I have always felt that I was born to be a teacher, and I have been one for over 40 years. It seemed quite natural to move from Year 12 to Art School, and I did with ease. I enjoyed my tertiary education far more than my secondary experiences.

I had the opportunity for other career paths in retail management and graphic design, but I had my heart set on teaching and so teaching it was!

These days I teach adults, not children having retired from the classroom almost 6 years ago.

As you can imagine, there have been many changes over those 4 decades, mostly in the negative. Why has society been so hell bent on denying children the opportunity to BE CHILDREN before they reach adolescence? Why are we spoiling our kids, giving them all they want without any responsibility? Where’s respect gone?

For me, the 70s and 80s were the ‘golden years’ of high school art teaching. I moved to secondary college teaching in the 90s, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In 2003 I returned to high school teaching until my (early) retirement in 2005. My latter years were more about crowd control than teaching. What’s happened with our education system and with our society? I’m glad I only teach adults these days. Their enthusiasm and appreciation is all I need to keep me motivated.

Teaching adults art is not about ‘doing what I say’. It’s about releasing the creativity we all have inside. Some have more than others, but we all want to say something, and art is an excellent way of expressing one’s feelings.

More on Friday.


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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4 Responses to TEACHING ART Part 1.

  1. Edna says:

    You certainly do teaching art very well Richard.
    Yes, I agree that over about forty years there have been changes in the way Western society relates to childhood and it leaves a lot to be desired. The advertising and commodity industries realised a few decades ago that children are good targets and that peer pressure, technology and communication systems really help to boost sales. These industries have been irresponsible in the ways and means they have used to present child models, clothing styles and culture but there also hasn’t been any standards or guidelines set that stops them targeting the innocence of childhood.
    On a positive note though, as each generation finds its way they tend to do the opposite to their parents and grandparents so maybe we can look forward to future generations that brings back respect and responsibility. Looking back to the 1930s and the Depression years this taught a lot of people about what really matters in life and personally I know that my parents who lived through this period taught me what they had learned.

    • artkleko says:

      My parents taught me well too Edna, and I am grateful for that. I love your optimism and hope future generations will stop the decline. Thanks for your comments. Regards, Richard

  2. When the budget gets cut in our schools, unfortunately, art and music are the first curriculum to go. I am lucky when I was growing up in the 70s, schools had plenty of art classes.

    I really enjoy teaching adults also. Adults choose to take art classes so they are enthusiastic to learn and enjoyable to teach. Some of my students have been with me about 4 years and have become my friends. I find teaching to be very rewarding as I also learn from my students and we have fun together.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks Kendra for your positive comments. I agree, teaching private art classes is very rewarding and quite stimulating because the students WANT TO BE THERE.
      Regards, Richard

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