Thursday, October 20, 2016

Your community needs an art teacher. Part II: Teach where you can, 'cause you are teaching

This is part two in a three part series. Revisit Part I

June 4th, 2014 will be a day long remembered.  It was the end of my long non-teaching teaching-streak, and it was the beginning of No Corner Suns the business.

On June 4th, 2014 I hosted my first wine + paint event.  I wrote a little about it on the blog, but more importantly, I was teaching. I was actually teaching.  Whippee!  I'm an art teacher!

I turned No Corner Suns the blog into No Corner Suns the business that year. I can't type out the proper word to describe how I remember that time.  Let me think.

Have you ever made frozen French fries?  You pull the hot cookie sheet out of the oven and put it on the stove top to cool for a bit.  You rummage around in the cabinet for a serving dish, and get ready to slide the piping hot fries off the pan.  As you reach for the spatula you snag a rogue fry on the countertop and pop it in your mouth, but that fry ain't hot, and that fry ain't cooked. You just ate a cold uncooked french fry. Your mouth is filled with little chalky, mushy, greasy potato, and your chewing, and swallowing, and spitting all at the same time.  That's the word I would use to describe that time.

If you are driving to school thinking, "Hey, maybe I'll get into a car accident and wont have to go to work!" Then you probably don't have a job you love.  The cold greasy french fry feeling of your life might be a better alternative.

It started off with getting classes hosted at our park district (yes, I had to talk to real people).  They were very eager to have programs for their guides, so that wasn't too bad- it's getting students to actually sign up for your classes that is the issue.  I got my name out there and started spreading the word. ART CLASSES!

Mid 2014 was the year that kicked my ass.  I started to teach where I could, 'cause I was teaching. Library classes? Yes! Wine + paint parties? Yes!  Private events? Yes!  Children's birthday parties? Yes!  A volunteer art booth here, there, & everywhere? Yes! Yes! Yes!  I was also determined to get my name everywhere.  I emailed every art teacher and principal in close vicinity. I passed out flyers, hung up posters,  and became a general nuisance.

I started renting a classroom.  I advertised everywhere I could (that was free) and offered classes and events for cheap.  I took every job I could manage. No wait.  I took every job.  I wasn't managing anything.
I'm smiling like a crazy person. Everything will be Allllllll right.  There's nothing creepy happening behind you.
I was still teaching in my school .75 time

I was not supporting myself doing this.  My .75 job was supporting my family, all the crazy extra teaching was supporting the business.  Furniture, rent, supplies, advertisements - everything was going back into the business. Why would I possibly be doing this?  I was actually teaching.  My days at real school were mostly miserable. My time in the studio was not.  I was hoping it would pay off at some point, I just had to hang in there.

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