Plan for Success With a Visiting Artist
Bringing a teaching artist into your classroom is a fabulous way to motivate students, offer a new point of view, and introduce techniques outside your expertise. However, it can also be a total nightmare, which I talked a little bit about last week. With some thoughtful planning and organized follow-up, the teaching artist experience can be a delight for you and your students.
1. Do your homework: Whether you are selecting a guest from an artist roster or just calling up someone you Googled, ask for references. Find out from other teachers what the sessions were like and whether or not they would recommend the artist.
2. Set the terms: Visiting/teaching artists often have a standard contract they use. It can outline everything from their hours and fee to what they’ll have for lunch. Don’t be afraid to negotiate! Just make sure everyone is clear on expectations beforehand.
3. Plan to plan: Schedule a planning meeting or phone call. It is important to communicate about the lesson taught and the materials needed. I’m always sure to discuss the level of classroom management the teaching artist is comfortable with.
4.Follow-up: At my own school we have developed a tool to keep track of artists and guests. We outline everything from the cost to the content covered, the materials to whether or not it was worth the time an efforts. It is so nice to be able to look into my file and pull out this information at a moment’s notice. You can start your own visiting artist file with this PDF download.
How do you prepare for a visiting artist in your classroom?
What other stories would you like to share?