Definition of a Teaching Artist: Part 2

Welcome to part two of the search to define what it is we teaching artists do!

Question #2: What are the most important skills a teaching artists needs to be successful?

I thought the best representation of their answers would be an image. An image of words, if you will.

If you haven’t discovered word clouds yet, then click here and get to work! They are magical. When you enter your text, these word cloud makers (I’m sure that’s the technical term for the software.) make something pretty out of your words. But more importantly, the size of each word is determined by the number of times it shows up in the text. So with that, take another look at the word cloud of teaching artist skills. The heavy hitters from this group of teaching artists are: reflective, fun, collaborative, energy, passionate, listening and flexible.

A huge reason behind my decision to revive this blog last year was to show people what it’s like to be a teaching artist. These are the skills that we are all constantly working on and improving upon in order to give young people high quality arts education experiences. Even at the relatively young age of 23 I know that someday I want to be a part of training the next generation of teaching artists. Someone has to carry on the amazing work that we do. It’s also important that people know that being a teaching artist is a legitimate, viable, exciting and fulfilling career to pursue in the arts.¬†This word cloud of skills it takes to be successful in our artistry makes that so clear.

Thank you again to the ten teaching artists who offered such thoughtful words on these two questions. The collection of responses is really exciting and helpful to have in one place as we all continue in our development as artists.

So to the rest of the teaching artist readers out there…
what do YOU think?
What are some of the skills teaching artists need to be successful? Are there more words we should add?


One thought on “Definition of a Teaching Artist: Part 2

  1. I read part one and now part two. Part of what came to mind when I saw the question was the idea that a teaching artist helps students grow in the process of being an artist. I am a visual artist, and in my work with kids that makes me feel most like a teaching artist is when I help students explore materials and discover how they can use them to make their own UNIQUE artistic expressions.

    I just helped someone frame a show from a group of elementary schools and I was distressed by the extreme similarity of the pieces of work. I found myself wondering what the teacher had hoped their students would learn from the projects they had done.

    I suppose there are restrictions due to the amount of time and the number of students in a class, so I don’t mean to criticize.

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