Monday, April 8, 2013

10 Things a Traveling Art Teacher Will Always Do

1. A traveling art teacher will never get all the names of students correct.  We sometimes have over 800+ students we see a week, and half of them have siblings.  Yes, I will call you by your sister's name, or mis-pronounce your name, but at least we're close!  Do you know all your students' names, AND pronounce them correctly?  Congratulations, you have a great memory.

2. A traveling art teacher always forgets something when driving, walking, or flying from one school to the next.  There is no way on this earth we can remember every material we need for lessons, and as much advice as I or anyone can give, that jump drive will be left in that one computer at the other school.  It always hits me while I'm driving to that next school, and expletives with that little black box are inserted over the mouth.

3. A traveling art cart teacher will always leave a little something behind it your room.  At least your students are awesome enough to return that item back, right?  Like the magnets I leave up on your board, or my project examples, or those paintbrushes your students were washing as I was pushing the cart out of your room...

4. A traveling art teacher may not be able to attend an extra event.   The secret santas, surprise potlucks, treat days, gift exchanges, wedding/baby showers, and retirement parties...unless we're at your school that day, we may not be able to make it.  And if you're a traveller and you do make them all, give yourself a pat on the back.  Trust us, it's not that we don't want to get involved, because it would be nice to be part of the school family.  We just have a bit more to juggle on our plates.

5. A traveling art teacher will most likely miss the memo.  Sometimes, we will never know what special event is going on from one school to the next.  Oh, there's a surprise assembly?  Sorry...didn't get the memo, unless it was in the school bulletin. Just please don't get mad at us.

6. A traveling art teacher will always make room for storage.  You have to put those student projects somewhere!  Don't be surprised if you find a storage bin on top of your shelf or a portfolio of student work shoved in a closet space.  We gotta do what we gotta do!  Although, it is polite to communicate first with the teachers!

7. A traveling art teacher might turn down your extra crayons.  We are appreciative that you're thinking of us with the extra supplies (because sometimes it helps), but trust us...we really don't have the extra space to store it on top of all the projects we have to stash already.  You can still offer, because many of us are tight on budgets, but don't be mad if we tell you we have enough.

8. A traveling art teacher will tell you no.  You want us to make that special poster for your class project or special nightly event?  Sorry...we also have school musicals, displays, contests, shows, etc. that we also have to work on...for ALL the schools we travel to.  No offense, but we can't do all the visuals.

9. A traveling art teacher will always drop something outside of their car or down the hallway.  That's the nature of the game.  We only have two hands.

10.  A traveling art teacher will be jumping for joy at the end of the school year when all they have to do is push the cart back into the storage closet and lock the door!


  1. Hi heidi,
    As a fellow "cart-pusher" I could not agree more with your top ten! I appreciate your posts on this blog- it helps me to realize that I am not the only one in the same boat! I thought you might appreciate a video I've made of some of my journeys- called the Art Cart Blues (password: artcart)
    Thanks for sharing what you do!

    1. That was one amazing video!!!!!!! I was wondering if I could feature it in a post so I can spread your work? More cart teachers need to see that! Also, did you happen to share it with Ms. Lung, who is heading the "art on a cart" research? Her link is available at the top of my blog.

    2. This video is amazing! I, too am a traveling art teacher. I'm not sure if it makes me feel better or worse knowing someone else is trying to fight the good cause under such limitations. Do you have a blog, Betsy? Well done!