Monday, July 22, 2013

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

How well are you representing yourself as an educator? Maybe it’s time to upgrade or revamp your submission packages. Artistic teaching credentials, after all, should be an exemplary reflection of the person they represent. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional metal clay instructor, take a critical look at the image your credentials project.

Linda teaching in 2011.

Your teaching package is most likely the first impression a potential employer is going to have about you and your work. If you are seeking a teaching post at a museum, center for the arts, community center, college, etc., you want the reviewing curator, administrator, etc., to have a, “Wow,” reaction to your submission. Even little things can make a big impression and leave a lasting impression.

Paper, Spelling, Grammar: Always write a cover letter to accompany your resume. Your submission should also include an artist’s bio, and artist’s statement. Print on a high quality bond paper using an easy-to-read, generously-sized font. USE SPELL CHECK!!! Have someone proof your submission with a critical eye for text, grammar, etc.

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words: Include a disc or binder with high quality photographs of yourself along with several photos of your work. If you can afford it, hire a professional photographer. If not, consider bartering with a photographer for classes or a piece of your work. Photos should be a nice representative selection of the types of projects you propose to teach; not necessarily your most challenging or award-winning designs. Limit photos to five or six images.

Testimonials and References: Don’t overdo it. Less is more. Three references and testimonials are sufficient. Make them amazing and get permission from the source to include their phone number if someone wants to follow up for more information.

Manners Matter: In our current it’s-all-about-me-instant-gratification-mind-set, we too often forget the value of humility. State respectfully that you wish to be considered for a teaching position. Do not be demanding or expectant. Your artist’s presentation package should speak to the quality of your professional standards and student interaction.

Next time, I’ll discuss the essential components of preparing a course syllabus and teaching proposal.

Creative Blessings,

by Linda Kline
Director of Education

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