1. Did you have to go to school to become an art teacher?
No, they just let anyone with a high school diploma and a knack for crafting and finger painting become an art teacher.
Of course I had to go to school to become an art teacher. I am a teacher, and just like every other teacher you know, I have a degree from a real, actual college, and I am certified. In two states! In fact, I might even be more highly educated than some other teachers, and “professionals,” you know. I have a Masters Degree (and a mountain of debt to show for it). I wrote a thesis and everything.
2. Do you have to do what real teachers do?
No, we imaginary teachers do not have to do the same things as the real teachers. We are pretend teachers, we only have to do pretend things.
3. So, what do you do, finger paint all day? It must be so much fun.
Yes, it is! I have an advanced degree in finger painting, so I finger paint all day. You know, after I am done teaching standard-based lessons, assessing my students, differentiating instruction, analyzing data, grading artwork, wiping noses, fixing broken zippers, attending faculty meetings, attending professional development sessions on literacy, fulfilling my bus duty, meeting with counselors, acting as a counselor, meeting with classroom teachers, attending CLT meetings, attending PLC meetings, attending IEP meetings, writing SMARTR goals, re-writing SMARTR goals because the administration doesn’t understand, explaining to administration what I do, learning the new buzz-words and acronyms, hanging student artwork, sending student artwork to various art shows, submitting student art work to different publications, covering a 6th grade class because the sub never showed, covering a 5th grade class because the teacher never showed, cutting paper, mixing paint, putting band-aids on boo-boos, developing behavior plans, implementing behavior plans, emailing parents, meeting with parents, washing paint brushes, loading the kiln, repairing broken artwork, attending PTA meetings, holding lunch bunches, guiding troubled students, cutting up clay, mixing glazes, writing lesson plans, creating assessments, creating planning sheets, creating student self-reflections, photocopying, justifying that my job is important and that what I do matters, finding new ways to challenge students, finding new ways to engage students, finding new ways to teach age-old materials while integrating technology, and of course, providing classroom teachers with an hour of planning time.
But mostly, we just finger paint all day.
4. Can I borrow some paint/yarn/googly eyes?
Sorry, I am all out.
5. Is it hard to grade art? or How do you get a B in art?
Yes, yes it is, and by not meeting all of the project requirements. Project requirements? Yes, are has requirements, and your child is expected to meet them. No, I am not necessarily thrilled with it either, but it is what it is.
6. Can you make this poster for me?
7. Can you make this holiday craft I got from Pinterest with my students today?
Sure! Can you teach this standards-based art lesson I planned and prepped for today? Seriously though, I do not mind timing some of my lessons to fall during the gift giving season. Just ask my Kindergarten and First grade teachers. However, you need to come to me at least a month ahead of time, and you need to let me plan an project that fits into the curriculum I am required to teach. After all, this ain’t no Santa’s workshop, and I will not be making that craft you found “on Pinterest.”
8. I see you have a free hour in your schedule on Tuesday. Can you go support this third grade teacher in math?
You mean the only hour block of “free” time I have during the entire week? That one measly 60 minute block? That one? No. I need that time to… oh, you were only asking as a courtesy? I see, well, then, yes! I would love to go support the third grade teacher trained in math teach math for an entire hour. No problem.
9. We scheduled a field trip/assembly/picture day/fundraiser during specials so the students wouldn’t miss any instructional time. You understand, right?
Yes. I understand. I understand completely. I understand more than you will ever possibly know.
10. Is this washable?
Yes. Wait, no. Maybe? What is it? Oh, yeah, no.