Big Announcement and Big Changes!

Hi Friends, I have some big news! I’m going to be an art teacher at a local Fort Collins, CO K-12 charter school. I’ll be teaching art and art history to middle and high school students for the 2017/18 school year.

Backstory:

Around the end of April, I was at a paella party (yum – how awesome is that?) hosted by friends with whom we had recently reconnected. My husband and I went to high school with the husband of the pair in Germany and when we moved to Fort Collins, CO last summer we remembered that they lived here and made a mental note to reconnect. It’s a small world.

Tradtitional Paella
Tradtitional Paella – Yum!

When we arrived at their party in April, we mingled and made small talk with their guests. We didn’t know anyone, but I can have an engaging conversation with a brick wall. (Thanks United Airlines! My first real job that forced me to shed my shy shell.) At one point, I was speaking with a women who told me that she is a high school science teacher and of course when the question, “What do you do?” was asked of me, I responded that I’m an artist. 

She mentioned that the school at which she teaches is hiring an art teacher. Also, to backtrack, the hostess of the party teaches Spanish and French at the same school. The two of them explain to me what it’s like to teach at the school and should they send out any feelers. 

Fast forward:

After thinking about the position for several days, checking to make sure that I had the minimum qualifications, talking with my husband about what it would mean to our family and researching the school’s website, I decided that I did want to apply for the position. When I told my daughter about the position, her response was, “remember your motto”. 

You might as well try…the worst thing that can happen is that they say  no and you go on with your life.

Application process:

It was a fairly complicated application process. Honestly, I expect this since schools want to make sure that they hire the best teachers for their students. The hardest part was updating my resume, gathering all the supporting documents like transcripts and recommendation letters, writing a cover letter, writing a philosophy of teaching statement, creating a teaching portfolio and providing a prompted writing sample. 

Let’s face it, I’m rusty. I haven’t applied for a job in a long time!

The easier part was interviewing – twice. Once with the principal and then again with a panel of school stakeholders. What I mean by this is that the interview wasn’t necessarily easy, but I was prepared.  And again, I can talk with almost anyone about anything. 

I also had to design and teach a 30 minute lesson to a group, of mostly 9th graders, while being observed. Initially, I was nervous. Once I started though, I forgot that I was being observed and the students were polite and participatory. I loved it and felt in my element.

Last week I was formally offered the job and I accepted.

Cindy Guajardo Sketches
Cindy Guajardo Sketches

What does this mean for ceramicscapes?

No doubt, I will have less time to make art work. Also, I imagine that the first year is going to be challenging for me as I find my teaching groove and adapt to a regular schedule.  Practically, I expect that:

  • I will be making less art work.
  • My plan is to make more personal art work like the 100 paper clay tiles that I’m going to make for my #100daysofpatterns sketches.
  • I will still make pottery, but mostly for the Colorado Potters Guild shows and maybe the occasional summer art market.
  • Blogging will be less frequent.

Meanwhile

We spent a long weekend in Phoenix with friends during this process and my daughter is home from college for the summer right now too. Between traveling, spending some time with her and applying for the teaching job, I had to make some schedule adjustments.

I notified West Elm Cherry Creek to let them know that I can’t participate in their pop up which was supposed to happen this weekend. As much as I like to think that I can do it all, I can’t and I am disappointed that I had to cancel this event. The event has been removed from my public calendar. My planned art market schedule has also been scaled back for the rest of the year.

Up next

I will have a selection of handmade pottery at the Horseshoe Summer Market in  about 3 weeks. My next event after the Horseshoe Market will be the Fall Colorado Potters Guild sale in November. I will be adding inventory to my Etsy Shop once the Horseshoe Market is on the books.

Where & When: 
Olinger Moore Chapel
4345 West 46th Ave
Denver, CO 80212

July 8, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

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