Straight Talk for New Art Teachers

By Weitknecht, Holly | School Arts, September 2001 | Go to article overview

Straight Talk for New Art Teachers


Weitknecht, Holly, School Arts


When I began my teaching career, there were many people who wanted to help me get started. I was given tons of information, but most of it, including classroom management tips, was intended for a regular classroom teacher. Needless to say, art teachers, with their messy activities and short blocks of time, require different teaching strategies. I found myself trying to reinvent the wheel, spending enormous amounts of time brainstorming ideas to run a good program.

Every art teacher has a different set of circumstances and limitations with which to work. Some teachers have their own artrooms, large budgets, supportive community and administrations, and middle level students. Others may have art a la carte, a tough community environment, or be an itinerant teacher. The list goes on and on. Some ideas that have worked for me for support, classroom set-up and management, discipline, organization, and lesson, unit, and curriculum ideas, may not work for you. Keep that in mind while reading over the following:

1. Find a person that you trust and respect to go to when you need help. Most districts have a mentoring program for first-year teachers. If you don't have one or have trouble getting along with your mentor, try to find an unofficial one. I was lucky to have a great mentor, and the help that she provided has been invaluable.

2. Send a letter home at the beginning of the year asking for art smocks and any items you may need such as buttons. Be sure to include a deadline or a follow-up letter so that you don't wind up with more than you bargained for.

3. Color code students' worktables. When you need to call on them, you can do so by color, or color schemes, as a review. Use a specific table or area for demonstrations, and set some zero tolerance rules for that area, such as silence, no touching, etc.

4. If you have a room of your own, keep a small bulletin board near it in the hall. Use it to post which classes will need art smocks for the day or for the week.

5. Consider labeling cabinets and drawers so that students and substitutes can find materials easily.

6. Flat, under-the-bed storage boxes work well to help keep clay projects moist until students can work on them again. Projects will still need to be draped in plastic bags or damp paper towels.

7. Trustworthy classroom helpers can provide assistance at the end of the day while they are waiting for the bus. My helpers do chores, such as sweeping the floor, cleaning the chalkboard, cutting out patterns, and getting projects ready for display, among other things.

8. When students are using dangerous or expensive materials, such as X-acto knives, label each item with numbers that correspond to the numbers in your grade book. Make students responsible for any supplies with their number on them. Check quickly at the end of each class to be sure that you have all of the items.

9. Start the year with more cleanup time than you think you need. With any extra time, try playing hangman using an art term from the lesson, or other quick games. This can reinforce the subject and be used as a wrap-up activity. You will become a better judge of how much time your students need to clean up from various activities over time, and you can plan accordingly. Inform students that their table must be clean before their hands are cleaned. This will help insure that you do less classroom cleanup after class.

10. Discuss rules and expectations with each class and post them in an easy-to-read location. Create a contract of the expectations (please be aware of your school's policy on contracts with students).

11. Do not expect the regular classroom teacher to handle your discipline problems. It's okay to discuss them with the teacher, as long as you are the person who implements your limitations and consequences for your classroom.

12. When dealing with an individual discipline problem, quietly pull the student aside and speak frankly about the issue at hand.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Straight Talk for New Art Teachers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.