What It’s Really Like to Work for The Art of Education University

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When I decided to retire early from the public school arena, I knew in my heart I couldn’t completely leave a profession I loved. So, I decided not to! I knew I wanted to continue to mentor teachers, which led me to apply for a writing position at The Art of Education University. I wrote a few trial articles, had a fun phone interview, and the next thing I knew, I was hired!

While I was excited, I didn’t realize then just how much I would relish in my decision to join this incredible company. Although this is my last article, I look forward to contributing in many ways to all AOEU has to offer. AOEU is a part of my heART!

Here are the top 5 reasons I LOVE working with The Art of Education University.

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1. They care!

The Art of Education University truly cares about art education and art educators. This is reflected in their powerful mission statement: “We grow amazing art teachers by providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning at every stage of their career.”

The Art of Education University is continually creating amazing articles, podcasts, and PRO Learning Packs. AOEU also hosts bi-annual conferences that bring you the best of what the art ed world has to offer. And that’s all on top of their fantastic grad courses and master’s degree program. They want art educators to grow because they care!

2. They hire the best!

The Art of Education University is committed to growing “A” players who work tirelessly to fulfill the mission. I have had the pleasure of being surrounded by incredible, passionate, and brilliant art educators. I have always been involved in the NAEA and my state art education association, but there is something about the AOEU workforce that is magical.

Currently, a team of 50 people from across the nation work in areas like content development, academics, sales, and marketing. We all stay connected via a chat platform called Slack. Even though we are spread out and come from all over the country, we feel like a family! We share the same goal of mentoring art educators to the best of our abilities. We laugh together, we cry together, and once a year we come together at our annual retreat. Most importantly, we are continually learning from one another and applauding each other’s successes!

AOEU Retreat

3. They continue to grow!

As I mentioned, the mission of the AOEU is “to grow amazing art teachers.” As Founder and President, Jessica Balsley states, “We continue to reinvent ourselves with new ways to fulfill the mission and have a greater impact on the art education industry which is why we can’t seem to sit still! It’s such exciting work.”

When Jessica and Derek started AOEU, it was a blog about art education. Today, it’s a full-on accredited university that is offering an affordable, online master’s program. Talk about a vision! But AOEU won’t stop there. They continue to develop new tools and ideas to meet the evolving needs of art teachers everywhere.

4. They’re relevant!

Everything The Art of Education University is producing is fresh. It’s created for art teachers by art teachers. From elementary to high school and everything in between, they have art teachers covered! The goal is to be a constant source for art teachers to find updated and current information about anything that has to do with the field of art education.

AOEU continually seeks out new ideas and faces to write, be on the podcast, participate in the conference, and create PRO Learning Packs. And they are always a strong presence on social media, sharing successful teaching strategies, pushing teachers to think, asking questions, and sharing visuals via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

screenshot of instagram page

5. The Art of Education University never stops!

As I mentioned above, AOEU is a company in constant motion. They continue to share and grow and learn. I believe, as art educators, we should never stop! We must continue to advocate, learn, share, and grow in the field, and AOEU is our greatest ally. They are here for us!

I feel beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to write seventy-five articles for the  online magazine, which gets nearly a million views each month. I continue to speak and present at conferences and to school districts and can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be able to share my articles that are a culmination of twenty-five years in the field. And, I so look forward to contributing to graduate courses and other offerings.

AOEU Award

AOEU took a chance with me, and I am forever grateful they did! I can’t imagine “retiring” any other way than to continue to mentor art educators through this platform.

Thank you to all of our readers! May we all continue to share and learn from one another because #togetherweARTbetter!

Have you ever considered working for the Art of Education University?

What are your thoughts about this incredible company?

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.


Debi West

Debi West is one of AOEU’s adjunct instructors and a former AOEU Writer and NBCT art educator. She loves sharing with others and enthusiastically stands behind her motto, “Together we ART better!”

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