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How to Write a Proposal to Teach Art at a School

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Art is one of life’s great passions. Art can teach people texture, form, shape, and color. If you have a talent for art, there are a number of ways to share your knowledge and skills. One great way to do this is to teach art in a school environment. Art is a creative discipline and a form of study recognized in schools ranging from elementary schools to dedicated art colleges. The best way to initiate teaching art at a school is to write a proposal.

Open your word processing program. Create a cover page with the name of the school where you would like to teach, the name of the class you would like to teach, your name and your key credentials.

Name the class you would like to teach. The area of focus can be the name of your class such as "Using Watercolors" or "Beginning Sculpting" or "Landscapes en Plein Air (Landscapes out of doors.)" Identify the proposed outcome of what students will learn such as the focus on brushes and brushwork, spatial relationships, learning how colors complement each other, how to use shadows to create facial features or using hands to mold material. Indicate what techniques and styles will be included as well as the inclusion of any history of this particular genre. Note any special field trips or speakers that will enhance the class for students.

Create the value-proposition for the class and the value-add for students. Indicate what the students will ultimately gain whether they are beginner or advanced students. List the importance of art education as a discipline. For example, early exposure to art has been proven to promote brain activity, art aids children in comprehending other subjects, art encourages creativity and inventiveness and art encourages communication of ideas and images. Close with the reasons why the school and students will benefit not only from the class but from you as the instructor.

Prepare a course syllabus and a calendar for the class length and whether mid-terms, major projects or a final will be included. Indicate what semester you would like to begin including calendar dates, days of week, times and the period of time that you would like to have the course run.

List any fees you would want to charge for the class. Indicate what materials you will provide, what materials the students will need to provide and what classroom space, equipment including tables, easels and chairs, additional materials and supplies you are asking the school to provide. For example, the space needed to house 20 students with pottery wheels and a kiln differs from the space needed to house 8 students with sketch pads and a box of colored pencils. Be as specific as possible.

Include how many students can join the class and the skill level required to actively and successfully participate. List any fees you would want to charge for the class. Note any items like clothing, easels, brushes, paints or art supplies specifically needed for the first class.

Provide your own bio, resume, and any previous teaching history. Highlight your own accomplishments as an artist or teacher. Show samples of previous course syllabus if available. List references of any previous students or colleagues. State your anticipated or expected compensation. Include your contact information.

Review the proposal carefully for grammar and punctuation. Make any edits as needed. Save your proposal. Print the proposal and any other documentation you want to include. Submit it to the school.


Review the course catalog for the school for additional ideas on how courses are named and described.

Have another teacher review your proposal for feedback.

For a timely response, identify the appropriate contact within the school to send your submission.


Atlanta-based Jennifer McDonald is an attorney and writer with over 20 years experience covering legal and lifestyle topics. Also an accomplished blogger, she was featured in "Woman's World Magazine" and recently appeared on Fox News Network N.Y. She graduated magna cum laude and earned her doctorate from the University of Kansas. She also attended graduate school at Cambridge University in England.

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