Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Starting Your School Year Off With a Smile! September's Stepping Stones

Arts & Activities issues this image as a sneak peek into their September 2012 issue that will be off the press within a week!

For my first article for the 2013-14 school year, I wanted to focus on how to keep a positive outlook when starting off with the students.  It can be hard for many...some of you have multiple classrooms to set up while others only have a cart and storage room.  No mater what your responsibilities are, you make the best of it!

When you start at the beginning of the school year, remember these key elements to having a successful year:

1.     You have the power to brighten your students’ day with art.  As the art teacher, you are giving your students a chance to speak their thoughts and emotions in ways they cannot say in words.  Having this outlet helps students to be creative thinkers and inventors in their own way.  You are giving them that outlet.

2.     You have the ability to enhance student learning through art.  You bring history, culture, literature, and mathematics into your classroom.  You show them how to problem solve to work through mistakes.  You show the students how manipulating materials can make wonderful creations and how we need art in our everyday lives.

3.     You have the ability to change your situation.  If you struggle with teaching from a cart?  You’re not the only one, and many teachers are sharing their input in art educator groups on the internet.  Are you feeling disconnected from your staff?  Invite them to your room, or start a conversation when you visit their room.  There are ways to make your situation more positive, and even if it takes some work, persistence pays off.   

4.     You are the advocate for the arts in your school, district, local, state, and national community.  Believe it or not, you are the spokesperson for the arts wherever you work.  If you carry a negative attitude about your situation, you will reflect that in your practice.  Show your passion for the arts in each project you teach and all displays you create.  Be proud of your student work and show it off whenever you can.  If you feel burnt out, reach out to others in your field.  There are plenty of art teacher groups on social networks willing to give advice and listen to your concerns, challenges, accomplishments, and honors.

If you are interested in viewing the full article, please click here for the September article of Stepping Stones in Arts & Activities Magazine!!


  1. Excellent!!!! I especially like #1 and #3! We do have the power to change our students' day for the better...AND we can ALWAYS change our situation for the better, too. ART is about creating! If you don't like a situation, create it new...resurrect it...change it from the inside out... The old joke is when art teachers get together they compare notes and try to out do each other by how bad they have it... e.g. I travel to 3 schools, but I have a room in each one. Oh yeah? I travel to 3 schools and have to use a cart in each one. Oh yeah? I have a room but it has no water. Oh yeah? I only get a closet, no water and no cart! oh yeah? They won't let me use paint in the new school...and on and on! You are amazing. You're an art teacher with unlimited powers. Be creative...for the positive...Realize what a unique chance we art teachers have to impact childrens' lives and our whole school environment and spirit! We are fortunate indeed!!! Now...go help your artists shine. John Lentine, Locust Grove Primary School, Virginia

    1. I just love this! I am a new teacher starting school tomorrow (from a cart, two schools, but hey I get a nice closet!!!). I know this post is old but I just stumbled upon it and appreciate it. Thank you! :)