A Day In the Life

How To Survive Back-to-School Professional Development

NOTE: This post was supposed to be published a couple of weeks ago, but evidently I forgot to schedule it, so it’s been sitting around, waiting for it’s moment to shine. I know it’s a little outdated, and probably irrelevant now, but let’s give it its moment, ‘kay?

It’s that time of year again. Back to school! Time to sit through hours of meetings and professional development while reminiscing about the good ole days when you used to sit by the pool, or go camping, or take a trip to the post office at 10:00 AM, on a Tuesday. Ah, those were the days. And to think, it was just a couple of weeks ago. *Sigh*

Fear not! I present to you, my tried and true tips for surviving back-to-school professional development.

Surviving back-to-school professional development www.athglitter.com

If you follow these 10 tried and true tips, I guarantee, you will survive those long, boring, tedious hours of professional development.

Have a great school year! I’m sure everything will go smoothly, and no one will throw you any unexpected bumps on your road to a productive school year.

What kind of painful PD did you have to endure this year?

Are you following Art Teachers Hate Glitter on Facebook yet?






Funny, Ha-Ha

Do You Have What it Takes to Be An Art Teacher?

We’ve all heard it a million times, “I should have been an art teacher.” Everyone seems to think they have what it takes to do what we do, and most of the time, we just laugh it off, right? Well, laugh it off no more. The next time someone claims to be able to do your job, confidently challenge them, “oh really? Are you sure about that?” and then hand them this handy dandy quiz. Now, I’m not saying this is all one needs in order to be an art teacher, but it’s enough of a start to weed out the truly clueless and overconfident wannabes. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes

Art Teachers Hate Glitter: Origins

Art Teachers Hate Glitter debuted in 2010 while I was sifting through hours of art teacher interviews and pages and pages of research notes, trying to make progress on my graduate thesis. Making little headway on the thesis, but succeeding beautifully at procrastinating, I was eager for another source of distraction.

About Art Teachers Hate Glitter

Many art teachers will never see the inside of one of these. Art on a cart: It’s real. #themoreyouknow


The idea of an art teacher “themed” blog was the result of my frustration. I was working part-time as a graduate assistant in the art education department, and I was constantly frustrated with the idealized image of art teaching being fed to the undergrads. The reality of teaching art was missing from their education. Were we really going to throw these bright-eyed, young adults out there without properly preparing them for what it is really like in an art room? Turns out we were, and why not? That is the way it has always been done. This was unacceptable. Enter Art Teachers Hate Glitter. Continue reading

A Day In the Life

In-Service Day: The Newbie vs. The Veteran

“Dear Teachers, Don’t forget, our Winter In-service Day will be January 19th. The morning in-service is scheduled from 8-12…”

8:00a.m., The Newbie: Has been at the in-service site for ten minutes already, has carefully selected her seat, not too close, but close enough for a clear-line of sight of the board and within perfect earshot of the presentation. Quietly watching the the Lead teacher, the only other person in attendance so far, setting up the projector.

8:00a.m., The Veteran: Just leaving her house.

8:20a.m., The Newbie: Mingling with other attendees while noshing on fruit, pastries and burnt coffee from the provided breakfast spread. Introducing herself and inquiring as to where everyone works. Expressing excitement about her first year.

8:20a.m., The Veteran: Starbucks run.

8:30a.m., The Newbie: Notices the Lead teacher attempting to settle everyone. Takes her seat, ready for the presentation to begin.

8:30a.m., The Veteran: Has just arrived. Waves to acquaintances she knows, shouts out a few greetings across the room, settles into the empty seat her newbie co-teacher has saved for her. Continue reading

A Day In the Life

“What is your thesis about?”

Whenever I tell people that I’m finishing up my masters and working on my thesis, it never fails, this question soon follows. I hate this question. In fact, I loathe this question. And I know that my peers do as well.

Why is this such a hard questions for us to answer? Well, for one, we’re still trying to define what our thesis is about. I mean, it can, and does, change every day. If we can’t even explain it to ourselves (and we’re writing it!), how can we explain it to others?

As soon as this question is out there, my mind goes into overdrive as I try to figure out how to best answer this inquiry. I’m considering the persons background. Do they know art? Do they know education? More importantly, do they know art education? How much am I going to have to explain to them before I can tell them what I’m writing about? I’m also taking into account how they’re asking the question. Do they genuinely seem interested, or are they asking just to be polite?

So what is my thesis about? What topic did I choose to dedicate two years of my life to researching? Well, there’s no way to sum it up in a nutshell, but I needed to define exactly what my research was about when I applied for approval from the IRB. Here’s how I put it:

Within art classrooms, the elements and principles of design (the EPDs) have traditionally been taught as foundational to the making of art. The proposed qualitative research project will explore art educators’ attitudes towards the use of the EPDs and foundational art education. It also examines art educators’ attitudes towards updating their approach to teaching foundational art through the use of contemporary art and art making. This qualitative research project explores the differences in attitudes held by pre-service and in-service teachers.

So, there it is. Maybe I should have this blurb printed up on cards so I can just pass them out whenever someone asks me that dreaded question. Anyway, time to get back to the grindstone. Just wanted to a take a moment to vent.