Everyone makes the same old New Year’s resolutions each year about dieting and weight loss. But if you’re an art teacher, why not skip the same tired, failing clichés and set some inspiring classroom goals that will really motivate you and your students the rest of the school year? What a great way to get rid of the post-holiday blues!
Here are five New Year’s resolutions for art teachers that will create some positive buzz in your classroom, and give a fresh new outlook to the last half of the school year:
Resolution #1.) I will teach my students to waste less – As art teachers (and school custodians) know, the art room’s trashcans are often overflowing. Unfortunately, our students tend to use too many paper towels to dry their hands, leave the water running when washing brushes, crumple up and throw out their paper (rather than just erasing), and behave in other wasteful ways. There’s no better time to teach your art students to waste less and be more aware of conserving and protecting the environment and it’s resources. Read 7 Easy Ways to Make Your Art Class Environmentally Friendly for some tips how.
Resolution #2.) I will begin planning the art show right now, and not wait until the last minute – Every art teacher’s been there. The school year flies by, and before you know it, it’s April, your school art show is in a few weeks, and nothing is prepared. Begin an Art Show file right now, and devote a few minutes each week to scheduling, contacting volunteers, preparing promotional material, making lists, creating labels, writing display signs, selecting artwork and assigning students to certain tasks. Get inspired by reading How to Promote Your School Art Show: 25 Proven Tips.
Resolution #3.) I will retire one old lesson and try teaching a brand new one – Veteran art teachers who have been in the same school for years can easily get stuck in a rut. Lessons, which have been proven successful time and time again, have become old and tired; hallway displays are the same year after year. Determine to retire one of these old lessons; or, if you can, try retiring one from each grade level or unit.
Meanwhile, freshen up your curriculum by preparing an entirely new art lesson (or, again, a new one for each grade level or unit). You’ll be amazed at how good it will feel to try something new (and your students will pick up on your enthusiasm). Interested in multicultural lessons? Try reading about African art lesson ideas, Asian art lesson ideas and Medieval/Renaissance art lesson ideas.
Resolution #4.) I will find a new way to advocate the Art program – Many art teachers are often faced with the possibility of their programs being cut, due to financial cutbacks in the schools. Though many of us like to blissfully ignore this harsh reality, it’s time to be proactive in supporting your program. Take the time to find new ways to advocate Art in your school and community. Look for display opportunities for your students’ artwork in town, invite guest speakers to your school, take your students on field trips, ask for donations from local businesses and see how your students can volunteer in ‘artistic’ ways in your community.
Resolution #5.) I will make the time to create my own artwork – With all the responsibilities today’s art teachers have – paperwork, parents, grading, shows, meetings, lesson plans – not to mention all the responsibilities at home with our own families, it’s easy to see why many teachers list ‘Art’ (ironically) as a low-priority. However, it’s time to practice what you preach, or ‘walk the walk’. Find that time to be an artist/teacher, not just an art teacher. Bring some of your work in to school, and show your students what it means to be an adult artist. Go to museums. Enroll in an art class. Try a new medium you’ve never done before. Enter your work in a juried exhibit. Be active IN the art world.
In the mood to get back in there and face the rest of the school year head on?
Share your experiences with us! Are you an art teacher? Do you have any school-related New Year’s resolutions? Comment below and add to the discussion.