10 Ways to Lead in Art Education

What do leaders in Art Education look like?  In such a specific field, often art teachers can feel as though they do not have room, or a place, to grow.  It’s very easy to get comfortable with your daily life and teaching.  Some teachers thirst for leadership.  They call it the “Leadership Itch.”  Through personal and professional research, here are some things I recommend, and am working toward myself, to become a better leader and teacher in this field.

First, what do “Teacher Leaders” look like?

  • Propel a program and their colleagues forward
  • Make their program stand out
  • Are courageous and confident
  • Involvement in the community
  • Help others around them grow
  • Rally others to get involved
  • Have a vision and have dreams
  • Take action steps to get to those dreams
  • Decide what is right for them and pursue it with passion
  • Stay current with best practice in the field

10 Ways to Lead in Art Education:

  1. Become a member of a professional organization
  2. Present at state and national conferences
  3. Talk to your school board about the arts
  4. Submit an article to a professional publication
  5. Professional Development:  Take classes or pursue higher degrees
  6. Social Networking: Make a presence on the web
  7. Teach classes at a local AEA or Community College
  8. Apply to coordinate your own district’s art department
  9. Mentor a new teacher
  10. Make art yourself!

Now don’t just sit there, go LEAD!

What are other ways you see yourself as a leader in the field of Art Education?

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Elizabeth Andrews

    Jessica, this is right on. I consider myself a leader in arts education but the biggest problem for me is number 10 – finding the time to make art myself!