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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Small Scraps

Small Scraps: Things Students Say

With my K-2 classes, I begin the new school year with an introduction/review of how to draw people using basic shapes. I was demonstrating for one of my second grade classes, prompting them to give me body parts to add and the shapes I could use, when we got to the point where all I had left were the arms. “What’s missing?” I asked the class. Hands shot up around the room, but this one eager boy jumped from his seat, and shouted, “shoulder pads!” Continue reading

Small Scraps

Overheard in the Art Room: Small Scraps

I can’t believe they said that…

“My friend just got back from a month in Egypt…”


“We’re supposed to go to Europe this summer…”


“Who’s Adam Sandler?”

“An actor”

“He is? I thought he was a singer. You know, from American Idol.”

From the “Think before you speak” files…

“And do you know what this is called?”

“A loom”

“And how about this?” (pointing to the weft)

“I know it starts with a ‘w’… a womb!”

A Day In the Life

Someone Knocked Up the Art Teacher


Scene 1

SETTING:  The art room of an elementary school. Afternoon. During a 6th grade art class.


Ms. Art Teacher, are you pregnant?

(THE CLASS gasps noticeably and in unison.)


What? What kind of question is that?



Well… it’s just that… well… you… they… they said the only reason someone would get fa… gain… like that… is because you’re pregnant.



Please turn around and get back to work.


I didn’t mean you… I wasn’t saying that… I mean, I don’t think you’re fat… I…



Shut up!



Scene 2

SETTING:  The art room of an elementary school. 20 minutes later.


(with excitement)

See! He thinks you’re pregnant too! So, are you?


As it just so happens, I am pregnant. About 16 weeks. But I wasn’t about to spill the beans to my 6th grade class like that. Better to let them squirm for awhile. I was highly amused by the scene that took place today and couldn’t stop laughing to myself (which was a great relief after the Kindergarten class that had me this close to tears. Literally. I’m very weepy today. Plus, they were the worst behaved they’ve ever been since the start of the school year).
I’ve only told one out of three of my schools the news, mainly because my doctor’s appointments are all falling on days I’m at that one school. I have yet to decide how or when to tell my other two schools, but then I thought it might be fun to see who brings it up first. Looks like my 6th graders beat the adults to it. Which makes me wonder, are 6th graders more observant than adults, or are they just more curious and outspoken? Which also makes me wonder, have they noticed that I’ve been wearing the same pair of jeans for the past month and a half?  

A Day In the Life

Super Art Teacher

We all want to be the perfect art teacher, right? Everyone’s favorite teacher. The one who has cool stories to tell, the one with all sorts of art knowledge, and the one who teaches every student everything they ever wanted to know about art. We want to connect with every student, invoke…

What? A drink? No, you can’t go get a drink. If I send you I’ll have to send everyone. Now please listen, it’s Ms. Art Teacher’s time to talk.

Where was I? Oh right, the perfect art teacher. We dream of being the teacher who instills curiosity in our students’ minds. Encourages them to experiment and explore and investigate. We want our students to…

Can you please sit still? What do you need? Do you think now is an appropriate time to use the bathroom? Probably not, huh? You can go when I ‘m finished talking.

Um, right, so, we want our students to be amazed with our demonstrations, enthralled by the knowledge we’re sharing with them, um… where was I headed with this again? Right, we want to show them all the sneaky “art tricks”, the cool “artists’ techniques”, the…

Where are you going? We’re not even using our pencils today, why do you need to sharpen it? Please return to your seat, put the pencil back in the pencil bin, and pay attention.

So, um… art tricks… techniques… right, provider of all art related knowledge. I, we, want to explain to students all the magical things that happen with clay when it’s fired, the neat chemistry behind glazes, how to slip and score, “pinch” and coil. We want them to be excited, to think that this is the BEST ART DAY EVER, every day. We want them to wake up every Thursday, or Day 3, or Monday, and think, ” I can’t wait to go to school because I have art today and I love art!” We want them… we want…

Yes, we’ll get started soon, but I actually have to talk to you and explain what it is we’re doing before you can start, so, please, for the third time, listen and pay attention or else you’re not going to know what to do.

Yes, so, we want to mold the minds of the artistically inclined, pique their interest in everything artistic and creative. Encourage their free thinking. Let them…

Can you please stop calling out Ms. Art Teacher’s name? Please? If you need my help, just raise your hand, and I’ll be there after I help the 23 other students who need my help because they don’t know what to do because they didn’t pay attention to the directions. Yes, other student tugging on my sweater, I know you know what to do because you paid attention, because you always pay attention. No, while I appreciate your eagerness to help, please just go back to doing your own work.

We want them to be excited, to think that this is the BEST ART DAY… wait, I already said that, didn’t I? Now I lost my train of thought. What I mean is, we want to be the smartest, rockin’est teacher ever. We want our students to leave our class feeling more alive and more informed than they did when they walked in. We want…

Oh, geez! Look at the time. It’s time to go. We’ll just have to finish this up next time, won’t we? No, no, that’s all for today, we’ll continue this next week. No, now is not the time to use the bathroom either.  Just clean up your stuff and be on your way.


Ms. Art Teacher could use a drink.