A Day In the Life

Explaining An Art-Based Fundraiser to 6th Graders

Explaining an Art Based Fundraiser to 6th Graders athglitter.com

Fundraisers. Ugh. I have a problem with them, guys, I can not lie. I’m not sure I can exactly explain my problem, maybe because I feel like I’m pimping out my students, but I have reservations nonetheless. Maybe if the money went to the art room instead of computers? I don’t know. What are your thoughts? Do you love or hate art based fundraisers? Maybe you have mixed feelings? Tell me about it in the comments.

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A Day In the Life

Trailer Trash: A Top 10 List. Kind Of.

Okay, so technically, I can’t be considered real “trailer” trash since I work in a modular,* but since a colleague referred to me as trailer trash, let’s go with it.

Top 5 Best Things About Working in a Modular/Trailer

  1. No One Bothers You. It’s wonderful. I think I’ve seen administration twice in our building all year, and the first time was on Back to School Night, so, I don’t know if that counts. Seriously, I never see anyone unless he or she also works in my building or is delivering a class of students to me. This is especially great if you like to hideaway, or need to, ahem, sneak out, uh, early, which I never do, but, uh, probably could if I, uh, wanted to. Or, you know, if you’re running late in the morning, and, uh, aren’t technically on time.
  2. Exercise. All. The. Exercise. I walk a lot. Back to the main building to get supplies, to check my mailbox, to visit the paper storage closet, to check the kiln, to catch-up with my art teacher co-hort, and so on, and so on. I get a lot of exercise. That’s a good thing.
  3. The Power to Control Your Own Climate. Too hot? Turn up the AC. Too cold? Bump up that heat. The ability to control the climate in my classroom is a luxury I welcome every day. Especially after back-to-back classes of 6th graders. I spent years working in stifling hot classrooms, rooms with no ventilation, and rooms with no windows, so I love being able to adjust the thermostat whenever I gosh darn please.
  4. You’re in Your Own Little World. School drama and politics never reach me. I’m ignorant of it all, and ignorance is bliss.
  5. Breathing Time. None of my classes show up on time. Ever. They’re always 2-7 minutes late. Normally, this would be irritating as hell, but when you have three, hour long, classes scheduled back-to-back, it’s good to have some time to breath. Or cut paper. Whatev’.

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A Day In the Life

When Art Teachers Sit on Counters

paint jeans
“I want to tell her.”
“No, I’m gonna tell her.”
“No fair! You got to tell her Sarah was absent.”
“So? I saw it first.”
“Uh-uh, I did.”
“Whoa! Guys, look! The garbage truck is here!”
“That was so cool.”
“Did you see when that bag fell out of the back?”
“Yeah, that was awesome.”

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Dear Students

6 Ways You Can Tell Your Art Teacher Has “Checked Out” for the Year

1. She shows up “late”. Art teachers get to school early. Insanely early. Like, an hour before contract time starts. What’s contract time? Um, think of it as the time you’re just getting out of bed. Yeah, I know, that’s early. When you’re sitting down to breakfast, your art teacher is on her third cup of bad staff room coffee and has already loaded the kiln, emptied the drying rack and prepped your supplies for the day. If you see an art teacher strolling in 20-30 minutes before contract time she’s “late” and has probably already checked out for the year. Whether it’s because she stayed up extra late the night before*, stopped for coffee on the way to school, or slept through her alarm, your art teacher is late. On second thought, this isn’t something you kids will ever notice, but trust me, it happens.

2. She dresses up. Art teachers rarely get the chance to dress up. No, that’s not a sub,** that woman in the art room wearing a black dress and sandals is actually your art teacher. If you are greeted by a well dressed art teacher, you can pretty much guarantee she has checked out. That’s right, you won’t be working with any real art supplies today. Color sheets for the win! On the other hand, if you happen to have one of those art teachers who regularly dresses professionally (it happens), then you can guarantee she’s checked out when she shows up to school, on a Thursday, wearing jeans and one of those free school shirts she shunned all year long.

3. You’re watching a movie during art class. Most teachers want to show movies at the end of the year, because, hello?, checked out, however, many schools don’t allow this. Art teachers are rebels. Art teachers will throw caution to the wind and show you a movie on your last day of art. Listen; if administration insists upon having specials up until the last minute of the last day of school, then you’re watching a movie. How else is your art teacher supposed to get the mandatory end of the year cleaning and packing done? Come in on her own time? Actually, she probably will, but you’re still watching a movie, dammit, so just sit down and enjoy it.***

4. You’re playing an art review game. Here’s a little secret. Review games aren’t a treat for you; they’re a necessary break from cutting paper and washing paint brushes that your art teacher desperately needs. And yes, it’s educational, and you review things you should have learned throughout the year, and blah, blah, blah, but that’s not the point. The point is, your art teacher is tired, her hands are scarred from a year’s worth of paper cuts and kiln burns, and if she just wants to stand in the front of the room tapping the SMARTBoard for an hour while you play Art Jeopardy, then so be it, because she has checked out.

5. She’s giving art supplies away. You know how your art teacher was on your case all year long about not taking supplies from the art room?  Remember how she lectured you about why you couldn’t take the stitchery needles from the art room, instructing you on how you could make your own ghetto versions at home?+ Sharpie makers? Forget about it. Remember how she guarded her pencils like she was Gollum guarding her Precious? Now, all of a sudden, it’s the end of the year and she’s giving those things away. Clearly your art teacher has checked out. Also, she knows she’s getting new supplies next year, so yeah, take those stubby pencils and half dried up Sharpies. Yarn? Sure, take it. A bag full of used crayons? Old glue sticks? Well used Play-Doh? Yes. Take it all.

6. She’s falls asleep during class. Hey, cut her some slack. She was up late last night catching old episodes of Supernatural and Don’t Trust the B*tch in Apt 23 on Netflix. And she slept through her alarm this morning, again. And it’s dark in here, because, movie, duh, and she’s been running around all day trying to pack up her room. So yeah, you’re teacher nodded off during class this afternoon. Big whoop, she’s checked out, and so have you, dear students, so let’s just move on, shall we?

* As if that’s any different than any other night of the year. I’d be curious to hear how many art teachers consider themselves to be night owls. I know I do.

** True story, I had a student mistake me for a sub the other day. Could have been the dress, could have been the new haircut, hard to say.

*** I’ve been showing The Hero of Color City all week. I’ve watched it 8 times, and I have yet to see how it ends. It’s available on YouTube and Netflix.

+ Yarn taped to toothpicks, unfolded paper clips, those little blue flossers you use for braces…