Being someone who is deeply interested in art to the level that you want to teach it too, considering the option of becoming an art teacher may be a good career choice for you. Obviously, the first skill or quality you need to have is the love for art itself and the ability to create it. However, just these qualities are not enough. Art teachers are responsible for a lot of other things, and require a lot of personality traits that will help them in the process of teaching students from kindergarten to elementary and secondary levels. These include patience and excellent communication skills. While the level at which you would like to teach will vary based on personal choice and experience, certain basics are required to be completed by you to become a successful and well-paid.
You are required to help kids with creative expression through art, to teach them the basic concepts necessary in the field of art, and in some cases, even the history of art. You will teach them how to start with something as simple as drawing and mixing colors, to making full-fledged portraits, and other works of art. Art is not only related to canvas, and you can also specialize in teaching digital or graphic design, sculpting, or ink art. The field is vast, and it is based on your interest that you can choose to specialize in.
Learn the Basics of Art
Start your career in art education by first deciding what kind of art you would like to teach. Is it graphic art, digital art, sculpting, pottery, sketching, or canvas painting with various media such as water colors, oil paints, etc. These are not the only fields in art, and there are a lot more you can choose to specialize in. Learn more about these fields in order to decide what you would like to learn. Then move on to developing your skills in the field. Enroll into any kind of classes or training program that offers education in these fields. To enroll into art school, you need to be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge and capability in any of the aforementioned types. So before you go ahead and attain a degree in the kind of art you are interested in, you need to provide a portfolio of your work to the college.
Attain a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art
The next step is to attain a BA in Fine Arts with an accredited college that is well-equipped with art studios, and will teach you everything you need to learn. This is not a mandatory step, and you can directly skip to the next step, where you are required to complete a course in art education. However, having a degree in Fine Art will increase your knowledge and strength in the field.
Attain a Degree in Art Education
To be able to teach art, you must complete a course in art education. Some students take only one step, i.e. step 2 or step 3. However, some colleges that provide art education require you to have completed some amount of coursework in art. You will have to find out the requirements of the school beforehand to be appropriately prepared to enroll for the degree. When choosing a college, you must ensure that it is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. A degree in this field with equip you with critical thinking skills, the history and cultural perspective, the development of artistic abilities in children, and the philosophy of art. You will also have classes that teach ceramics, print making, painting, sculpting, and drawing. However, it is only with continuous practice that you will develop your strength in this field.
Attain Work Experience in the Field
To work as a full-time art teacher, you are required to attain teaching certification, before you are eligible to do so, and you have to complete some amount of work experience. During the course of your education, you are made eligible to work to gain experience. As an art teacher, you will create and execute lesson plans in studio settings under the guidance of a mentor. You will then be assessed and given feedback about how you can improve your methods of teaching.
Attain Teaching Certification
It is a requirement by most states to be certified by the state department of education to teach. Further, meeting the requirements of the respective schools may be a necessity, such as clearing background checks, and demonstrating knowledge of first aid. To certify with the department of education, prospective you must complete the requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, that includes a bachelor's degree in Fine Art (or 30 semester hours of education in art), or a Master's in Fine Arts, or pass the PRAXIS II test of art content knowledge.
In the course of your education and over the years, you should keep developing your portfolio, as it is a necessary requirement to apply for the position of an art teacher. It is based on this portfolio (that includes your best work during college and your brief teaching experience) that will speak for you. You will also have to provide proof of your teaching experience along with the portfolio.