Are you an Art Teacher Addict? Are you addicted to your job?
Do you determine your value as an art teacher by how late you prepare in your art room?
Is your art room more organized then your own house?
When you go to work each morning do you feel like you never left?
Do you spend more time with the custodians then your own spouse?
Hi, my name is Art Project Girl and I am a former art teacher addict.
“Hi Art Project Girl”
So, how do I get everything done now, and done well in 8 hours instead of 12?
My art program used to be a novel, but now it’s a P.O.E.M. To the point and focused.
First is PERSPECTIVE.
Having a baby gave me the one thing I lacked before in my job, PERSPECTIVE!
Will the art department fall apart if there is a brush soaking over night? NO.
If there is a crooked bulletin board display? ABSOLUTELY
Last year, I might have a variety of students do bulletin boards (which I would have to stay late and fix myself). This year I have two students who I “hired” to do the job. They LOVE making bulletin boards and are very skilled. I taught them once, they take pride and we’ve never had so many bulletin board displays. They work on it before dismissal every day and love the exclusivity of the job.
Next is ORGANIZATION.
I realized that I had a lot of labels and nothing was going back in the right place! So I added picture icons. Still things were getting put away sloppy. Finally I took pictures of how I wanted the cabinets to look displayed them right in front of the supplies. At the end of the day helpers check to make sure the cabinet matches the pictures.
*If you can only do one thing do this*
My expectations for the end of the day helpers is much higher then it used to be. We have a job chart and I don’t allow it to become a social time. Because of this a few have “quit” but the rest take it as seriously as job. I feel good because they are gaining job skills and they feel good because they are REALLY accomplishing things in the last fifteen minutes of the day.
I also am having higher expectations for my classes. If the student can’t do every part of the lesson by themselves then is it really appropriate? I have cut back a lot of prep time asking myself this question. The students have benefited, getting more developmentally appropriate lessons that are real learning opportunities. They know I expect independent work that they can be proud of!
MANAGEMENT is Key.
Behavior management goes hand in hand with supply management in the classroom. One thing I did a lot more of this year during my “recovery” was TEACH supply management. This really helped with behaviors. I taught the students how to get a smock put it on and put it back. We practiced, rehearsed, and then we didn’t paint! Yes, they had to practice the first class so they could earn their paint. We also practiced getting supplies and walking to our seats. I think they could use a review at this point in the year but it really made all the difference in supply and behavior management.
Now you can find me in my car by 4:00 most days and on my way to pick up my own little bit of happiness, MY baby! And a the funny thing is people are commenting on how much cleaner my room is this year and how wonderful the displays look! It is not the amount of time but quality of time you spend in your art room.
Are there any other recovering Art Teacher Addicts out there? What are some of your tricks to staying on the wagon?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.theartofed.com/content/uploads/2010/06/Screen-Shot-2012-05-13-at-1.35.00-PM.png[/author_image] [author_info]Erica teaches Elementary art in an urban school, is passionate about photography, and is one of the newest members of the AOE Team. Learn more about all of our writers, including Erica, on the About page. [/author_info] [/author]