Art Made Easy episode 27: plan your new career while loving the job your in

Life After Teaching – Art Made Easy 027



Art Made Easy episode 27: plan your new career while loving the job your in

Are you dreaming of what life will look like after you retire from teaching art?

Or perhaps you’ve had enough of teaching and are ready to move on?

Today’s episode helps a reader bridge the gap between finding happiness as a K-8 public elementary art teacher and her dreams of opening up a children’s art studio.

This is Part I of a two-part series on exploring creative opportunities after teaching.


  • What are three main courses of action you can take when you feel like you’re ready to switch things up
  • How it was a natural progression for me to move from teaching art to starting a blog
  • What the word “inspire” means to me
  • Why you shouldn’t underestimate the power of creating something everyday that’s just for you
  • How its possible (and so important) to merge your hobbies and interests with teaching and how it can benefit both you and your students in the art room
  • Why learning a new skill just might awaken the future entrepreneur inside of you
  • How lessons learned from TV shows can help you connect with your students
  • Why earning money from selling teaching resources can boost not only your pocketbook but your enthusiasm for the work you do
  • How presenting at events and teaching workshops can be exciting opportunities to grow and help you prepare for your future
  • Why you need to make the decisions on the curriculum (not children or parents) if you are teaching out of your home studio


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Cassie Stephens’ Blog


Teachers Pay Teachers

Art Made Easy 021, with Ginger Bowerman Pacer

Laura Lohmann’s Website

National Arts Education Association

Art Made Easy 002, with Heidi Easley

Art Made Easy 009, with Megan Schiller

What do you think?

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  • Anne

    That was a very interresting comment that you Patty and many others can relate to.

    For my part art was always part of my life from the day I was born and when I went to college I studied fashion design as I liked fashion. After another 2 degrees I finally ended up in retail magement & buying which I hated. Number crunching and having to exceed last year’s numbers got old.
    After focusing on my family and mother of my 3 children I went back and volunteered as docent teaching art in action in elementary school now for 5 years now straight. What I noticed kids get rushed through the art and a lot of work went into teaching the lessons.

    I decided to do something I love to do and that is ART and be creative on a daily basis. Coming from Europe art is part of everyone’s life so I recognized that this was my strength and that kids at elementary school level needed to have an art couch.
    So I opened up a small art studio offering kids more art technique and interesting season related art projects.

    I don’t know where this will take me but I am happy being surrounded by art and creativity.

    • patty.palmer@deepspacesparkle.com

      Your story is so similar to mine…it’s actually crazy! I love your “art couch” idea.

  • Shawsha N.

    Thanks for this, Patty! I can’t wait to hear part 2. I have been gathering inspiration and encouragement from so many sources regarding this topic. My brain is swirling with ideas! Sometimes I really do think it just takes that non-reversable step to force you to move forward with your thinking. 🙂

    • patty.palmer@deepspacesparkle.com

      Love this! And yes, making just a small step forward can set many actions on a non-stop course!

  • Teedgra Blackstock

    Hi Patty,
    When I saw this I was surprised because I feel the same way this teacher feels. I have been teaching 10 years. I started my own studio called Art Time Studio. I would really like to do it full time but I guess I afraid to leave the classroom. Tuesday I had a meeting with some home school parent to see if they would like their children to attend my art classes. I got a pretty good responses. I’m also going to talk to the local daycare’s in my town. I’m thinking of give my notice in January.

  • Tarlan Ghiassi

    Hi Patty. Thank you very much for the great episode. few years ago I stopped my job as being project controller and decided to follow my passion of being an artist. I recently became kids teacher for outside school. I truly love it. however I found it some times a bit difficult as I am teaching kids ages 5 to 10 in the same class. dealing with some parents were some how a bit challenging for me as exactly what you mentioned in your episode. I am currently studying art therapy as well but I am hoping in future to work in both ares (art therapy and art teaching) as I love them both. I would love to create my own weblog. I would appreciate it you could recommend me how I should do it. or what should I consider for this purpose. I also would like to be more familiar with that teacher pay teacher that you mentioned. I really appreciate your great helps and can’t wait to listen to your next week episode. Tarlan

  • LaRosa

    I absolutely love you Patti! I was reading over this intro last night to my husband and told him you wrote this for me. All of this is me and I am so glad you developed this podcast because it is so what I need. I have about 6 more years teaching art this is my 24 year and I can’t wait to start my new career. Thank you for providing me with the direction I so need. I can’t wait until part 2!

