givitsoul asked: Hello, I read your post, and it totally hits home. I am currently a graduating Art History major that has some experience teaching but not enough to separate myself from the competition. I have applied for a part time position at a non-profit education program. My question is how do I market myself effectively knowing that I have limited experience but the capability, and passion to be a great teacher?
As an arts person, Art History to be exact, you have tons to offer any school, they just might not know exactly what yet. Your job is to frame it so they can see it. My suggestion is that you busy yourself with the language (and concepts) of arts integration (start here http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/how-to/series/arts-integration-beta/arts-integration-beta.aspx). Arts integration and the language behind it will give you the tools to share the value of what you do with a regular classroom, school. It will help you market yourself as an asset to the learners (and their test scores potentially if you frame it right). I know you’re art history, but what other arts background do you have? Are you a visual artist…? Beyond the arts intergration stuff learn the language of common core and NCLB, learn about testing, general pedagogy and classroom management…knowing these things and the language that surrounds them will help you stand out in an interview and help you in the classroom. Learn about best practices in literacy and mathematics, you should be able to see a connection between skills their and what you do in the arts realm.
As an arts teacher, your best selling point will be your ability to connect things, to see how what you do can benefit all students by providing them with transferable cognitive skills that will serve them in other classrooms. You’ll be even better off if you can boil what you do down to regular education talk. Make sure you’re speaking their language not asking them to interpret yours.
In the mean time, see if your state has an artist roster, or teaching artist institute (short program), these can offer you training to enter the classroom as an artist to teach academic content through the arts. Check your state for Arts in Education non-profits, they usually have the tools and connections. I work as a teacher, but also as a teaching artist and trainer. My background in the arts and literacy has served me well. Let me know if I can help you with anything. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org