10 More Things An Elementary Art Teacher Will Never Tell You
Hello, regular classroom teachers! Guess what?
We lie to you about our supplies. I know I told you I gave away my last bag of pipe cleaners to one of your cohorts, but what I meant was, I gave away the last bag of pipe cleaners that I had in my room. We have loads more in the storage closet. I didn’t tell you that though because then you would have wanted me to go get you some. I wasn’t about to walk to the other end of the school to get you one lousy bag of pipe cleaners. Plus, I don’t want you to think I’m your go-to person for craft supplies. Next you’ll be coming to me looking for feathers and glitter. [shudder]
We slept through art history in college. Twice. And that’s not because I failed it the first time, thankyouverymuch, but because art history is such a huge, expansive topic that it took two semesters to “learn” all the “important” works of art. (If you’ve ever taken an art history course, then you understand why I placed quotation marks around those two words.)
We work hard to keep art class legit. That being said…
We find crafts to be appealing. Sometimes.Especially around the holidays and vacations. And at the end of the school year. Basically whenever the kids are getting squirrely and we’ve just cleaned our 800th bucket of dirty brushes and loaded the kiln for the twelfth time this year. I swear, if you tell anyone I told you that, I’ll show you exactly why glue guns should never be used as chapstick applicators. Just because we can see the appeal of the simple crafts, doesn’t mean we give in to it. At least not every time.
Our duty is better than your duty. My once a week, twice a day bus duty is better than your daily recess duty. Five years ago, my once a week morning bus duty was better than your daily lunch duty.
We still don’t know your name.
We don’t know how to grade art. It’s not like there’s an answer key or anything. I hate grading art. It’s so dang hard. It’s not like I can just whip out that fancy, double ended, red/blue pen you regular classroom teachers love to use and start marking up my students’ work. Wouldn’t that be lovely? “Ms. ATHG, how come there’s all these red circles on my painting?” “Well, Jimmy, those are all the places you neglected to show proper illusion of depth. And those big red arrows are all the places you failed to show good craftsmanship. And the big red check marks? Well, those I just added for the sake of variety and visual balance, something you obviously don’t understand, as I indicated through my use of the big red underlines.”
The apologetic smiles and head tilts you give us when you drop off your unruly students don’t ease the pain of the torturous class we’re about to endure for the next hour. You know what would help? LEARNING SOME CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT SKILLS! That way, I wouldn’t have to retrain your students on how to behave in a classroom every single week. It really puts a damper on our art class.
Dropping your students off 5 minutes late does not mean you get to pick them up 5 minutes late. And as that clock continues to tick, and I see you slowly strolling down the hall, slurping your iced latte, and casually conversing with a colleague, you’re dang tootin’ right I’m sending your line of students out to meet you.
Teaching art is fun, and we don’t envy you for your job. I can’t even begin to imagine how much of a burden it is to be responsible for a child’s ability to read, let alone 30, every year. No thank you. I’ll take my job, for better or worse, for thick or thin, over your job any day of the week. Thankyouverymuch.