Hiring The Right Arts Teacher – Arts Teacher Interview Questions – The Arts Teacher Of Your Dreams: What is your education journey?
In this article, we will build the ideal art teacher’s image to keep in mind when in the interview room, and at the end, we offer you 10 valuable questions to ask in the interview room.
The Interview of a Teacher
We want to make sure we are making the right decision, especially regarding a decision we are making for our children’s future. We are not just hiring a teacher; we are hiring a future colleague, a guardian, and a confidant. There is a lot to consider before making that final decision about who we want to guide our children, and the consideration goes far beyond what questions to ask in the interview. Knowing the right questions to ask in the interview room entails; knowing what roles your art teacher will have to play, knowing what responsibilities need to be filled, matching the responsibilities with qualities the ideal candidate will present, and crafting questions that reveal whether the candidate sitting in front of you is your future art teacher.
The Influence of a Teacher
One of the biggest influences in a child’s life is their teacher. Most of a child’s day is spent with their teacher. Children learn a lot about their attitude towards learning, growth, authority, career choices, and life guidance from their teachers. Teachers help lay the stepping stones that children need to move closer to the dreams that some children may not even know they have yet. Teachers help children realize their dreams and even help children realize they are allowed to have dreams!
We can’t hire just anyone to guide our children. We have to be very selective before we even reach the interview room, especially for an art teacher.
The Importance of an Art Teacher
An art teacher is more than just a teacher. Their classroom can become a haven for emotional expression, creative freedom, confidence building, and making a fool of yourself. Even if only for under an hour, a learner has the opportunity to understand more about themselves and the world through artistic research and playful praxis. The art classroom is a space of creation and recreation, and the child is no exception to the process. Here a child finds theoretical tools to understand theatrical and real-world intentions, subtexts, structures, body languages, and motivations and practical tools like vocal projection, breath control, commanding a room, and public speaking that public speaking can use on stage and in a boardroom. Art class is a good exercise for the right hemisphere of the brain, and it helps cultivate conceptual perspectives of engaging with the world.
The Responsibilities of an Art Teacher
Understanding the influences and importance of a teacher in a child’s life helps us understand the kinds of responsibilities an art teacher will need to take on.
- Take care of the children holistically – art can evoke a range of emotions that children are not yet accustomed to. It can also be physically and/or mentally demanding, depending on the type of art you teach. A well-equipped art teacher will be able to take care of the kids in all capacities.
- Get them comfortable with failing – there is no right or wrong in art, but there is missing the mark and the end product not looking like what was in your head. Get them comfortable with making mistakes, looking silly, laughing at yourself, and trying again.
- Give critique – nothing we do is perfect. We can almost always improve or at least expand more in the things we do. The teacher must give constructive critique and practical guidance in a way that makes sense to the child.
- Encourage them – it can be disheartening sometimes when the world doesn’t always value art. An art teacher should be a soundboard for concern and a source of inspiration to continue exploring their craft.
- Hone their craft – each artist child will have their own style, way of creating, and thinking. It is the teacher’s responsibility to help them realize their inner talents and push them in their individual directions.
- Build their voice – not only do they have their own craft, but also their own voice and opinions, which they use their craft to express. Teach them that their voice and view of the world matter, and help them strengthen and direct their voice.
- Get them comfortable with new concepts – some children will have never encountered art or thinking in creative ways, and it will be the job of the teacher to get them comfortable with new material and new ways of thinking.
- Help them build new skills – in addition to building their own ideas. You also need to keep them open to new skills and styles and concepts and grow these new skills in conjunction with their own already budding talents.
- Go over and above what is asked – an art teacher may find themself organizing showcases, communicating with festivals, searching for extra readings for their class, offering extra help outside of class time, managing extramural activities, and offering emotional support to distressed children.
- Instill discipline and passion – it takes both structure and free thought to build the artistic craft. You need to teach children that they can do anything with determination and an open mind.
The Qualities of an Art Teacher
To fulfill the responsibilities required of an art teacher, there are some ideal qualities a teacher will need. Examples of qualities to look out for would be: Steadfast, Confident, Adaptable, Emotionally Intelligent, Creative, Fun, Intuitive, Organised, Energetic, Passionate about art, Caring, Inspirational, Trustworthy, Active Listener and Clear Communicator, Patient, Considerate, Dedicated. Not every candidate will present each quality to its fullest, and one will have to use their discretion to select the candidate who has the qualities most suited for the school, age group, and style of art. There is always value in choosing a candidate who shows potential and desires to develop their own qualities.
Top 10 Arts Teacher Interview Questions
Now that we understand why a teacher is important, and the influence art plays in children’s development, the responsibilities needing fulfillment, and the ideal qualities an art teacher should present, we can start to have an idea of the kind of person we need to hire.
Keeping in mind the information laid out above, the image of the ideal person you’d like to hire, and the documents the candidates provide us with, we can start to form specific and creative questions to get the interviewee to open up. Here are 10 questions to ask in the interview room to help us find out who the person in front of us is and form an idea of what their classroom will look like.
- How is your art-making process and your teaching process the same or different?
You’ll get an idea of the kind of tools they use and the theory that backs their practice both as an artist and as an educator.
- What is your education journey?
You might find that they have a skill that could be useful, for instance, counseling or another language.
- What do kids need most on their art journey?
This will give an idea of where their focus in class will be.
- Ask the candidate to view and give feedback on 3 students’ artworks.
This will give you an idea of how they give criticisms and reveal their artistic taste level.
- What inspires you? How do you plan to inspire?
Knowing what inspires someone gives insight into their drive.
- What do you need/expect from us as the institution heads?
It’s important to know whether the candidate is compatible.
- How do you deal with disruptive children?
Give specific examples. For instance, ‘Your 8th Grade student is becoming increasingly frustrated with their painting and ten minutes before the lesson, they break their canvas and run to the bathroom. What do you do?’
- Are you comfortable following the rules?
Your new teacher must have fun in class but still listen to their employer and complete the curriculum. You need to know that you can trust them to engage the children and trust them to respect the institution’s rules. Ask them about their previous job, Find out why they left or were asked to leave. This can be a very telling answer.
- What are your plans for using technology in teaching?
In this ever-growing technological age, and with the awareness around health and safety, teachers need to adapt their lessons to either include or be presented entirely on a technological medium.
When in the interview room, have a conversation with the human opposite you. Be open to being surprised. Be creative in your approach to interviewing. Most importantly, remember that your decision is going to affect a young generation of wide-eyed artists. You will know the right art teacher is in the room when you feel a warm and authentic connection.
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