Teaching Artist TOP TEN Tips!

Drawn for a recent NH State Council on the Arts seminar for teaching artists.


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10. Use your website.

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Work samples, project archives, documentation, support materials, references, useful links… Remember, a good website is the start of the conversation, not the end!

9. Put it in writing.

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Create a written record of all your preparations and plans. Materials lists, ordering info, special facilities requirements… Whether it’s email boilerplate or a prep page on your website, make sure your host has seen it AND approved it.

8. Stay flexible.

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Because you can always count on the unexpected.

7. Look around.

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What do you notice in the classrooms, hallways, offices, sidewalks, &c.? You can learn a lot about an environment (and its local cultures) just by keeping your eyes and ears open…

6. Ask the teachers.

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They work here 180+ days of the school year; they know the students, the staff, the schedule, the space…

5. Encourage teacher participation.

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Because sometimes we all need an excuse to try something new.
And sometimes we need a little push, er, assistance…

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4. Be available.

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You’re an artist in residence.
Life-changing moments can occur at any time.

3. Share your work in progress.

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Sure, it’s great to share all your favorite polished perfect masterpieces… But what about your trials, mistakes, messes, dead ends, distractions, sketches, almosts, experiments, confusions, discoveries…?
Process is living product.

2. Highlight student work.

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For some students, your residency provides an opportunity to step outside old comfort zones and behavioral patterns, and to surprise their classmates with their accomplishments. Recognize their effort.

1. Tell a story.

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You are an artist in residence because you have something relevant, vital, urgent, important, unique, useful, & powerful to share with students. What is it? Tell your story with words & pictures… and
help students tell their own stories in their work.


To print & share:
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PDF BOOKLET version >>
5.5″x4.25″ page size (horizontal quarter-fold)
Some folding & stapling & cutting required.

TeachingArtist-Top10-PageVersion-01PDF PAGE version >>
Prints to 8.5″x11″ page size.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  That means you’re welcome to share it non-commercially; I also appreciate an email telling me where & how you shared or used it. ~ Marek

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