Sure, there are many great things about being an art teacher – inspiring creativity, helping students express themselves, making a difference in someone’s life, teaching an interesting subject, working hands-on with different materials, and (of course) getting weekends, holidays and summers off. But what are the drawbacks of the education profession; what are an art teacher’s major pet peeves or classroom annoyances?
School art teachers across the country were surveyed on the art teacher’s chatboard on the teachers.net website. Contributors were asked the question: “What is your biggest art-teaching pet peeve?”
“Today, it is classroom teachers raiding my supplies while I am at my other buildings. I have a limited budget and cannot supply paper and paint for the entire district, even though they think the district bought it so it is fair game.” – Sue, Missouri
“1.) 8th grade students with three electives who choose to take art because “They thought they wouldn’t have to do anything.”
2.) Students who never bring a pencil to class.
3.) Artwork with no name on it.
4.) Clogged up glue bottles.
5.) Students that think it is their God-given right to talk non-stop.
6.) Students who say “Now, what do we do?” right after I just finished telling and showing them EXACTLY what to do.
7.) Five minutes to make copies when the copiers are either broken or busy.
8.) Being asked to make a backdrop, decorations or whatever at the last minute for a dance or play.” – Laurie, Texas
“1.) As of this moment, mine is a lack of funding/materials support for the art department/teacher (who can teach Art with a barely-there budget?)!
2.) Kids who steal things from the art room.” – Bec, Ohio
“1.) Students who think erasers are there to stab with a pencil repeatedly and then crumble into a million tiny pieces.
2.) [When students ask] “Should I put my name on it?”
3.) [When students ask] “I’m done! Where should I put it?” Answer: the same place you always put it!
4.) [When students ask] “Where’s the trashcan?” Answer: the same place it’s been for 5 years!
5.) Colleagues who think that because I’m a specialist it’s their job to monitor what I do with my time in order to complain about how easy I have it and how horrible their schedule is and administrators who bend over backwards to accommodate those complaints.” – Connie, North Carolina
“[Middle school] kids who will not stop talking long enough to hear the directions, then ask, “Wait… what are we doing?” right after you’ve explained the project and demonstrated what to do.” – LD, Illinois
“1.) Biggest pet peeve is not being taken seriously by other “professional” teachers, like I went to college to learn to teach “something that doesn’t really matter.”
2.) Also, sitting through in-services that pertain to my area only 1% of the time.” – Hals, Iowa
“Taking away instructional periods and using it for “Fire Safety Day” or “author visits.” I only see the kids every other day for six weeks, so losing a whole class period is frustrating.” – Meghan, Texas
All quotes permitted by survey participants
Teachers.net Fine Art Teacher Chatboard