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Leap from Potter to Teacher


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#1 Brian Reed

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

When friends and family come to see my work and my studio,or at art shows I get the usual ooohs and ahhhs at some of my stuff and theconversion usually turns to where I create and how I do it. I have been asked by several people if Itaught classes and while I do not I point them to a local place that teachesand know that they can learn well there. However this has gotten me thinking about offering some hands on workshopsor perhaps some demos with regular teaching.

I know I am not the first person who has go through thisthought process. I only have two wheelsright now, but have enough firing capability with my two kilns. I could even improve that with formulatingsome cone 6 glazes for student use. I havethe space to add two more wheels so I could effectively teach three people at atime.

Does this sound like the same thing any of you have gonethrough? Was it a disaster, a good reflectionpoint to never try it again, or was it enlightening and wonderful.

Please share your experiences.

I ask because I have often helped people at the localteaching studio in my area just with little things and I think that my demeanorand instruction was good. I have a clearcommunication style and think I have good technique so on the surface teachingwould be a fun thing for me. Just notreal sure about students and setting that whole thing up. Perhaps baby steps and offering my teach services at a local community studio would be a good first step.


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#2 OffCenter

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:56 PM

Try it. Teaching is a two-way street in that you'll get almost as much out of it as your students in that they will help you rake the mulch in your brain. While two students is better than one, three or four at a time would be better.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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#3 Benzine

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:55 PM

Teaching will seriously make you better. Whenever I help a student with something, they ask, "How I can do that so quickly". I just tell them, that I've done it a few times before. Almost any mistake they make, I've made it myself, multiple times before. However, you do occasionally have a student, who creates a problem, that you've never really run into before.......Well, at least me, but I haven't been doing this as long as some of the other posters.

Beyond that, it's just great to promote something you love, and see others getting enjoyment out of it as well.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#4 GEP

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:02 PM

There have been threads here about having students in your studio ... I tried to find one but couldn't, maybe you have more time for searching ... but anyways the discussions had a lot to do with boundaries and rules and logistics and enforcement. Don't underestimate how much time you'll spend on these issues. Wanting to teach is a good thing. It can be very rewarding, and it will make you a better potter. But it needs a lot of structure and support. Without that it can be very taxing. (and you probably won't make very much income from it). Yes you should start by teaching at your local art center, and figure out how much work goes on behind the scenes to keep the place running. Then decide if you want that type of operation in your own studio.

Good luck!

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#5 Pres

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

When friends and family come to see my work and my studio,or at art shows I get the usual ooohs and ahhhs at some of my stuff and theconversion usually turns to where I create and how I do it. I have been asked by several people if Itaught classes and while I do not I point them to a local place that teachesand know that they can learn well there. However this has gotten me thinking about offering some hands on workshopsor perhaps some demos with regular teaching.

I know I am not the first person who has go through thisthought process. I only have two wheelsright now, but have enough firing capability with my two kilns. I could even improve that with formulatingsome cone 6 glazes for student use. I havethe space to add two more wheels so I could effectively teach three people at atime.

Does this sound like the same thing any of you have gonethrough? Was it a disaster, a good reflectionpoint to never try it again, or was it enlightening and wonderful.

Please share your experiences.

I ask because I have often helped people at the localteaching studio in my area just with little things and I think that my demeanorand instruction was good. I have a clearcommunication style and think I have good technique so on the surface teachingwould be a fun thing for me. Just notreal sure about students and setting that whole thing up. Perhaps baby steps and offering my teach services at a local community studio would be a good first step.



It may be good for you to visit a facility where a potter is teaching classes. See how things are organized, talk about the time invested in teaching and planning.

I can't even begin to express how much you will learn by teaching others. Doing demonstrations for either hand building or throwing causes you to rethink every aspect of what you do. You will find yourself analyzing the amount of pressure you use, hand positions, body positions, wedging techniques, problem solving strategies, glazing processes, and so much more. It makes you much more aware of all of these things, and then you begin to think about how you can simplify, and things keep getting better because there is this give and take between you and your students.

Good luck.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#6 TJR

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

BRIAN;
SEE MY POST ABOUT TEACHING ADULT POTTERY.
YOU NEED TO CHARGE AT LEAST $25.00-$26.00 AND HOUR[caps lock on again, sorry]
Set up a specific time for your glass-say, Wednesday night, 7:00-!0:00
Allow 30 minutes of this class for clean-up.
Provide all the tools required.
Have students each buy a box or a half box of clay.
Have a syllabus-e.g, week one- centreing, week two, cylinders, etc.
Don't forget that you will be loading and firing kilns, and mixing glazes, so you will not have as much time as you think.
You also cannot charge for the time you spend on things other than the actual teaching. Now, $25.00 doesn't sound like so much, does it.
People always ask me if I offer private classes. I did the evening pottery thing for eight years, and have now taught high school art for 27 . So that's 35 years.
Don't want to teach pottery in my studio thanks.
I have another artist who rents a corner with a table from me for $100.00 a month. This pays the heat and light bill. That's enough for me.
I wish you well.
TJR.

#7 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

I have been teaching since 1971. I retired from full time in 2000 but taught full time twice in Hawaii and Texas. Although I enjoyed teaching prefer just doing workshops. I love my studio and don't want to share my space. I have gotten more protective of my private time and space over the years. I agree with TJR.

