Professional Learning

10 Things No One Tells You About Taking an AOE Class

Maybe you’ve heard the spiel or read the reviews on the website. Maybe you’ve heard a fellow art educator raving about the Ridiculously Relevant™ class he just took, but you want more! You want to know what no one will tell you about taking a class through the Art of Ed. My experiences as a professional development addict allow me to bring you the gritty details about taking an AOE class.
AOE Classes

1. You will be amazed at how refreshing it is to work with other art educators.

In contrast to other online courses, at AOE, you are learning with other art educators. You will find comfort in the realization that your experiences as an art educator aren’t solitary. You will bond over common experiences and benefit from a shared perspective. In addition, you will meet and collaborate with people from all over the world! For example, for an assignment in the Choice Based class, we created Pinterest boards featuring TAB ideas and TAB station ideas. It was an amazing way to share ideas.

2. Some of the best ideas will come from other class participants.

Because class participants develop and SHARE relevant documents, resources, ideas, and materials, you have the power to tap into each other’s brains. When I was struggling with noise and getting my students’ attention, a fellow teacher in my Managing the Art Room class suggested the “Show Me the Mona Lisa” verbal cue, and I haven’t looked back since!

3. Class time doubles as “classroom time.”

Class readings and assignments are practical and relevant. There is no need to stretch to connect to your art room and curriculum. I continue to rave about and share my clean-up routine and table helpers routine that I developed in the Managing the Art Room class because they have completely transformed my classroom for the better! The class assignments led me to create these amazing resources for my classroom.
Table Jobs
Clean Up Routine

4. You can completely customize what your time online looks like to best fit your schedule.

I find I get more out of the experience by working throughout the week versus in one giant chunk of time. For me, it happens to be less stressful when I’m not working against the clock. I give myself the extra time to make resources I actually use. You can see some of the documents I created in the AOE Choice Based class in this article. On the flip side, don’t worry if you’re a procrastinator — classes are organized in a way that helps you stay on track.

5. You have direct control over your learning experience.

Each class offers an abundance of resources. In addition, participants work together to create amazing, rich discussion boards chock full of ideas. You determine your depth of interaction with these available resources and materials.

 6. Classes are for everyone.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first online class or your tenth. The instructors are there to meet you where you’re at and help take you to the next level.

7. The instructors will go above and beyond for you.

One of the resources from the Choice Based Class, Engaging Learners through Artmaking, piqued my interest. When I was looking for additional information, my knowledgeable instructor was able to suggest The Learner Directed Classroom and Deeper Learning, both of which I found helpful!

8. You are always getting the best class.

Did you know that our Educational Director works with the AOE team to continuously review, tweak and update courses? AOE makes sure that it is bringing you the best and most relevant information from the world of art ed.

9. You will question and reflect upon your teaching.

While it can be scary at first, reflection is essential for continuing to be an effective and innovative educator. For a personal account of how I questioned and adapted my own teaching style, check out my tale about surviving the AOE Choice Based class.

10. You will learn more than you think you will.

Seriously. Enough said!
An AOE Class is an investment in yourself, your passion, and your profession. I’ve only listed ten things that no one may tell you about taking a class, so add your input in the comments below!

What would you say about taking an AOE class?

What is one thing you wish you had known prior to taking a class?

What has been your favorite AOE class? Why?


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.


Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek, an elementary school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about teaching and reaching students through an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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