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A Variety of Ways to Teach Art

Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > Where to Teach Painting?

“Of all the hard jobs around, one of the hardest is being a good teacher.” – Maggie Gallagher

Why do you want to become a teacher? According to a survey carried out by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers on trainee and newly qualified teachers, one of the most popular reasons (75%) for joining teaching was a desire. A total of 80% said they taught because they enjoyed working with children and, encouragingly, just below 20% went into teaching because of long holidays.

To be a teacher, you must want to inspire.

But who is it you want to inspire? Here are all the possible options for becoming a painting teacher.

Teach Painting in Secondary Schools

In secondary schools, it’s no longer called drawing or painting lessons, but visual art classes.

No more boring lessons learning to draw landscapes for hours on end.

Art classes consist of learning a variety of techniques and artistic practices. Gouache, cutting, collage, making a model, everything goes. But also learning the history of art.

Students study art movements (Impressionism, Dadaism, Cubism, Abstract Art, Art Nouveau, …) and famous masterpieces (works by Manet, Picasso, Courbet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, …).

Learn how to be a great painting teacher. Ever experienced a bad teacher? Source: Visual hunt

Teaching requires fairly broad knowledge and skills in various painting and drawing techniques.

To become a secondary school art professor you need two things:

  • An undergraduate degree,
  • A teaching certification.

In the first instance, you have to complete your undergraduate studies in order to be accepted into a master’s degree. You will then be eligible to apply for teaching positions anywhere in the UK.

A popular route for trainee teachers is to complete a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) which gives students adequate experience and preparation to become teachers.

Courses like the PGCE are usually spread over two years and include teaching placements to provide students with a real feel for teaching.

To be a substitute teacher, you are not required to have a degree specialising in art, but you should have a qualification of higher education.

This can be a great way to see if the teaching profession is right for you before applying for a postgraduate degree or teaching certification.

But be warned! Being in charge of a class of teens is not a walk in the park.

Be an A-level Art Teacher

Teaching painting to sixth forms is very different from the rest of secondary education.

These students have consciously made the decision to continue studying art for AS and A-level so are likely to have a passion for the subject. This also requires the teacher to be very knowledgeable and experienced in a wide range of art practices.

To be an A-level art teacher, the same qualifications are desired as for the rest of secondary education. In addition to this many sixth form, colleges look for Master’s degrees as well as ample teaching experience to put their lower and upper sixths in safe hands.

Visual arts: the study and practice the fundamental tools of artistic representation and expression. The goal is to understand and know how to use sketches, diagrams, illustrated boards, models… to create their final art projects.

Art, techniques and civilisations: the study of different artistic genres (architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, decorative arts, design) throughout history.

But you can also study “Creative Approaches” and “Technologies” in art.

It must be understood that teaching A-level art is a comprehensive subject. You will not only teach the students how to paint but a wide range of other techniques as well.

Teach different art techniques as an art teacher. Paper mache is also part of the curriculum. Source: Pixabay

Despite the higher demands, teaching A-level students is usually preferred by most trainee teachers, wanting to start their career teaching enthusiastic and motivated young artists.

Teach Painting at Art Schools

Teaching at a specialised Art Schools will undoubtedly be more competitive and, in turn, require more experience and qualifications.

Teaching painting at a University is a prestigious profession.

To become a member of staff, you need to have good grades.

Reputable art schools often require further study for their teachers, so a postgraduate degree in teaching or a PGCE are essential.

Smaller schools may have their own requirements so best try to bump out your CV before you apply to make sure you really make an impression.

Students in these kinds of schools often come straight from A-level, so therefore from the secondary school or sixth form college where they received training to prepare them for higher education. Now, your job is all about preparing them sufficiently for the professional world.

There are a variety of courses available such as history of art, fine art, cultural studies and museum studies.

University lessons in painting revolve around many different art techniques: oil painting, watercolours, acrylic painting, … But also different drawing techniques: charcoal, calligraphy, coloured pencils, pastels, ink, graphite,…

This allows future professionals to be versatile.

Because to learn how to paint, you must first know how to draw a sketch, to be able to shape your ideas and creativity.

Give Painting Lessons at an Art Association

Choosing to be an art teacher doesn’t necessarily mean you have to teach according to a school curriculum decided on by the Board of Education.

Painting along with a variety of other artistic skills can be taught as an extra-curricular activity or hobby.

Make use of the internet to market yourself as a private painting tutor. Pottery, photography, painting, … Art associations and groups have a wide selection of activities to offer. Source: Visual Hunt

In cities and the countryside, associations provide an interesting range of creative courses such as pottery, sculpture, photography, cross-stitching, and of course painting.

Students come to these kind of classes to discover painting for the first time or to improve their skills. But it is above all a hobby and a way to relax, express yourself and meet people.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it’s possible for all levels to be in the same course.

Courses are completely different to those given at school because there are no work-related issues.

Moreover, these are real painting classes and not visual arts. You can then concentrate on teaching painting techniques if you like.

Painting a landscape, a portrait, a human body, a still life, a living model, you decide how many exercises and what type of exercises you offer your students.

Brushes, easel, Canson paper, canvases, during these lessons you can also give your students tips on materials and equipment.

In order to teach in an association, nothing particular is required except motivation, a desire to teach, artistic skill and experience. A painter without a degree can teach in this type of organisation no problem.

Be a Private Art Tutor

The arrival of the internet has truly shaken the world of private lessons. The online tutoring market represents £6.5 bn in the UK with 2.8 pupils being tutored at any one time.

Students can easily contact private art teachers and be taught from the comfort of their own home. With platforms such as Superprof, in a few simple clicks, the teacher-student relationship is established.

It is, therefore, an option which shouldn’t be overlooked if you want to start teaching painting.

Private lessons allow you to adapt your schedule and choose the type of class you want to teach. Teaching online gives both the teacher and the student a freedom that one rarely finds in other learning methods.

You can also choose if you want to give home lessons, intensive courses, weekly classes, online courses, etc.

Be unique and creative in your approach to teaching art. Why not teach how to colour a comic? Source: Pixabay

Online or home classes are also easily adapted to your students and their personalities. A popular teaching technique with students who are not attracted to more traditional ways of learning.

Comics lessons, learn how to draw manga, decorative painting, Chinese painting, colouring a sketch, abstract painting, don’t be afraid to make your lessons as original and unique as possible.

Painting tutors can run their business either by only giving private lessons or in conjunction with another job.

By registering with Superprof your advert will gain high visibility, being listed in the largest community of teachers in the world, allowing you to receive tons of requests for private lessons.

A Glossary for Art Teachers

How you teach art depends on where you teach. While in school we talk about “visual arts” or “plastic arts”, associations prefer using the simpler term “painting classes”.

Here are some definitions to help you find your way around:

Visual arts

The visual arts are commonly known as the grouping of all practices or activities with artistic, aesthetic or poetic representation through various shapes and sizes.

Art teacher

As a result of inspiration and practice, the art teacher trained both artistically and educationally, guides the student, develops their artistic and aesthetic approach, and helps them find their style.

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