  • Kelly Kennedy

    Patty, You are speaking my language! I get so much out of your teachings & feel inspired that I can follow my heart & my passion as you and other listeners are doing. And make money in the process!!
    I am gradually shifting my teaching of Yoga to include Art. I came to the summer workshop in Santa Barbara and since then I have been hosting monthly Yoga & Art workshops. Some are adult only & others are kids & adults together.
    Thank you for what you do for our community of teachers! Looking forward to part 2 of this podcast 🙂

    • patty.palmer@deepspacesparkle.com

      I talk about you all the time: yoga and art. Who knew! I love how you are open to all the possibilities that are there for us. Thanks for listening!

  • Kirsten Thornhill

    Hi Patty! Thank you for a powerful message! When I saw your email pop up this week, I knew I had to listen.

    I started my journey as an after school/extra- curricular art teacher but I knew this wasn’t a perfect fit for me. After about a year, and my student numbers had dwindled down, I thought, well- I’ve run out of ideas, let me just get them to sew!

    As a fashion designer and dressmaker as my full time work, this was my natural fit. I slowly gained confidence, and have had great feedback from both my ladies and children sewing classes.

    Through researching and developing my sewing lesson projects, I realized how other sewers were making money online, through selling online pdf patterns and blogging.

    My next step would be to go into this, so am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and advice.

    As I come from South Africa, and big mental block for me, is that blogging and being an online sewing expert is a foreign concept. We all look overseas, in particular to the US, and think we aren’t as up to date as you all are! But thats all nonsense, and we have a strong community of crafters and sewers in South Africa, and then not to mention other African nations.

    Thank you again for your fantastic input


  • caroline Wipff

    This is one of the best podcasts I have ever listened to – lots of great advice. I’m a blogger and teacher. I believe in living in the present and you have a lovely way of imparting advice to people who strive for “more” yet you remind them to honor the present. It’s a paradox: the only way to “get there” is to “be here.” Wonderful.

  • Mary K McCardel

    Thank you for this podcast. You have inspired me to look for my options. I have spent the last 13 years teaching art in a public school situation. I have a BA in fine arts and a year of master’s work in art education. Life happened and I never got my certification. Because of that I have been teaching art, but being paid as a paraprofessional. I have dealt with the teachers who see me as less than because I don’t have that certificate. This summer I turned 63, but thought that I had a good 5 years of teaching left in me. However, when I went back to school all enthused and ready to teach what I had learned in your summer workshop and from DSS, the limitations of my school became even more apparent. I worked in a preschool class in the morning, and taught art in the afternoon. Our school has over 500 students from PK to 4th. I was teaching from a cart with just a closet for storage, not even a desk to prep on. The district was generous with supplies and I had ordered so many wonderful supplies. The reality of teaching only 30 minute classes in another’s teacher room, with no travel time, no drying rack became overwhelming. At the end of the last school year I advocated for longer class time and presented a schedule, projects, objectives, standards and all that goes with that to my principal. She said that she would look into it. Well, along came August and no changes. I worked several weeks and found that I couldn’t teach any longer under these circumstances. I contemplated my best options and decided that although I would miss teaching my kids, I needed to stand up for myself and went to the principal again. She said that there were no other options and so I decided to retire.
    Now, I have time to plan and organize and I’m planning on teaching at a local art center where I have taught before. I thank you for giving me the resources to know that I worthy of more respect. I’m a bit anxious, but looking forward to teaching smaller groups and having some autonomy.
    You are making differences in people’s lives. Thank you

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