I was recently sent some photos of myself from this past Summer when I was assisting Mr. Basil Baylin with his class at the Ridgewood Art Institute. That was my first experience teaching an art class and I loved it. A lot has changed since then, but I wanted to share my story of how I got the opportunity to teach.
That Summer, I was struggling to find a job. I had quit the gallery where I worked and gave myself until the end of Summer 2015 to find a new job. My mom had read an article about Basil Baylin in our local newspaper and encouraged me to reach out to him to ask about teaching. I had never done any teaching and I was reluctant to reach out to Basil. I sent him an email, not expecting an answer.
Two day later, Basil emailed me back and said to stop by the Ridgewood Art Institute (RAI) to talk with him. I stopped by and immediately was greeted with a warm hello. I asked him if he could use an assistant for his class and he said yes. After that, I spent Monday nights with Basil and his class.
Basil later told me that he hardly ever checks his email and just happened to check it the day that he replied to my email. So, that being said, there's always an element of luck involved when taking advantage of situations. He could of not checked his email and not responded, but the point is that you don't even have a shot if you don't send the email in the first place.
I assisted Basil with his class until the end of the Summer, at which time Basil's class ended. I added his class to my resume and then got a connection to Bergen Community College and The Art School at Old Church for Fall 2015. The Art School at Old Church didn't work out, but was a good experience. I'm now in my second semester at Bergen Community and couldn't be happier.
I owe a lot to Basil and so many people who have given me a shot. Basil is now teaching at the Fairlawn Community Center in Fairlawn, NJ on Tuesday evenings (6:15PM to 8:30PM)