Professional Practice

The Unexpected “Perks” of Being an Art Teacher

It’s really easy to focus on the negatives of teaching art. Large class sizes, other teachers always asking to borrow our limited supplies, lack of administrative support and a lack of respect for what we do are all valid complaints. Continuously focusing on the negatives can make us  forget about all the fun perks and the POSITIVES of having the best job in the world. Let’s face it, there are lots of fun perks to this 9 to 5 (I mean, 24/7 job) that cubicle dwellers just don’t have. So allow me to remind you of… The joys and PERKS of being an art teacher!



1. Since everyone EXPECTS you to be disorganized, when you have your stuff together, you exceed expectations. Score!

2. No one bats an eye if you’re wearing a costume or have paint in your hair.

3. You can bribe students with lessons you would do anyway. “If you’re good, we can paint today!” Try that in math class. “If you’re good, we can do long division today!” I’m guessing it doesn’t work quite the same way.

4. You can cut your own mats for FREE with your school’s mat cutter. (Just try and tell me you haven’t done it.)

5. You can wear jeans “Oh yes, it’s another clay day today.”

6. If you travel, you can always pretend to be, “at the other school.” What? Everyone needs a little extra fresh air sometimes!

7. You have a leg up with classroom management because 99% of kids love coming to your room anyway.

8. You get to spend someone else’s money on really cool supplies every year. Raise your hand if you skip right to the back of the catalog to browse the fun games, posters and books.

9. If you need a paper cutter, metallic Sharpie or embroidery floss to finish up that special project, you can just “borrow” something from your classroom.

10. Summers. (Need I say more?)

What is the best PERK of being an art teacher for you?

Let’s create the ultimate list! 

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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