Professional Practice

The Art of Ed’s Most Popular Articles of 2016

Middle schoolers pretending to paint on Abby's face

Inspiring. Relatable. Thought-provoking. Fun. From Pinterest controversies to painting with fire, and everything in between, it’s all here–the articles art teachers around the world loved the most. This is your chance to check out the Art of Ed’s most popular articles of 2016!

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10 Weird and Wonderful Art History Stories You Need to Know by Timothy Bogatz

Quiana Explosions
image source

Tim’s overview of some of his favorite art history stories is equal parts terrifying, hilarious, and absolutely fascinating. Between Mark Rothko murder conspiracies, Salvador Dali’s ridiculous antics, and Yves Klein thinking he could fly, there is at least one story here guaranteed to enthrall you.

8 Things Art Teachers Hate More than Glitter by Melissa Purtee

spilled glitter

Whether you love or hate glitter, these eight things can grind the gears of any art teacher! From “borrowing” supplies to the complete disregard of your time, you’ll want to join the conversation and add to Melissa’s list!

When Art Goes in the Trash by Melissa Purtee

art in trash can

Melissa’s take on this controversial topic is quite thought-provoking. It can be heartbreaking to see students toss their work in the trash, or it can be an opportunity for learning! Check it out and see if you alter your stance!

10 Insider Tips for Surviving Middle Schoolers by Abby Schukei

Middle schoolers pretending to paint on Abby's face

Teaching middle school can be rough! If you’re a middle school art teacher you understand moments of challenge, triumph, and weirdness can exist simultaneously.  If you’ve found yourself struggling, these 10 tips from Abby can help!

How Pinterest is Ruining Your Lessons by Melissa Purtee

birch tree lessons

This highly discussed article piqued the interest of advocates on both sides of the Pinterest debate. Whether you love Pinterest or abhor it, Melissa’s article will make you think about how you use Pinterest to design your projects and curriculum.

Let’s Face It: Your Students Aren’t Going to Be Artists by Abby Schukei

paint tubes

We know most of our students probably aren’t going to be artists. But, we also know the arts provide valuable skills for our students. Abby lists seven skills the arts instill, from problem-solving skills to lesser-realized qualities like patience! And, in a world of constant advocacy, these skills help to support art education even more.​

Why You Should Start Your Classes With a Question by Matt Christenson

question of the day

Whether you do bell work, sketchbook assignments, or have your students jump right in, you probably start your art class a similar way each day. In this article, Matt details how to begin each class with a question to get students thinking. It also helps them shift into a problem-solving mindset. You’ll definitely want to check out this simple strategy, and see if it will work for you!

6 Pieces of Advice NOT to Follow Your First Year of Teaching by Anne-Marie Slinkman

calendar with "no smiling" written on it

We’ve all heard the old chestnut, “Don’t smile until after Christmas.” In contrast to the lists we know and love with well-meaning advice, Anne-Marie details advice you shouldn’t listen to. And, more importantly, what you should do instead!

The Art Teacher’s Self-Defense Card by Lindsey Moss


This printable self-defense card is essential for any gathering in which your career as an art educator is demeaned or questioned. No longer stumble over your words or think of a perfect response much too late. Be your own best advocate, and set the record straight.

My Art Room is Not a Hallmark Store by Lee Ten Hoeve


If parents and teachers regularly see what extraordinary things students are creating, they will eventually stop expecting you to do work that is beneath you and your students.” Don’t miss Lee’s tips for communicating your curriculum with families, staff, and administrators. Instead of just saying “no” to crafts, see how she handles those popular crafty holiday projects.

The Most Popular Videos of 2016

Never Get Your Pencils Stolen Again! by Abby Schukei


Tired of having to constantly battle one of the smallest objects in your art room? Check out Abby’s video so your pencils stop disappearing!

How to Craft an Effective Routine for the Beginning of Class by Cassie Stephens


A strong routine for entering the art room can set the tone for the rest of class. Check out Cassie’s ideas to make the beginning of your class go so much more smoothly!

Teach Your Students to Paint with Fire by Luke Nielsen


Want to take a walk on the wild side and grab your high schoolers’ attention? Check out how Luke teaches his secondary students to safely paint with fire!

So, there you have it–the top articles and videos of 2016! We wouldn’t be able to do it without you, our AOE audience and followers! So thank you for being art educators who continuously strive to innovate, learn, and push the boundaries of art education! We are inspired and invigorated by all of you. We are looking forward to 2017 and all the continuing opportunities to provide you with rigorous, relevant, and engaging professional development in every stage of your career!

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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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