Art Teacher Jobs

Instilling a passion for art in their students, art teachers are able to combine their creativity and talent for art with the opportunity to enrich the lives of students. Art teachers should be familiar with a wide variety of art mediums in order to create a wealth of learning experiences for the students.

To be certified to teach art in the public school system, a bachelor’s degree in art education is needed. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree in art and wish to teach art can complete a master’s degree in education to become highly qualified. Coursework for aspiring art teachers will involve basic education theory and methodology along with art methods and art history.

Art teacher with paint palette with paintbrushes covering her face

The average art teacher earns a salary of US$41,815 according to data from as of 2017. An art’s teacher salary will vary depending upon the type of school, location, and years of experience.

As schools face budget constraints and the pressure to perform well on core-content standardized tests, art programs are often cut from schools’ curriculum. When schools face budget cuts, the art program is usually one of the first programs to be eliminated. Often parents, who know first hand the benefits the arts provide for their children, will protest the proposed cuts. Art teachers commonly feel anxious when it comes to job security.

The teaching methods used by an art teacher vary according to the age level of the students. Young elementary students will be engaged in creative play and exploration through their art classes while high school students will learn the nuances of specific art methods along with the corresponding art history.

Lesson plans for art teachers should be adaptable to the wide range of artistic ability within any given classroom. At the upper level of k-12 education art is typically an elective class, but for many younger students it is a requirement. The teacher must create lessons that make art accessible and enjoyable for all students while also instructing students in a variety of methods and materials. A general appreciation for art should also be included in the lessons.

Increasingly, states are providing content standards for art teachers that dictate the skills that should be taught at each given grade level. Teachers need to create hands-on lessons that correlate with the standards. Additionally, the teacher must decide how to fairly assess art projects. Grading art tends to be a subjective experience so the teacher needs to set specific requirements for the projects that ensure a fair grading system.

Technology and digital media are increasingly being incorporated into the arts programs. Art teachers should have a solid understanding of technology and be able to develop lessons that include creative applications of technology such as electronic portfolios and digital photo editing.

Art teachers are often encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach with their teaching, especially at the elementary and middle school level. The art teacher may collaborate with core subject teachers to connect art projects to other classroom learning experiences. For example, an art project could connect to the geometry lessons in math or focus on Chinese customs and culture for a social studies connection.

Classroom management is a common concern for art teachers. Due to the nature of students working with messy materials in a project-based format there is the possibility of off-task disruptive behavior. Art teachers must be able to provide individual help to students while simultaneously keeping an eye on the entire class of students.

Art teachers must manage the many supplies associated with art projects.

They must keep inventory of given supplies and create a yearly budget. Creating a safe classroom environment is an important job responsibility.

Besides the regular instruction duties, art teachers may be responsible for organizing and holding an annual art show to showcase their students’ accomplishments. Additionally, they may be expected to work with extracurricular activities like an art club.

In art class, there is no down time where the teacher sits back as the students take a test or read silently. With such hands-on methods, the art teacher is constantly demonstrating techniques or assisting students individually. The art teacher forms a strong sense of rapport with his students and is rewarded by the pride they take in their creative efforts.

For more information about teaching art please visit the following resource.

National Art Education Association

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