projects at home. The owners immediately offered me a part-time job.

The offer intrigued me. I agreed to attend an art class with my child and I loved the concept. I observed another class as a future teacher and I really enjoyed it.

I started out two years ago, teaching one class a week. Now, I am teaching four classes a week in a two day span. It took me a little while to get into a groove and figure out my personal teaching style, but it is second nature to me now! I am very relaxed and give the children a lot of encouragement. In my class, there is no wrong way.

I am constantly amazed at what these kids can do! It fascinates me how I give all ten children the same materials and each result is completely different and unique as the child that did it. Art is my niche and I enjoy sharing it with them.

There are many places that teach art in this same manner, as an after school program or extra-curricular activity. You do not have to be a certified teacher. It gives a great opportunity to try teaching on for size and see how it fits you! This also would be a great part-time job while you are still in school.

If I had gone into art education, I would have been in an art career field teaching future artists. I would have been working with different mediums and sharing what I know, rather than working in retail or working office jobs! Plus, teachers usually have great benefits, even if the pay is not exceptionally great.

I wish I had tried teaching or at least researched working in art education a long time ago! I encourage you to consider art education instead of just plain art.

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