There Will Always Be Another Hoop, Until…

Hoops by audi_insperation, cc

Teaching artistry began with mentoring, studying for a long period of one’s life under a master. Then, with their blessing, going out and sharing that wealth of knowledge to another.

It was personalized. It was rare.

That is not the case now. There are a multitude of ways to learn from masters from in-person to online. The blessing has now been shortened and depersonalized into certification, which makes them easier to get, often not even from the technique’s source.

The machine is demanding we work faster. People are expected to get their masters while holding down a full-time job and living a life. How much can we learn from that degree in such a time-scarcity way? It is devaluing it before it is even earned. During my master’s work, fellow artists were already contemplating a PhD because they knew half way through their current program they were not competitive with only an MFA.

The demand is great. The products are lessening. There is a huge inflation in education that is devaluing past degrees and certifications almost faster than we can get them.

We are not assembly line workers attaining, assessing, and then passing down the line the information of our elders. There is no honor in that. There is no respect in that. There is no creative ownership in that. It is purely functional.

The industrial revolution has taken its toll on how we, as artists, learn and teach.

The answer, as we can plainly see, is not to be faster, to be more certified, or to attain the highest degree. We are experiencing the law of diminishing returns.

And only teaching artists can stop it.

First, we must stop competing with each other. We are in this together. The less we compare, the more resources we share.

The only way to do that is to truly own what makes us unique as artists and educators. We must dig deep and ask ourselves: Why am I drawn to this art form? Why do I desire to teach? How has my life path molded how I interpret my art form? How have teachers in my life left impressions on me that I now consciously create and teach from?

The why’s and how’s must loom larger than the what’s, who’s, and when’s: What degrees/certifications do you have? In what? With whom? When?

We must be daring enough to teach beyond the skill. The skill is a means to an end, but what end needs to be consciously designed by you, the teaching artist.

Yes, we defend the arts in education by talking about these ends: communication, empathy, body awareness, critical thinking, collaboration… But are you aiming for those? Are they your horizon? Or are they wonderful bi-products?

.
You can see what you’re aiming for when you look at how you talk about your work:
Look at your workshop titles. Look at your resume. Look at your class descriptions.

How much is focused on someone else’s skill?

How much highlights you, why you and only you can teach this workshop or course?

That gap must be closed.

Even students of great masters, who solely learn under one teacher for decades, still find ways to make it their own. They must in order to both honor and evolve the technique, the art form.

Knowledge and art are living creatures and the current industrialized model of a teaching artist is not helping knowledge and art thrive, only survive.

We can change that. We must.

And it starts with owning your why’s and then putting them front and center…

Because the revolution is YOU.

**If you’re curious about how to do this, I’m here to help. I coach teaching artists to help them create unique workshops only they can teach. My last class this year starts May 15.**

26 Responses to “There Will Always Be Another Hoop, Until…

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  • K & A^The shirt looks great…. First time I washed it at least 1/3 of the bottom came unraveled. I know this shirt is inexpensive&#44 it should at least hold up to washing it the first round.~4|Amazon Customer^Thank you! I love it !~5|Kimmie sidnam^Was so happy this came available as soon as it did. Was only on my wish list 4 days~5|Zoltan Vojta^I ordered XL and the label say it is XL&#44 but this shirt is at least M (medium) or even smaller (S). Can’t wear it..!!! Will give it someone in grade school..!! :-(~3|Donna Joy Taylor^My son loves his patriotic eagle shirt! I love how it comes in a choice of different colors. He’s gotten a lot of compliments.~5|Mother of 3^This somewhat large however did not shrink. The design stays on well.~4|Rob F^My son loves the shirt&#44 wears it all the time!~5|K. Stephens^Good quality for the price~5|jennifer l thoreson^Love the shirt&#44 but the image was not glossy like the adult shirt&#44 which made it look a bit old~4|Patricia L. Savieo^As Advertised~5|

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  • kristyrae21^My son is 7 and had “Doctor Seuss Day” at school last week. I ordered this for him to wear. I ordered a small and it fit well with room to grow. (It is pretty long…) The print is clear and bright&#44 the image is nice&#44 and the shirt is really soft. It is one of those t-shirts that feels worn in. Very nice shirt. I was hesitant to order&#44 due to some bad reviews&#44 but the shirt is nice quality and we like it!~5|Sandy^If I could give zero stars I would. The shirt is not true to size&#44 it was too small. The image was very poor quality. It was very blurry and didn’t have as much color as it showed in the picture. I reached out to the seller and was told that they didn’t see anything wrong with it. Basically I got what I ordered even though the image looked as if you have double vision. They offered me a $2 refund!!! Do not waste your money.~3|Amazon Customer^Really nice. Fits 1/2 size larger and color is as pictured. length is nice and not short. Holds up to washing and drying. Look forward to having this for next year.~5|HTOM^We love what the shirt says but the printing on the shirt is not very good. The words are somewhat blurry to read and not very dark.~3|PMC^This shirt is very soft and comfortable. Good quality. I bought the large for my 11 year old son that is 74 pounds and 4′ 10″.~5|askldjfl;skfj^I ordered a size medium for my son who wears a 10/12 which is usually medium in the “big boys” department but this is more like an adult size medium&#44 way too big for him. The print is also pretty light and hard to see.~3|Sharae Davis^I like it~3|Micahel Ade^Don’t buy! Wouldn’t want this shirt if it was free! Poor quality all together!~3|Amazon Customer^Nice&#44 but runs two sizes small~3|Amazon Customer^Very good quality.~5|

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