Returning to the art room after a long summer break can be challenging, even under the best of circumstances. Teaching during a global pandemic adds a new layer of complexity and anxiety to the normal “back-to-school” routine.
As art teachers, it’s time to proactively use our creativity to make the most of a less than ideal situation. Here are three inspirational downloads to motivate you and your students during fall and beyond.
1. “Share Your Smile With a Badge” Template
Masks are a preventative health care necessity right now, but they come with many challenges. New students aren’t able to recognize a teacher’s face, and younger artists may find unfamiliar masked adults slightly scary.
During the spring, health care workers across the nation began creating photo badges, to share “the face behind the mask” with patients in the hospital setting. Jonathan Jurvich mentioned this strategy during the NOW Conference, and we have adapted that idea with an art teacher twist!
Use our template and clip art to create your own custom badge. Wear it with flair on your school-issued lanyard, classroom art apron, or shirt. Download the instructions and printables here.
2. “The NEW Ways that Artists Share” Poster
COVID has definitely changed the educational landscape, and it WILL impact the art room procedures our students are accustomed to. It’s easy to focus on the challenges, but this positive poster highlights all the ways we can still interact within our art classes, while gently reminding students how to stay safe.
3. “Artistic Vanity Plates” Student Activity
Many art teachers are moving to “art on a cart” this fall, to help limit the student-to-student COIVD exposure. Losing your studio space can be heartbreaking for teachers and students alike, so look for creative ways to see humor and positivity in this tough situation.
This student-facing worksheet encourages kids to design the funniest or most creative vanity plate for their art teacher’s “new wheels.” It could be used for a school-wide contest, an early finisher activity, or as an easy first-day artmaking prompt (after you review the new expectations for art in the classroom). Be sure to laminate a few amazing examples and hang them with pride on the back of your cart.
Starting back to school can be hectic and stressful. Use these downloads to promote positive thinking and social-emotional health for you and your students. (Don’t forget to share what you create on AOEU’s social media platforms…we would love to see how you use these free resources!)
What resources have YOU made for your students, to help them cope with the social-emotional impact of the pandemic?
What are you doing for your own mental health as you return to school?
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.