Marcia

#8 Pres

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

BRIAN;
SEE MY POST ABOUT TEACHING ADULT POTTERY.
YOU NEED TO CHARGE AT LEAST $25.00-$26.00 AND HOUR[caps lock on again, sorry]
Set up a specific time for your glass-say, Wednesday night, 7:00-!0:00
Allow 30 minutes of this class for clean-up.
Provide all the tools required.
Have students each buy a box or a half box of clay.
Have a syllabus-e.g, week one- centreing, week two, cylinders, etc.
Don't forget that you will be loading and firing kilns, and mixing glazes, so you will not have as much time as you think.
You also cannot charge for the time you spend on things other than the actual teaching. Now, $25.00 doesn't sound like so much, does it.
People always ask me if I offer private classes. I did the evening pottery thing for eight years, and have now taught high school art for 27 . So that's 35 years.
Don't want to teach pottery in my studio thanks.
I have another artist who rents a corner with a table from me for $100.00 a month. This pays the heat and light bill. That's enough for me.
I wish you well.
TJR.


Since retiring, I have been asked several times to teach classes at my home studio. Luckily I can honestly reply that it is just too small being a single car garage. If it were a triple size garage, I would have to come up with another "honest" excuse. 36 years of teaching is. . . . enough. If offered an opportunity to teach in a HS like I used to for Saturday adults, I probably would as long as the other details were handled by the regular teacher. However, I would not want to get involved in any "turf war".

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#9 Brian Reed

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for the responses. I think the experience is one I cannot pass up on. Although I think I will look if there are any teaching opportunities at a local community ceramics studio. Thanks.
Brian Reed

Throwing down in Washington State

http://www.reedpottery.com

Northwest Clay Club

#10 Stephen Robison

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

Look into your insurance policy and teach safe practice. If you don't it could bite you later.... Great way to make some extra cash. Kids and high school classes are good also to think about. Good Luck...
STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
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#11 AtomicAxe

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:02 PM

When I still had my personal studio still I would do the saturday class thing. Never did wheel throwing as most students want immediate results and the learning curve is a little too steep for most small studios to really help with the casual ceramic student. I concentrated on a 4 hour morning kids class and a 4 hour adult class both hand building. Worked pretty well, 8 kids in the morning and 6-8 adults in the afternoon (normally half couples). with the firing costs and glaze costs I made decent money ... but I always catered to easy one day projects if they wanted ideas. Something that they could make one week, and when they want to take a break could go and glaze the next week. Kids were easy too ... some parents just wanted to have fun with their kids, so I would let them both work together and do the parents playing with kids experience.

Important part after the classes is Time management ... you'll want to make sure your firings are fast, accurate and don't impede with normal operations (integrated firings is easier) ... you need to make sure that glazing of work is a fast process for your students and that they do proper prep on the glazing to make sure you don't have to waste time wiping bottoms. Otherwise make sure you cover your overhead, and hourly man hours while still trying to earn a profit on top.

Also have fun.

#12 Pres

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:24 PM


BRIAN;
SEE MY POST ABOUT TEACHING ADULT POTTERY.
YOU NEED TO CHARGE AT LEAST $25.00-$26.00 AND HOUR[caps lock on again, sorry]
Set up a specific time for your glass-say, Wednesday night, 7:00-!0:00
Allow 30 minutes of this class for clean-up.
Provide all the tools required.
Have students each buy a box or a half box of clay.
Have a syllabus-e.g, week one- centreing, week two, cylinders, etc.
Don't forget that you will be loading and firing kilns, and mixing glazes, so you will not have as much time as you think.
You also cannot charge for the time you spend on things other than the actual teaching. Now, $25.00 doesn't sound like so much, does it.
People always ask me if I offer private classes. I did the evening pottery thing for eight years, and have now taught high school art for 27 . So that's 35 years.
Don't want to teach pottery in my studio thanks.
I have another artist who rents a corner with a table from me for $100.00 a month. This pays the heat and light bill. That's enough for me.
I wish you well.
TJR.


Since retiring, I have been asked several times to teach classes at my home studio. Luckily I can honestly reply that it is just too small being a single car garage. If it were a triple size garage, I would have to come up with another "honest" excuse. 36 years of teaching is. . . . enough. If offered an opportunity to teach in a HS like I used to for Saturday adults, I probably would as long as the other details were handled by the regular teacher. However, I would not want to get involved in any "turf war".


Jumped out of retirement for a day last week and went in to demonstrate wheel throwing and hand building at a local HS. The teacher was an old student that never took the Ceramics classes, but was teaching a Ceramics class. I spent the entire day working with the kids and at the end of the day felt like I had only been there the morning. the teacher was exhausted and I was wondering where the next group was! They were doing the Open Bowl thing, and it was grand to do, and at the same time I didn't have to do any paper work!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#13 Benzine

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:49 PM

Just can't stay away, can ya Pres?
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#14 Pres

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:34 AM

Just can't stay away, can ya Pres?


What can I say? I really had too much fun! Loved the kids, loved the job!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#15 Benzine

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:40 PM


Just can't stay away, can ya Pres?


What can I say? I really had too much fun! Loved the kids, loved the job!


Good to hear.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#16 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:24 AM

That's what I love about retirement. No paperwork.
Workshops are fun.

Marcia

#17 Pres

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:04 AM

That's what I love about retirement. No paperwork.
Workshops are fun.

Marcia


Yeah, retirement is great, you find out how much time you didn't have when you were wasting it working!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/





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