Traveling/art-Cart Teachers

Article excerpt

There are challenges teaching art in any situation. Whether you teach in a classroom, from a cart or travel from school to school, we all face them. Compiled from my observations from years of teaching from a cart and then traveling to multiple schools, here is a list of things a traveling art teacher will often do, as much as we try not to. These don't make us "bad teachers," but help us focus on what our main priorities are.

(1) TRAVELING ART TEACHERS will never get all the students' names right. Sometimes we see over 800 students a week--and half of them have siblings! Yes, we might call them by their siblings' names, or mispronounce them--at least we come close! Do you know all your students' names and pronounce them correctly? Congratulations then, you have an amazing memory!

(2) TRAVELING/ART-CART TEACHERS will leave a little something behind in your classroom. As much as I try not to let this happen, it does. My students have been very kind in returning those items to me throughout the day--like the magnets I leave up on the classroom board, or my project examples, or those paintbrushes students were washing as I was pushing the cart out of the room. It happens. Don't be upset with yourself over it.

(3) TRAVELING/ART-CART TEACHERS will sleuth out storage. We have to put those student projects somewhere! If a classroom teacher has any unused space ... on top of a cabinet or in a corner ... I politely ask if I could store student projects for the next class. Storage closets are not always large enough to keep everything. As art teachers, we always find ways to think outside of the box!

(4) TRAVELING/ART-CART TEACHERS almost always drop something as we walk down the hallway or out to our car. We only have two hands, after all! We can just hope there's not snow on the ground, not a windy day or not raining on the projects we've dropped! And, hope the items dropped in the hallway aren't fragile!

(5) TRAVELING/ART-CART TEACHERS will remember they forgot something as they drive, walk or fly from one classroom or school to the next. As much advice as I or any one can give, that darn flash drive will still be plugged into the computer at the other school. Depending on how much time there is, I sometimes turn around and retrieve the tiny device that holds my PowerPoint presentation for today's lesson, or I continue on and simply improvise for the second half of the day. …