Standards of Practice for Metal Clay Teachers

This document aims to lay out some fundamental aspects of running a good class. It is designed to help metal clay teachers improve the standards of their teaching.

This list of tips for good practice has been compiled and endorsed by the Metal Clay Academy Advisory Board and reflects the years of teaching experience board members have.

  • Clearly outline the cost of the classes including what materials or resources are included in the price. Make it clear if students need to buy more materials to complete the projects.
  • If you are a supplier as well as a teacher, be conscious of conflicts of interest. Students come to learn and can resent feeling pressured into buying things.
  • If the class you’re running is hosted by a business, you need to make sure what you are selling doesn’t conflict with what the business is selling. The instructor and business should have a clear understanding of these things. Ensure any supplier lists you provide don’t conflict with the business hosting your class.
  • Be clear about the cancellation policy.
  • Make sure the class venue and other arrangements are properly organised to enhance student learning.
  • Always consider the safety of the students and address the health and safety aspects of working with metal clay.
  • Lead by example. Always follow your own safety rules, be on time, appropriately dressed and well prepared.
  • Have adequate, current professional liability insurance.
  • Make sure students get clear registration information in good time before their class. This should include things like travel, public transport, busy roads, and congestion charges, parking charges and where students can get lunch.
  • Plan lessons and prepare well. Stick to planned timings to ensure students can complete the projects.
  • Be punctual and organised.
  • Ask permission from the artist/teacher to use their work to help students. (Most authors and teachers will give permission to use their work for training purposes.)
  • Provide enough relevant tools and equipment for students to use.
  • Provide clear information about the class content (including the number and complexity of projects.)
  • Provide written notes to back up the teaching. (Including sources of further information, suppliers and support organisations such as guilds.)
  • Show students actual samples of what they’re expected to make.
  • Help students attending certification or diploma training to pass and give them options if they don’t achieve this while the course is running.
  • Ask students to complete a feedback form. Act on it appropriately.
  • Take time to review how each class went and assess whether changes need to be made next time it runs.
  • Keep informed about new developments in metal clay or changes to the approved curriculum.
  • Treat students with respect and courtesy.