Professional Practice

Have You Ever Taken One of These Art Teacher Shortcuts?

Right now, the glue is fresh, the cupboards are (somewhat) organized, your curriculum is outlined, and the floor is virtually scrap-free. Take a photo of your room, because that could all change in a few months.
In due time you may…

  • Open a new glue bottle to avoid dealing with 15 clogged ones.

  • Toss that small amount of gross, rock-hard clay instead of recycling it.

  • Run around frantically 5 minutes before class trying to prep materials.

  • Find those brushes you left to soak overnight in the morning…again.

  • Recycle all the scraps on the floor instead of sorting them into their appropriate warm and cool color scrap bins.

Don’t think twice about taking these shortcuts. Because, even when you do, you’ll still be a fantastic teacher.
Remember, no matter how fast a duck is paddling his feet under the water, it looks smooth and graceful on the surface.

So, it’s ok if you don’t FEEL smooth and graceful. It’s ok if you don’t have everything lined up perfectly. You CAN have an inspiring session with students using the energy and passion you bring to your classes every day.

Sit back and enjoy the fresh start. And know, even if things fall apart, just keep pedaling hard under the water – and you will make it!

What shameless art teacher shortcuts have you taken lately? Tell us about them in the comments below! 


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.

More from Jessica