17 Things that Being an ART TEACHER has Taught Me (A list)

I absolutely love teaching children....especially art.  Below is a list of things that this line of work has taught me about people, children and the education system.

1. There are 2 kinds of adults, the ones who think visual art instruction is essential in education and ones who think it's optional. 

2. I have been teaching for 13 years and only as an art teacher are you adored!

3. Children who keep asking if they are doing right do not trust their own instincts and need to be encouraged to answer their own questions. Helping kids to do everything does not help them.

4. Testing and bubbling in bubbles, a, b, c or d do not make creative, innovative citizens.  It simply makes good followers. 

5. In every class the child who draws best is often labeled the "class artist". I can't stand it when teachers verbalize this opinion in front of the whole class. It kills anyone else's chances of succeeding in this field.  All children and human beings are creative in all sorts of ways. Talent is too often tagged onto the ones whose self-esteem has been uplifted to a higher level.  It's our job as teachers to elevate all children to know they too could reach a higher level with hard work, passion and vision. 

6. Paraprofessionals are teachers too....they should be held to the same standards as teachers. 

7. Telling a child that the sky is blue not yellow stunts his independent spirit. 
8. Difficult children do not need to be elsewhere....you need to change the way you talk to them and deal with them in order to bring learning to them. Children learn in different ways and just b/c they do not learn in your teaching style, does not mean they need to be elsewhere. 

9. Feeling successful at something is more important that learning all the facts.....years later you have forgotten the dumb facts anyway, but you will remember that you felt stupid forever. 

10. All cranky, easily frustrated and lazy teachers need to be fired.....they have no business working with kids. 

11. Talk negative to a child and he will remember you and those words deep into adulthood. 

12. Artists get a bad rap....but all those famous people everyone drools over are ARTISTS....

13. Spend more time praising than reprimanding.....sounds better....

14. I play relaxing music in my art classes for the teachers, not the kids....they relax and let me do my thang....

15. If all the work looks the same it's a craft....I call them recipe projects (no brain work there).....if they are all different, kids learned to look within......

16. I teach directly to the sacred inside each child.....their behaviors and little once in a while annoyances are tiny temporary bumps.....not who they truly are.  When you see each child as sacred, they see it and dare not give you grief. If you have them shaking with fear of disapproval, they are too stressed to learn. 

17. Teach with love......respect....and most importantly, patience. And if any of those 3 ever stop..quit. 


  1. Miriam, I enjoyed reading these ideas. If all teachers were like you, approaching to their pupils with respect, patience and - attention! - love... kids would pleasantly go to school.

    How about marks? Are you objective or fair when it comes to estimating kids?

  2. Hi Miriam,

    I love this list - you are so right about so many things. I always wanted to be an art teacher but found life has not (yet) taken me down that path.
    Thanks for finding me and my blog :)

    PS I can still remember some of the more horrible teachers I had as a kid. Right down to specific ugly incidents and conversations! So glad you are a wonderful, positive force with your kids!!!

  3. xoxo, I do not grade kids in art, I am part of a grant to the school.....but I never had any problems with participation....I would only grade on effort if I did have to grade.



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