Training Will Prepare Artists to Teach Locally

Paintbrushes. John Morgan/Flickr
Paintbrushes. John Morgan/Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

An upcoming Teaching Artist Training would certify participants to teach in local and rural schools as an artist in residence and help them to advance onto a state-wide level.

It’s the fourth time the Kodiak Island Borough School District together with the Alutiiq Museum, the Arts Council, and Kodiak College have held the training, and one organizer with the Arts Council, Brianna Gibbs, says the course is already booked up.

“We only posted on Facebook, and our slots filled up within 24 hours. We had every intention of posting advertisements around town, but we filled up just like that, and we have artists coming in with backgrounds ranging from mosaics to soap sculpture to fabric arts, and it’s just really cool to see all these different mediums come in and know that they’re going through the training and might someday be in the schools.”

She says the full day of classes will focus on arts, but also specific grade-level curriculum, classroom management, and the district code of ethics and behavior.

Assistant Superintendent for the Kodiak Island Borough School District, Marilyn Davidson, says this project feeds into another long-term initiative called New Visions.

“And New Visions is the reform of the artist residency program for school districts across the state and Kodiak has kind of been a leader in this because we are of the partner districts that have been in New Visions for the last five years I believe. We are the ones who have developed a model to train local artists and then get them into the schools.”

In addition to helping participants become “locally-credentialed,” Davidson says the training could serve as a stepping-stone.

“We keep you on line to call you for work in classrooms and that kind of thing. We also have a hope that some of our local teaching artists at some point might be interested in joining the state teaching artist roster which is housed in the Alaska State Council on the Arts, so that can be a broader opportunity.”

While the training is full, you can call the Kodiak Arts Council to join the waitlist. The day of classes will begin Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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