Impossible to find a job in 2011?

Discussion in 'Art Teachers' started by laura304, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. laura304

    laura304 New Member

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    Aug 13, 2011

    Hello,
    I have my undergrad degree in art (specifically graphic design) and I am thinking of going back to school to get my certification to teach art k-12. I know it depends on a variety of factors, but how difficult is it finding work as an art teacher? I have heard a lot of not so good things. :(
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 13, 2011

    Good morning Laura, and welcome!

    As I'm sure you realize, this has been a tough year for teachers in all disciplines. Tens of thousands of teachers were laid off due to budget cuts, and programs were slashed.

    And art has always been incredibly tough. In my school of over 2,500 kids, I'm part of a math department of 22 teachers. Our art department has 2. (That's right, two.) Math meets every day, and everyone takes math every year. Art meets every other day, and I think only 7th graders, sophomores and seniors (all or some, I'm not sure) take art.

    That said, some art teachers have gotten hired. A combination of flexibility on location, a great resume and cover letter, strong interview skills and plain old good luck seem to be the deciding factors.
     
  4. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Aug 13, 2011

    After you get your Art credential, consider getting a 2nd certification so that a school can use you in more than one department.
     
  5. ARTrageous

    ARTrageous New Member

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    Aug 15, 2011

    It is difficult to find an art position, but I believe it has been difficult for a long time. I looked for 6 years before finally finding a position. There were 10 times the amount of job postings for art this year than there were in years past. I applied to 20 some positions in my area and only heard back from one. Luckily that school district offered me the job!

    Difficult, yes- but it's not impossible! I agree with the other two posters; strong resume and cover letter are important as well as gaining experience or certification in another area. For myself, when I couldn't find an art job, I took a position in a 4 year old kindergarten classroom that was inclusive. That experience helped me land the art position I have now, in an inclusive school!
     
  6. ArtTeacherK

    ArtTeacherK Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2011

    I was lucky that when it was time for me to look for an art teaching job, a job opened up in my old hometown and I was qualified so getting hired wasn't too difficult. I taught there for 3 years and was really nervous when I moved that I wouldn't be able to find anything, but I just landed an amazing full-time position teaching art JUST to 6th graders (with a classroom to boot!) Having that initial experience is what set me apart from the crowd.

    So, my advice would be to seriously consider your options in terms of making connections or creating connections to get you that initial job. Do you live near your hometown? That could be a help. Is there any way you can student teach in a program that exposes you to two different schools? Purposely choose two different districts to widen your net and make sure you're awesome, even if it kills you. That first job might have more to do with being likable than being qualified (which is not uncommon in any field). I didn't necessarily love the idea of working in a school I used to be a student at, but every year I worked there moved me into a smaller and smaller pile on HR desks.

    If you're going to get your Master's, here's one other suggestion - google the names of the professors in any potential programs and see where they teach/have taught. The more influence THEY have the more likely it is they can help make connections for you. Half of my graduating class in Art Ed got a job because my professor knew the head's of the art departments in their districts.
     
  7. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Sep 3, 2011

    Laura304: If art is your passion and it's what you really want to teach, then pursue that dream. It may take awhile, as it did for me but don't give up. I also agree with others that getting certified in something else is not a bad idea. I got my alternate cert in elementary ed from California that transferred here to AZ. My Bachelor's is in Art Education, and I'm looking to get my M.A. in Art Ed. I was recommended by my principal last year (I taught 4th) for the 1st-8th grade art position I have now. I have waited 10 years to get BACK into art ed and before that I only taught it for 2 years......one year in a pilot program where I traveled, the other in a Magnet school where I taught art only part time. This is the FIRST art job where I have my OWN room and a Kiln. :) I'm not saying you will have to wait that many years, but just don't "waste the wait". Keep that dream alive and gain experience in education doing what you can. I truly believe if we have a goal and don't give up, in time...it can be reached. Best of luck to you!
     
  8. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2011

    When I started, I was unaware of the political movement rising against public school teachers. I thought teaching would always be a respected and secure career path.

    If I had known better, I would have pursued another degree entirely. Now I am scrambling to put together a safety net before the inevitable happens.

    You really need to be aware of the political climate in your state before choosing this career. Given a choice, I would not teach in a state without a strong union presence and a historically Democratic government.

    My advice: factor politics into your decision; be prepared to move.
     
  9. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Sep 10, 2011

    All of the specials are hard to get jobs in. If you really love it, I would go for it. Something might turn up for you. Just know before you start that it will be tough.
     
  10. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Sep 10, 2011

    I am in Arizona, which is a very Republican state, and a "right to work" state at that. They actually need art teachers here. I don't totally agree that you need to be in a "Democratic" state to teach art. California is about as democratic as they get (where I come from) and art teachers are getting cut left and right. It has nothing to do with political climate. Is has a lot to do with schools meeting AYP scores and meeting NCLB standards....and MONEY. California is friggin broke. They cut art and music first before everything else. Yes, they try and hang on to those jobs as much as possible, but it's VERY tough to find a full time art job in California, especially Southern California where most people live. If schools have $ left over for the arts, then it's a good thing. i agree that politics in the sense has in my opinion gotten in the way of school teachers of all ilk, and frankly I think the federal government has botched up education rather "nicely", but to say you have to move to a purely democratic state I'm afraid is not an accurate statement.
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 10, 2011

    Difficult, not impossible, but difficult. I agree you should add on other certifications to make yourself more employable.
     
  12. laura304

    laura304 New Member

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Thank you all for your feedback! I would have a lot easier of a time taking the "jump" into art education if it didn't cost so much to go back to college. :mad: I am still debating it, though.

    I am curious, though, I have heard that one must take the Praxis II test. Exactly which test must k-12 art teachers take?
     
  13. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2011

    It depends on state to state. Check with your state's Department of Ed web site and look under "Highly Qualified" for Art. Best of luck to you, Laura. :)
     
  14. laura304

    laura304 New Member

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    Sep 19, 2011

    I'll check on that. Thanks a lot for your help! :)
     
  15. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Sep 24, 2011

    You're welcome. :cool:
     

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