Monday, January 11, 2016


I get a lot of questions 
about how I keep my art classroom looking so neat and organized.
It's not easy.
And looks can be deceiving  LOL

This year I teach 8 different art classes everyday,
a lighter prep load then my usual 9-12 classes.
But the key is to be super organized,
hard for a right brainer like me.   ha ha
So I'm constantly referring to my Tentative Schedules that I put together over the summer.
These break down each class into Assignments,
Number of Days for each Assignment & 
Date Dues for the entire year.
I check these constantly
 but you will often find me relying on my students 
to remind me of due dates.

I'm also on the move constantly,
multi-tasking like a crazy person;
lecturing or explaining new assignments,
re-explaining constantly,
 checking for understanding,
answering countless questions,
and preping (I like to stay about a week ahead of schedule),
and grading.
Grading is the hardest thing for me to keep up with
 because I can't take the art pieces home to grade.
 I have to get it done around all my other daily tasks.
And when I do sit down,
I'm connecting with artists around the globe getting new ideas 
and buying artwork from them to teach with for my students
The internet has become a powerful art resource for me.

One of my biggest problems 
is that even though I have one of the biggest classrooms in the school,
it seems I never have enough table space to put out work stations,
so I'm always juggling things around.
Like below...
when my Beginning 2-D kids needed to get to several boxes of tissue paper scraps
there wasn't one table space available so I had to put them on top of one of the potter's wheels.

Or below,
when they needed to get to my collage magazines for text for their Self Portrait Collages
they simply decided to sit on the floor.

Often times I send the students outside to work as well,
to sand, and wedge, 
apply oxides,
 and to sculpt with messy ingredients.
Oh yeah, 
and to felt with hot soapy water.

But the best thing I have going for me are my T.A.'s, and Aides.
This year,
 seniors Diego Estantino and Bernice Lin are my T.A.s.
They come everyday ready to work hard and help me prep whatever I need done.
Poor kids, 
I work them like dogs.
But I could never do this job without them.

And I have two Alumni,
Alyssa Olea and Josh Berger,
 who each come twice a week to input grades into the computer,
load and unload kilns, 
mix glazes,
weed and water gardens,
hang & display artwork in the office,
and so, 
so much more.

So I hope this helps some of you newbie art teachers out there who follow my blog
and are asking for advice.

I took me about 5 years to figure this all out,
 and then another 5 years until I was comfortable implementing it.
After about 15 years of teaching I finally felt I knew what I was doing.
And from then on it was pretty smooth sailing  :)

1 comment:

  1. Eight classes a day? How is that possible??? I will never again complain that I had to teach six classes a day (Kindergarten through 5th grade, one class period per grade level) with one 45 minute prep period at the end of the day. Plus, I'm wondering how your students manage to accomplish anything before it's time to put it all away. Truly, I'm in awe of all of you!