Classroom Management

Sink Management 101

This post could have been called:
How to Survive an Art Room with Only 2 Working Sinks


Look Out for the Creepy Face!! (Sorry for the up close and personal under the nose view of me here – I swallow my pride) Hurry and press play to make it go away!!!

Ok, but onto the serious stuff- I really only have one nice sink in my art room. Some of you lucky ones may have more. Some may have none. I want to share a few more tips in addition to the video to help the sink area run more smoothly.

  • A wise art teacher once told me to never, ever let any dirty tool dry before you wash it. This is why I keep a soapy bath in my room at all times.
  • Don’t let kids wash out paintbrushes (very often) because they never get them clean enough. I have trained a few kids to really get into the bristles and scrub, but I’ve found if I don’t do it myself, my brushes don’t last nearly as long.
  • Don’t let kids wash their hands. (Or rarely) This is a hard one but is the key to my survival with 2 sinks and back-to-back classes. I put out damp towels on the tables for kids to wipe their little fingers on, and then use that same towel to wash off the table.
  • If you teach art on a cart, first of all, I am sorry. Second, have you thought of using inexpensive baby wipes to assist with cleanup? Not a perfect solution, but it’s something.

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Share your sink management tricks in the comments section below. I’ve never met an art teacher who has cleanup down to an absolute perfect science, we all have something new to learn! 

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.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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