Professional Learning

Still on the Fence About Taking an AOE Class?

My decision-making process for new endeavors is quite simple: If it’s not a “heck yes,” then it’s a “no.”

In short, we all want to be sure about something before we invest our precious time, energy, and resources.

But it isn’t always as simple as yes or no. There are many factors to consider and information to gather before diving into something new.

Recently, our Customer Happiness Gurus have received questions from teachers who are on the fence about taking an AOE class. They’re trying to make sure that AOE’s Online Classes are a right fit for them.
on the fence
The most common questions involve the time commitment. Some sentiments we hear from teachers include:

“I am concerned I don’t have the time to devote myself to this learning.”  

“I have young kids at home.”  

“In addition to teaching, I have another part time job.”

I want to backtrack a little in time to address this question. When I created AOE, I was a young mom with a baby at home, and I struggled to find professional development that worked for me. AOE classes were specifically created out of this frustration. I wanted to create something relevant to art ed for people just like you — busy teachers with lives outside of school who are motivated to take their teaching to the next level. In short, people who want to have a career and a family life and have fun along the way!
“To be honest, I was really quite nervous to take this course. I have never taken an online course before and had no idea what it would be like. I was very pleasantly surprised and felt the amount of work over this time period was fair. I felt it pushed me just as much as a regular in-person class would.” -M.B.
With AOE, there are no specific log-on times, so you can work from any time zone. In addition, you receive the entire syllabus up front so you can plan to work ahead if you need to. Some colleges only release assignments weekly. I’ve taken these types of classes, and it really made me nervous not to know what was coming.

Because we all need a little nudge sometimes, there are also weekly due dates to keep you on track. This flexibility will ensure you can manage the workload by allowing you to work at your own pace.
AOE Classes
Whether you are new to online learning or have used other platforms, rest assured that our online learning platform is easy to use.  I’ve personally taught for several other online colleges in my career, which both used different platforms than AOE. My experiences led us to create a custom learning environment that felt right for a modern art teacher.
“Last year I was fortunate to take a class through AOE that totally changed the way I looked at on-line teaching! I had some not so great experiences with on-line classes in the past, so I was wary of this one. However, the guidance and pacing were spot-on, I learned so many things from the class and made some wonderful new friends! ” -J.C.
In the past, it has really irked me when people waste my time with busy work or lofty impractical pedagogy.

I know your time is precious.

Because of this, I promise we won’t waste yours.
“I took 30 Graduate Credits with AOE last year, and I am happy to say there are NO LONG PAPERS! However, you will create/write LOTS of INTERESTING & USEFUL RESOURCES for you classroom!!! Everything is classroom ready & friendly! For all of this I was able to move to the Masters +30 column on our salary guide and a pretty nice raise! Go for it!” -Susan B. 
If you are still on the fence about taking an AOE class, I urge you to give it a try and see for yourself. With a 99% satisfaction rate, there are lots of people that agree you’ll have an amazing experience!

Although July is well under way, August enrollment is still open, and you can take any of our 16 classes next month.

What are some professional opportunities you are currently “on the fence” about?

Let us know your class questions by emailing


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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