Sunday, January 27, 2013

DragonWing Arts!!

I am embarking on a new endeavor!!  
Last April, as I approached my June retirement, I posted here about some of my intended post-retirement plans.  I talked about a professional development opportunity with the education arm of my state teachers' union, but after attending training for that I realized that the program was not a good match for me.

I also talked about my desire to continue making art with kids in some capacity, perhaps an after-school art enrichment program.  Well, after a lot of roundabouts and detours, I am finally able to tell you that it is becoming a reality!  My program will be called DragonWing Arts and hopefully next week I'll be getting the first information out to the community.  The program will be housed in a room in Temple Beth El, where my I have had a family membership for 25 years and served on the board for 6 years.  They are excited to be working with me, even letting me use the facility for free until my business is able to earn money.  The initial supplies, including some furniture items, will set me back a bit financially, but once I have the basics tools it won't be so expensive.


This week I'll be getting info hopefully into the local school, and begin purchasing supplies.  I've put together plans for an 8 week program, meeting once a week for an hour and a half, for kids in grades 3 to 5. I'm hoping to find 5 to 10 kids for this first session.  Based on how it goes, I'll plan for what comes next. My biggest fear is not finding kids to sign up, but even if it doesn't happen the first time around, I'm sure I can get it to catch on in my community. 

I'm planning to base each 8 week session on an broad overarching theme.  For the inaugural session my theme will "Flights of Fancy", which relates to the DragonWings name of my business. I figure this theme will allow me to start with a variety of imaginative projects, including a guaranteed success papier-mache - flying pigs!

I'll keep you posted!  Wish me luck!

Note: the artwork in this post - both the dragon and the DragonWing logo - were drawn/designed by me.  Please make sure to give me credit if the images are used in any capacity.  Thank you.

20 comments:

  1. That's awesome! Much better than substitute teaching after retirement! ;) Not sure if you've checked out this website before, www.thesmartteacher.com, but it's a free art teacher website where you make an account and upload lesson plans and such. They have monthly contests and this month, they are awarding 3 people $100 gift cards to Dick Blick...might be an easy way for you to make money for your program! In previous months, they gave away Gelli plates and Crystal Cash.

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    1. Thanks for the website link! I'll check it out.

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  2. So excited for you. Good luck. Sounds like all the fun without all the current "nonsense".

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    1. Good to hear from you! And yes, my plan is to do what I want, without concerns about assessments and crazy regulations.

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  3. WHAT FUN, Phyl!!!! I'm think'in this will be a "Build it, and they will come" experience. I'll bet you end up with more kids than you think!! But, seriously, the "no strings attached" aspect of such a venture is so freeing. You will have a blast!!!! Congrats.

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    1. Thanks Christie. I'd be more confident about finding students if this was in the school district where I taught, but unfortunately that is not so, so I'm not a 'known quantity' to the local kids and parents. But don't want too many anyhow; the space is small. I'd be happy with a 1/2 dozen to start.

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  4. That's great I wish I lived near you I would sign my son up. I love your logo!

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  5. I'm excited for you! Sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun! Best of luck! :)

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  6. Congrats and good luck. I bet you will be surprised by the number of students you have sign up. I am always being asked to run an after school program in my town and I know the demand is great. Don't get yourself too busy in retirement. : )

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  7. Congratulations!! Your logo is very inviting! Are you going to do summer camps too? A friend of mine sells out ever Summer. http://evansarthouse.com/

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    1. Thanks. as for camps: Maybe. One step at a time though - have to see if this flies first. And if I do a camp it would be limited, since I love my summer lake time too!

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  8. Congrats! It is so awesome you will be back teaching on your own terms now:)! NO more grades wahooo!

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  9. So exciting! I am looking forward to reading more about it on here.

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  10. A new direction is always exciting! I've been teaching after school art classes since 1997, and I enjoy it so much. I'm at 3 schools, sponsored by the PTSA. Parents pay for the program-2 semesters of about 13 weeks. (OCT-MAY). I wish you well in your new venture!

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  11. Congratulations- living the Art teacher dream! I love your logo, too.

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  12. Hi Phyl! Good luck with your new adventure! I've been teaching after school classes on my town for two years and it's a slow and steady process to get going, but VERY rewarding! I do a mixture of one day, two day and 4 week sessions to keep the prices and time commitment for the students/parents low. I've partnered with my local Recreation Department to handle sign-ups and most of my promotion and it's working nicely. Maybe you could also have some hours available before and after your scheduled "classes" for private lessons and see if some older kids and/or home schoolers are interested in filling in the gaps...just some thoughts...I'm sure you will do an awesome job! Mrs. P @ createartwithme.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the advice. I'm starting with just the one 8-week session. If I don't get enrollees, I won't get discouraged; I'll plan a shorter springtime session and just concentrate on getting the word out, which, due to my tight time frame, has been my biggest challenge. I couldn't advertise until I had all my approvals, and that took more time than expected. Because the venue isn't my home, I want to be careful about how I use it; they are bending over backwards for me and I don't want to do anything to make them think I shouldn't be there. Home schoolers are a group I hadn't considered; thank you for reminding me about them; they are an important target audience. I just have to figure out how to find them!

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  13. The logo you designed is super cool! Look forward to seeing posts & hearing stories!!!!!!! Rock on Dragon lady!

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