Applying oneself…

[flickr id=”11086684383″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”] As I mentioned last time around, crunch time is officially upon us. On the top of my priority list is my teaching application for next semester. I am applying to teach an undergraduate hand papermaking class. As a student in the Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA program, you have the incredible opportunity to teach an undergraduate course while in graduate school. The best part of this is that you aren’t hired as a Graduate Assistant like most graduate art programs, you are actually hired on as staff, also known as a teacher of record. Not only do you get the experience of teaching, but you get a great line on your resume. It’s the best of both worlds.

The application process is pretty straight forward. You have to submit a letter of intent and work samples of yours in the medium of the class and have a couple of references. The main prerequisite to teaching is that have to have taken the Graduate Teaching Seminar. That’s actually a huge help, as the class is designed to help you put together a professional application packet. Essentially, all of the work that I have done in the class all semester has helped to prepare the application. I’m in the final processes of assembling the final document to submit as we speak, and then the fingers will remain crossed until I hear the decision.

I will say that the most awkward part of applying for a teaching position is the letter of intent. The letter of intent is basically your cover letter. In it you need to express your interest in the position of which you are applying, and that it is your intent to be hired. That’s where it gets its name. The awkward part is that in the letter you are essentially selling yourself. The bulk of it is supposed to talk about how great you are and why there is not another candidate as great as you. It’s weird. It’s a very extroverted process.

Still a little stressful, but way more fun is the selecting of what work to include as samples. Stressful in that you have to select a body that shows you are competent in the medium of the class, in my case papermaking, while also showing that you are creative and making interesting work. It’s paramount to going throughout the graduate admissions process. It’s fun because I get to go through a bunch of my work and pick out the best of the best and show it off. I love showing my work. It’s one of the best parts of being an artist.

So now I get to compile everything into a nice pretty, and professional looking document and hope for the best. I REALLY want this position. Honestly, the best part of my semester has been being the TA in an undergraduate figure drawing course. Now that we are coming to the end of the semester, part of me is really sad to have it end. Hopefully this pans out and I get to do it all over again, this time fully in charge.