8 July 2019

Success for Kay and Karen: textile artist and drama teacher get connected on A2:Connect

Teachers looking for artists/creatives, and artists/creatives looking for schools to work with, are finding the Opportunities section of the A2:Connect website a great place to meet their perfect match. Karen Teal, a textile artist, told us how she responded to an opportunity which resulted in work at Pencoed Comprehensive.

How are you involved in Expressive Arts?

I’ve been a teacher of Art and Textiles for 33 years in Secondary and FE education and within the community. I taught in North Wales for 26 years and in 2012 decided I’d like to see how students in other countries were taught and went to work for Dulwich College London in their new Chinese High School in Suzhou China. I created a brand-new art department and oversaw all visual and performing arts subjects.

After four years in China I decided to see education in a different country. So I went to work in a totally international school in Basel, Switzerland where students were truly multi-cultural and were taught the International Baccalaureate programme.

In June 2018 I returned home to Wales and have been giving workshops in the community, working with schools on art or textiles projects as a creative practitioner and at long last getting back to doing some of my own textiles work.

How did you hear about A2Connect?

When I returned to Wales I knew I was moving to South Wales which was a totally new area for me. So I did some research in the months before returning to find out where I could get support in looking for work.

What made you sign up?

It gave me the opportunity to network, and see what schools and educators wanted and also be able to attend any events that would help me move back into education and practice in Wales.

Did you find it easy to sign up and create an opportunity?

I was able to complete all my information and upload images easily.

I saw an opportunity which was created by Kay Smith, Head of Drama at Pencoed Comprehensive. She was looking for practitioners to do an Expressive Arts Industry Day with Year 7s. So I sent a response enquiring about it and it went from there. Kay told me about the day and put me in contact with the Head of Art, Helen Williams, and I went in to see her. She explained that year 7 had a day off timetable and would have five one-hour workshops with other arts practitioners in drama, music, circus skills etc. I created a one-hour practical textiles session for them and went to the school on June 13th.

Would you use it again?

I would definitely use it again and I update my information whenever new things come up or I have done.

It’s a good way to see what other people are offering and it also gives the possibility of contacting other people to possibly team up.


*Create and discover opportunities for your school and pupils, or your creative business*

Whether you’re a teacher looking for a creative person to share skills and inspiration with your pupils … or a creative person looking for teachers and pupils who can benefit from your input: make sure to CREATE as well as SEARCH for opportunities on the Opportunities section of the A2:Connect website.

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Plwg is the place for artists and teachers to find and share great arts education opportunities

plwg.cymru is the all-Wales arts, culture and education matchmaking website to support collaboration between teachers, creatives, arts and cultural organisations.