Rocks vs. Sucks: Taking Work Home

Welcome to the third installment of Rocks vs. Sucks, the place for you to voice your opinions and explore your thoughts on some of the trickiest topics in art ed.

If you missed the first two, click on through to voice your opinion about Follow-the-Teacher Lessons and Gridding.

Please remember to keep the discussion educated and free of judgement. The motto is, disagree with ideas not people!

Rocks vs. Sucks #3: Taking Work Home

Rocks vs Sucks 3
There is a vast difference in the amount of time teachers spend on work outside of the classroom walls. Some teachers will stay at school until 7pm because they just can’t work at home, others will schlep giant piles of artwork to grade or weavings to tie just so they can leave right at the bell. The one thing everyone can probably agree on is that, at least occasionally, work must be done outside of contract hours. Today we’re exploring the pros and cons of working at home.

Let’s Discuss



Taking work home ROCKS. It’s so nice to leave school after the bell rings and have a little break before jumping back into important tasks. Being in your own space allows you to get menial tasks done while watching tv in the comfort of your own living room! It’s just too difficult to stay under that fluorescent lighting all day long while breathing in the paint fumes. A change of scenery is welcome when working hard.


Taking work home SUCKS. It’s so difficult to get work related things done when the laundry needs folding and dinner needs cooking. Not to mention relaxing activities like reading or painting calling your name. It’s much better to come in a few minutes early, use every minute of the day wisely and stay a few minutes late in order to keep evenings and weekends free.


Tell us, where do you fall? Does taking work home ROCK or SUCK? Tell us your opinion below. Please remember to keep it professional!




Amanda Heyn

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 


  • Jamie Petit

    I commute, so leaving before traffic is important. Also, sometimes I just need to GET OUT OF THE BUILDING! So I do bring work home, no more than 30 minutes of work, or so. I try to be as super efficient at school as possible and get my to-do list checked off, but I do not mind bringing home a few things – I sleep better knowing that it is done!

    • I hear you, Jamie! Sometimes you just need to get out asap!

  • artswim

    I’d rather get it done before I leave, however when my children were not adults, I brought it home all of the time. I might have to do some work after I tucked them in, or after soccer practice, but I took time for my children!

  • Marie E

    The only work I bring home is my lesson plan book to work on over the weekend and a camera full of pics to upload on Artsonia which I can do relaxing on the couch. I had too much schlepping of materials when I was an artist-in-residence in schools. Now that I have my own classroom, everything is blessedly done and stays there!

  • Mrs.”C”

    I do bring work home. I can concentrate better and be more relaxed( in my pj’s, with a beverage and snack ) and work at my own pace doing work at home. I do also stay at school sometimes to get things done( like grading) so I don’t have to schlep projects back and forth… so it does Rock that i can bring work home if i have to but it also Sucks that there is so little time a school to get it all done so I have to bring it home!

  • John Post

    Taking home work SUCKS! I try to avoid it at all costs. If it can’t be done at school, then it has to wait until the next day. Grading and assessing are giant games that waste the time of both the teacher and the learner. When I think of how many times I have taught myself something outside of school it reminds me that the work/accomplishment is the reward itself. Schools create situtations where students are motivated by extrinsic rewards. True learning happens when the learner could care less about the grade and cares more about the learning. Me taking home a plie of work isn’t going to bring that about in any of the students I teach. Working on school work at home eats into my time to be with my family and it eats into the time I work on my own art. To avoid taking work home, I work at being highly organized and efficient at school.

    • I agree, John. Being efficient at school is so much better.

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  • Jen

    As an elementary art teacher I think I have it pretty easy as far as taking work home…meaning…I don’t. I give grades but not quite like an art teacher in Middle school or High School might so that saves me time… I try to get the things done that need to be done while I am at work. Probably the most time I spend outside of work doing stuff for art is during the summer because I am prepping for the next year. And I will say that gets easier too as I continue to hold the same job simply because you start to accumulate the materials you need and you don’t need to work as much outside of school. I don’t think it sucks or rocks…taking work home can be great if it is something you really care about and want to do right. But I also agree that sometimes it is a good thing to leave it at work and put your full focus on those you love at home.

  • Ms. Cooper

    When I first started teaching there was no way that I coud get everything done without taking work home. 15 years later I’m still doing some things from home. I always enter report card grades from home, do my 3 times a year observation paperwork from home, research materials on the internet or YouTube to add to existing lessons, and keep up with my email. I stay after school a couple of hours every day to clean up and get ready for the next day. I will take home the odd thing like cutting 80 pieces of string for students to get looms ready for weaving or to get 400 pieces of artwork mounted and labeled for conferences twice a year. I don’t have parent volunteers or paras to help during class so I plan out my time to do as much before and after school and limit what I take home so that I can have some me time. Most of what I take home is my choice so I have to say it ROCKS.

  • aak

    I have CFIDS/FM so by the end of the day I am hitting my fibro fog wall and am exhausted (plus I have a hefty commute). I find I make more errors working nights after school on grading, etc. so I try to get as much as I can done at work and on Sundays. Saturdays I sleep, sleep, sleep, and recharge. If I stay late at work it gets a bit scary (portable located at the back of school) and we get locked out – totally – with new electronic lock system within an hour after the kids leave. Reluctantly, work goes home and I hope for the best!

  • Dawn Kruger

    I never take work home. I often stay 1-2 hours after school for tasks that I like
    to complete without interruption-framing, grading, research, trying new media, ordering supplies, etc.

  • Ashley Fournier

    I’m a mixed bag on this. I take home work, but rarely do I get to it with two small children at home. I used to stay late, get there early, and take work home daily. Priorities have shifted over time, and when my children are with me time with them takes precedence. Also, grading artwork with a busy one year old is near impossible. After they sleep I peruse the internet for arts related topics as I genuinely find that fun and don’t consider it to be ‘work’.