Classroom Management

Advice for Effective Classroom Management in the Art Room After the Break

art teacher energy

As art educators, we have mixed emotions when we return to school after spring break. On one hand, it’s exciting to start new lessons and see our students again. But on the other hand, we need to get back into the swing of things and reestablish routines and structures. We may discover dried gluesticks, watercolor palettes with missing colors, and an empty pencil cup. Sometimes, we have to create new systems that will work better for our art room. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of spring break emotions, breaks are a great opportunity to refresh and rejuvenate our mental health and our studios! Use the next couple of weeks to restructure routines, foster maturing artworks and students, and enjoy the journey to summer.

Keep reading for advice and tips to revamp your classroom management after a break to finish the year strong!

printmaking mess

Reflect on and evaluate your current systems and routines. 

Take a moment to reflect on your classroom management. Think about what systems worked and what adjustments to implement moving forward. After a break, art supplies are often disorganized, misplaced, or depleted.  Reorganizing and replenishing art supplies will allow students to access what they need for projects. Additionally, remove extra or unwanted art supplies to create more space and proactively prepare you for the end of the school year.


Get started and level up your systems with these downloads:

Check out these resources for art supply systems and organization:

Refresh your physical space. 

While getting a brand new classroom space is a wish, refreshing your existing space can make you feel like you have a whole new room. Breathing new life into your studio does not have to be extensive or complex—it can be as simple as hanging up a pile of artwork that never made it to the gallery wall or swapping out a few anchor charts. Guarantee smiles and joy to returning faces with a new display. Select one or two easy tasks that will make a big impact!

clean sink

Here are resources to help you reset your art space: 

Encourage collaboration and cultivate connection. 

The community and relationships of your classroom are just as important as the systems and routines. Many students lack the daily social interactions they get from school during long weekends or breaks. Encourage students to reconnect with cheesy icebreakers and team-building activities. Incorporate warm-ups for social-emotional check-ins. For more ways to foster laughter and discussion, play games or introduce challenges.

students printmaking

For activities, games, and collaborative opportunities, check out the resources below: 

Keep up your art teacher energy!

Positive and enthusiastic energy has a big impact on the classroom environment. Teacher energy is contagious and can dictate how students feel and experience class. The majority of your students will be eager to see your smiling face! If you greet them at the door with a huge grin and peppy greeting, they’ll be more inclined to do so back. However, remember that some students may be dealing with or processing things we are unaware of. It’s a good reminder that giving the benefit of the doubt and being kind, even if they don’t seem responsive back, can go a long way.

art teacher energy

Check out the resources below to help preserve your art teacher energy:

summer break

There are so many routines and systems in the art room because of all of the artwork, supplies, and tools! Coming back after spring break can feel like even more of a juggling act than usual. Each day tosses in more balls that you need to keep in the air, such as art show prep, art contests, mid-year supply orders, and advanced course portfolio deadlines. It’s okay to let the balls drop, pause, and regroup. Decide what you need to keep on your plate, remove, or adjust. Select a couple of small improvements you can make to your classroom to spruce it up. Revive connections through discussion prompts, games, and challenges. Protect and harness your art teacher energy by exuding smiles and prioritizing a few intentional goals. Before you know it, the end of the school year will be here and you’ll be proud of how you made the most of the last few weeks with your students.

How do you regroup after spring break?

What is a student-favorite activity perfect for post-break? 

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.


Kristina Brown

Kristina Brown, a high school art educator, is a current AOEU Writer. She is passionate about inquiry-based learning, student-centered art education, and creating a welcoming and engaging environment for students.

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