Announcer: There’s an old saying in the art room,* and it goes like this: “Glitter is the herpes of the art room.” Tonight, we’ll explore this phenomenon, as we travel beyond the laughter, into the darkness, and behind the name of… Art Teachers Hate Glitter.
Glitter. Every day thousands of young kids fall victim to its sparkle, its allure, its shimmer. But, do art teachers really hate glitter?
Ms. AHTG: Listen, it’s not like I hate the stuff, you know, but, that shit gets everywhere. Even when you try to contain it, there’s no containing it. I mean, once you take it out of the locked cabinet and put it in the hands of a child, you’re done for. You might as well just accept that you’re going to be picking sparkles off of everything you own, everything your friends own, for the next six months. At least.
Narrator: And Ms. ATHG was right.
Art Teacher #1: Yeah, I hate glitter, and you would too if you’d been through what I have. I was feeling rather festive this past Christmas, and in a momentary lack of judgement, I brought out the glitter. I had it out for one day, one day!, and I’ve regretted it ever since. It was everywhere, man, everywhere. Kids were leaving my room with glitter in their hair, on their fingertips, their clothes, even on their shoes. I’ve never seen such carnage before.
The custodians refuse to speak to me anymore. One of them quit, because, I’m told, cleaning my room was affecting his marriage. Rumor has it he was coming home late at night with glitter on his clothes, and his wife was beginning to doubt where he was really spending his time. Look, I never meant to break up anyone’s marriage; I didn’t think anyone would be hurt by it. I just thought it would be fun.
But I learned my lesson. Here it is March, and I’m still finding glitter on my supplies, the floor, you name it. It’s been over two months! Well, I’ll tell you what, I keep that glitter cabinet key frozen in a block of ice in the staff room freezer now, hidden behind the fifth grade teacher’s stash of Lean Cuisines.
Narrator: But is this hatred for glitter felt by all art teachers?
Art Teacher #2: I love glitter. It’s so sparkly and pretty. Any art teacher who says they hate glitter must be a horrible person who hates their job and their life. Good teachers don’t use the word “hate” either. It’s such a strong, negative word. I hate when people are so hateful and negative. Those art teachers shouldn’t be allowed to teach kids. They’re probably miserable old hags. Glitter for life!
Narrator: Uh-huh… For years, art teachers have been the laughing stock of the education world. Never taken seriously, always the brunt of the socially awkward principal’s jokes in faculty meetings.
Ms. ATHG: You know, we art teachers get a lot of crap about our jobs, and others make assumptions about what we do. They think they know, but they don’t know, they don’t really know.
Narrator: Having never stepped into an art room before, most non-art teachers don’t know what art teachers really do.
Math Teacher: I don’t know know what art teachers do. I mean, I can only assume they play with kids all day and make crafts with Popsicle sticks and glitter. Am I right? I’m right, aren’t I?
Narrator: Tired of being misunderstood, of others making vague generalizations about her profession, one art teacher decided to take a stand, and she called herself, Art Teachers Hate Glitter.
Ms. ATHG: I was tired of being misunderstood, of the vague generalizations others were making about my profession. It’s not all about Popsicle sticks, pompoms and glitter. We’re really teaching here. We’re really making a difference in our students’ lives. We’re teaching real life skills, problem solving, creative thinking, self-expression, freedom of expression, problem solving- wait, did I say that one already?
Narrator: Adding to the mounting pressure to validate the job of art teachers, was the education world’s fascination with math and language arts. Art Teachers Hate Glitter vowed to prove to everyone that art teachers were more than just white glue and glitter.
Ms. ATHG: Um, no I didn’t.
Narrator: But the worst was yet to come, when the focus of education shifted to science, technology, engineering and math. Frustrated by the devaluing of her job, her career of choice, all that she had fought so hard to become, Art Teachers Hate Glitter set out to show the world, once and for all, that art teachers are not only necessary, but the most hardworking, and the most important teacher students will ever have the privilege of learning from.
Ms. ATHG: Yeah, um, no I didn’t.
Narrator: Then what are you here for?
Ms. ATHG: I just wanted to write a humor blog about being an art teacher.
Narrator: Oh, is that all? Well, carry on then.
Ms. ATHG: Thank you, I will.
For more about Art Teachers Hate Glitter, check out the About page.
* This quote didn’t originate in an art room or even with an art teacher. It actually originated with comedian Demetri Martin, and the actual joke is, “…glitter is the herpes of the craft supplies.”