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Polymer  Clay Teacher's Primer

Teaching and Workshop Issues:

This is a summary of a consensus following a discussion about teaching fees, venues and contracts at this year’s teachers’ gathering on Whidbey Island. For the past decade, most teachers have taught and most guilds have hosted workshops without the benefit of a formalized agreement. In many instances this has led to misunderstandings and bad feelings on both sides.

For the Hosting Guild - Kim Korringa

Points in favor of having visiting teachers present a contract:

  • students will be assured that the maximum # of students will not change on the day of the class
  • adequate warning (2 weeks) to students if a class is a no-go
  • clear guidelines about ability level for class being taught so time isn’t wasted on bringing beginners up to level of class
  • supplies list realistically lists what actually will be needed and used in the class
  • additional materials fees will be clearly stated at the time of sign-up, and will realistically reflect the actual cost of the materials, or else be called a “tool rental” fee, or “wear and tear” fee.
  • students will be assured that there will be adequate work space.
  • students can be assured that there will be an adequate amount of special tools and equipment to minimize waiting--e.g. ovens, buffing wheels, wire working, tools, extension cords, etc.
  • Most Of All - no resentments resulting from misunderstandings between teacher and guilds and vise-versa.
How to get the most from your workshop experience and win the hearts of your teacher and fellow students:
  1. Arrive on time
  2. Bring your clay pre-conditioned, when requested
  3. Bring the type/brand of clay requested on material list
  4. Be sure your skills match the level of class
  5. Bring a handle for your pasta machine
  6. Ask teacher and group before using a motor
Standard and Guidelines for Teachers and Students: This is an open request to all teachers and students of polymer clay. After several years of workshops, retreats, and conferences in various settings and circumstances, the time has come to define standards and guidelines for teaching. Whether you’ve taught one workshop or one hundred, whether you’re a Fimo freshman or polymer Phd, we would like to hear from you!

Below is a drafted boiler plate letter of agreement to define standards and provide guidelines for all professional teachers and host guilds. We would like your thoughts, comments, so that we may refine, distribute and implement these standards and guidelines for everyone to use. Whether you are a teacher proposing your latest class or a guild rep booking an instructor on behalf of your member students, we strongly believe these standards and guidelines will help all of us effectively communicate our needs and expectations for any teaching situation. As teachers, we are always learning and as students we often have much to share. Your opinions and contributions are vital to us.

Please take a moment to evaluate what we have learned about teaching so far, so that we may all “graduate” to the next level and provide the very best educational opportunities for everyone.

Please note: This agreement is intended for use by any group or institution wishing to initiate or facilitate a workshop with a teacher. “Guild” may refer to any guild, club, society, school, college, arts center, community center etc. It is strongly recommended that one individual act as the contact liaison on behalf of the group or institution for all correspondence with the teacher, before, during and after the workshop, and is referred to in this model agreement as the “guild rep.”
THE BOTTOM LINE (Teacher’s Fee)
$50 per student per day (full day),
$30 per student per 1/2 day workshop date(s), teacher arrival and departure dates

IT’S A DATE! (Critical Path)
Registration deadline - exclusivity date
Cancellation deadline
Payment due date
Workshop announcement date

Who makes the arrangements?
Directions to workshops, directions to accommodations
Who pays for the travel - teacher, guild, combo
Before and after travel
Getting around (Local travel)
Travel between where the teacher is staying and where the teacher is teaching

HOME AWAY FROM HOME (accommodations)
Who makes the arrangements
Who pays for/provides accommodations, teacher, hotel/home stay, guild - hotel/homestay, combo

ROLL CALL - (Class size)
Minimum students - by teacher, facility and equipment
What, if any, are the prerequisites

SCHOOL SUPPLIES ( Equipment and materials)
What does the guild need to provide for the group
What does each student need to bring for themselves
What will the teacher provide for the group - fee?
What will the teacher provide for each student? - fee?

The class will be promoted by:
The guild, The teacher, Both, guild newsletter, local paper/radiate, internet guild meeting polyinformer, national polymer newsletter

Guild will provide teacher with: archival copies of all promo materials
Teacher will provide guild with slides, biography, artist’s statement, (general) to promote the event, slides, curriculum materials (specific) to promote the class

PRE & POST Workshop
When is the room available for set-up, how long is the room available after the workshop, who is responsible for clean-up

Is it possible, to where

Name, address, phone, fax, e-mail of
a) Teacher
b) Guild rep
c) Homestay, host/hotel
d) Workshop venue

Free students?
Oven monitors?

Courtesy of the Polymer Clay Teachers Group
© 1999 All Rights Reserved

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