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The different types of art teacher qualifications include a college degree and a current teaching license. Future teachers can usually complete one of several degree programs to obtain these credentials. A solid background in fine arts is also usually an essential part of art teacher training. Since art teachers frequently teach classes in drawing, painting, ceramics, and photography, they need to complete college-level coursework in each of these areas. Prospective art teachers may also need to pass a series of exams that demonstrate these areas of knowledge.
A bachelor's degree is one of the main art teacher qualifications needed for teaching at the primary or secondary level. Some future teachers complete a four-year degree in education that focuses on teaching methods and classroom management, and they supplement their education courses with a set of required art classes. Others have the option of completing a dual degree program in education and fine arts. An additional option for art teacher training is to complete a bachelor's degree in art and then enroll in a post-graduate teacher training program. A small number of established artists can sometimes apply for an accelerated teaching degree program while submitting their collections of artwork as substitutes for a four-year art degree.
Most school systems require teaching licenses as additional art teacher qualifications. New art teachers typically take their licensing exams during their final years of college, and they usually have a limited number of attempts to pass this kind of qualification test. Additional subject matter exams may also be required for a recent art graduate to be hired for a teaching position. These types of art teacher qualifications often test their knowledge of art history, fine art techniques, and the common vocabulary found in art mediums.
Other art teacher qualifications may include a portfolio submission along with a resume or curriculum vitae (CV). School principals sometimes want to evaluate prospective art teachers' practical skills, as well as their experience in the classroom. An additional important part of art teacher training often includes a period of unpaid student teaching under the supervision of a seasoned teacher. This practical classroom experience is one of the most important art teacher qualifications because student teaching evaluations often determine hiring decisions for a first teaching job. Ideal candidates for art teaching positions have both good subject matter knowledge and the ability to run a classroom effectively.