2 Incredible Ways to Revive Your Passion for Art Education This Spring

gardner museum

Springtime has arrived! You may have your windows open to enjoy the fresh air, warmer weather, and extra sunlight during studio time. On the other hand, your students may be antsy! The last place they want to be right now is sitting in a classroom. You may be wracking your brain with ways to keep them (and you!) engaged in the art room. 

If things are feeling stale or stuck, there are two ways to get excited and passionate about teaching art again! Let’s take a closer look. 

laptop with degree landing page

1. See great art in person!

There’s nothing like taking a personal day to engage the senses with inspiring art and good food. Slowing down to do something you love amidst the hustle and bustle of the art room is invigorating! It can be easy to make excuses around not having the time but we’re here to show you that you DO have the time.

Here’s how to build in art days to your calendar:

  1. Take your leave.
    All teachers get leave—so use it! Take one day per quarter to do something fun to fill your art and creativity bucket. Select your days ahead of time and request them in advance. A great time to take off is at the beginning of the quarter before things get busy. 
  2. Invite an art teacher friend.
    Share the dates you requested leave with a local art teacher friend. Invite them to join you! If you need it, you can still have plenty of alone time by splitting up to view art. Come together to debrief, chat, brainstorm lesson ideas, and carpool. 
  3. Select an inspiring spot to visit.
    There are so many neat places to visit without having to go far! Visit an art museum, local gallery, little shops with fun displays, a sculpture garden, or a conservatory. Switching up your space and surroundings for a few hours can improve your mood and increase creativity. 
  4. Stop at a trendy spot to eat.
    We all need to eat, so why not make it part of the experience? Pick somewhere with good vibes, ambiance, and delicious food to continue to fuel all of your senses. 
  5. Reflect on and record your day.
    Make the experience last longer. Remember what you saw, thought, and learned by collecting, sketching, journaling, and photographing. There are so many ways to keep a travel log so find a way that piques your interest.

gardner museum

2. Enroll in a Master’s degree program.

Art teachers thrive with a growth mindset! Whether it’s personal artwork or lesson planning, we are experts at reflecting on and refining our craft. One way to do both of these on a deep and meaningful level is to enroll in a Master’s degree program. Earning your degree can also help you maintain your certification, improve your professional practice, open doors for leadership and advocacy roles, move up the payscale, network with like-minded art teachers, and keep you informed of current art education trends. Starting the process of higher education can be daunting so we broke down the options here at AOEU for you.

graduate student with diploma

Check your state and district requirements.

All states and districts have varying requirements for what graduate courses and degrees will count toward your certification and/or pay step increase. Some districts will even contribute a certain amount toward continuing education, so it’s worth doing a little digging! Remember, earning a degree does not equate with licensure. Take time to do your due diligence to ensure you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision before applying and enrolling.

Learn more about your state requirements!

Understand the two master’s degrees.

AOEU offers two powerful areas of focus depending on your needs and wants. Within the two main degree programs, you can customize your elective courses or specialization to perfectly suit you! 

  1. Master of Arts in Art Education
    This program is designed for working teachers and offers a variety of art education and studio courses to elevate your teaching practice and hone your skills. It’s a great choice to gain practical and relevant tools you can bring into your art room immediately. Create a personally meaningful action research project in the capstone portion.
  2. Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction
    Within this program, you will select from three specialization areas: Arts Integration, Instructional Leadership in Art Education, or Inclusive Practices for Visual Arts. This program is the way to go if you are interested in leadership, curriculum design, becoming an administrator, or creating professional development. If you are driven to be a changemaker in art education—this one is for you!

Download the resource below for more information to help you learn more about both degree choices. If you have further questions, reach out to an admissions counselor.

MEd+MAAE Comparison Chart

Download Now!

Reap the benefits of being a part of the AOEU graduate program family!

We touched upon several general benefits to earning your master’s degree above. However, when you choose AOEU, there are more positives only a university created by art teachers for art teachers can bring.

  • Learn from knowledgeable and caring instructors.
    Because AOEU instructors also teach K-12 art during the day, they practice what they preach. Students consistently say they value the authentic relationships they’ve built with their instructors and attribute much of their success in the program to them!
  • Appreciate flexible assignments.
    The consistent asynchronous cadence of assignments and due dates for classes allows students to plan and have a healthy work-life-school balance. Assignments are created to adapt to your specific teaching needs, making them immediately applicable in the classroom.
  • Improve your writing skills.
    Completing either program will make you a strong writer. This will help you advocate for your art program, write grants, compose lesson plans, and teach advanced research skills and scholarly writing.
  • Do action research.
    Gain real-time, practical feedback from peers and professionals in the art education field. Dive into a niche topic that you’re fascinated with and want to learn more about!
  • Expand career opportunities.
    Whether you’re looking for a new spot in the world of art education or you’re looking for extra side passions, earning a degree can open new doors! Hone skills in a particular medium and be a resident teaching artist. Use leadership courses to be a community arts organizer or museum art educator. 
  • Join an authentic art teacher community.
    Connecting with your classmates enriches the experience. Unlike a physical university where students are from similar situations and locations, AOEU students come from all over the world! Many students walk away with newfound art teacher friends they keep in touch with for years to come.

art teacher with AOEU apron

The last semester can feel like it’s dragging on forever! Get out of the spring slump and reinvigorate your passion for why you teach art. There are exciting things happening in the art world and art education. Plus, there are so many opportunities to learn and be a part of making positive change. See inspiring art in person to engage your senses and creativity. Inquire about higher education to start the rewarding journey of refining and refreshing your skills. Take steps to grow in your personal artmaking and teaching practice and watch it trickle down to your students. When you love what you do, your students will want to love it too! 

Share your favorite way to revive your passion for teaching art.

What is one question you still have about AOEU’s degree programs? 

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.


Lindsey McGinnis

Lindsey McGinnis is AOEU’s Media Content Manager and a former high school art educator. She is passionately equipping art teachers to be successful in their classrooms and firmly believes that art is a safe place for students to explore and process the challenging topics and concepts around them.

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