Tips for Sharing Your Art Room with Others

If you are lucky enough to have an art room, chances are you are often sharing that space with others. From reading and after school groups to weekend clubs, it’s the place to be. When an after school group used my art room, I can’t say I was thrilled, but with the few tips in the video, I definitely made it work. Just like we were taught in Kindergarten, sometimes we have to share, even if we don’t want to!  Watch to find out how to keep your room organized, clean and safe, even when others are using it.

Do you share your art room? What are the challenges?

Any sharing survival tips for your fellow art educators? 

4 years ago

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.


  • Yes I do share my art room with an after school program, Thursday community art class, and usually a Boy Scout group on the weekend a few times a year, and a Wednesday night class. So my room is used a lot. In the corner of my room instead of the shelfs facing out they face in like a a little closet that is the place I put stuff I don’t want used. Other stuff out can be used by groups and open use stuff for my students. All the used stuff from last year markers, pens, pencils, few glue bottles, a few scissors and what ever I don’t mind if it disappears. Now all my new stuff or things that are specialty items I put away. My personal belief is it is the schools room. Luckily most of the kids that use the room are students an I tell them often that if they are in here when I am not the same rules apply for supplies. I have a nice note on the board that the items on the cart under the board may be used but to please not touch student portfolios , projects, and other supplies (even though it may be the students). I have been working that way for more than 10 years. I really
    Ike the adult art classes that come in Thursday nights, a lot of times they leave me extra stuff they don’t need anymore on my cart. Kind if like a give and take thing. Before I started that I had issues with stuff being gone through, missing items things like.

    • Karen – Good point about the school being ‘the school’s room’ – As art teachers we get a little possessive of our space sometimes without even knowing it, usually because we’ve put so much work into creating an amazing learning environment and spend our precious budget dollars on supplies. It’s nice to hear your experiences.

  • Don Kennedy

    Hey as someone that ends up getting to uses the art room as an afterschool arts provider we always get the stink eye from art teachers that we end up sharing space with. One way to diffuse the tension is to leave a lesson plan / or sample of art for the teacher especially if the lesson encourage the kids to create awesome art. I have found all teachers hate sharing space if groups of students don’t respect the teachers space be that art students or Cub Scouts. Schools are so strapped for cleaning cost that making the place look better than you found it by cleaning the table well is a two prong win. The teacher and the cleaning help.

    • Thanks for weighing in with the other perspective, Don! These are great tips. I think keeping an open mind and the communication lines open is key. Art teachers love new ideas AND a clean art room. :)

  • Kortney

    I teach at four schools and share all four of my rooms. Not only is the art room also the music/band room, but it is used for resource students, individual testing, teachers meeting, potlucks, etc. I’m often frustrated to come back to school each week and have to put all my tables back where they belong and sharpen pencils that everyone else has used! One thing that has helped a tiny bit is teaching the students how to take care of the room and supplies. They can watch over the room when I am not there!

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