Skip to main content

Forums » Smalltalk » AMA: Former art teacher

First of all, if you clicked on this thread, thank you for your interest! For a time, I worked as an art teacher for an elementary school. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had, and I miss it terribly. I was an art teacher for one year until the district cut the arts out in nearly all the schools due to budgeting issues, which devastated me and my students. Feel free to ask me anything, but understand that I will use discretion when talking about my students. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day today!
How do curriculums work for art classes? Especially for young kids. Are there specific 'goals' that are supposed to be taught/worked on, and how did grading work?
Avelithe Topic Starter

The curriculum depended on the grade level... I had Pre-k 4 through 5th grade classes every day, so work was planned for each week. I would have higher grade levels do a project for one week, but my younger kids would do simpler every day crafts. Older students would learn about historical art and utilize what they’ve learned by recreating their own (for example, Vincent can Gogh’s Starry Night, or Picasso’s surreal art). Projects mostly depended on the month, due to holidays. Holidays were the most fun to plan a project around!

How I became an art teacher was a bit unorthodox, so I didn’t do grading. There were only participation grades, and their teachers marked it in their report cards. At least I was given freedom to make my own curriculum!
(Learning about actual artists is way more interesting than I remember any of my art classes being.)

Follow-up question: What was the unorthodox way you became an art teacher? Can you say?
Avelithe Topic Starter

It’s totally alright, I definitely don’t mind answering this question!

It was the beginning of the school year, and I was assigned to train with my fellow tutors. The reading coach asked us to do a little roleplay where we are the students, and our task was to draw how we felt about the story that was just read. Being the smart-alec that I am, I drew a realistic rabbit shaded and detailed that apparently impressed the reading coach, but was also poked fun at for drawing like an adult and not an elementary student! I had no idea that the reading coach went to my principal and told her that she found her an art teacher, so the next day is when I found out I was taking over art class since the art teacher was moved to another grade level. (Funny story about that, I had no idea an email was sent to me that evening letting me know they moved me, so when I walked into the school, everyone knew about it before I did. Everyone congratulated me, but I didn’t know what I was being congratulated for until another teacher told me in the lounge. It was a whirlwind after that; I was basically thrown to the wolves with little to no classroom experience.

I had major concerns, considering that I was not a certified teacher, and I was still getting paid as an aid. I did ask my principal about it, and she told me not to worry (😬). Regardless, I was still considered the school’s art teacher, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. They would have kept me on board, except they found out later in the year that district was cutting art. I didn’t find out until the following new school year. So basically the first day of school.

You are on: Forums » Smalltalk » AMA: Former art teacher

Moderators: Keke, Libertine, Cass, Sanne, Heimdall, Ben, Darth_Angelus