Your Best Teaching Year Yet

Whether you’re a classroom teacher or an art educator, these tips will help you be a star in the art room.

By: Andrea Mulder-Slater

Do You Believe in Magic?

Every year at this time, classroom teachers, art teachers and homeschoolers all have the same wish. If only there was a way to wave a magic wand to make the art room alive with ideas, supplies and inspiration. The truth is, with a little effort and a few helpful resources, it might just be easier than you think to make this your best teaching year ever. Here’s how to start…

1) Take an Inventory of Your Art Supplies

Art supplies

Decide early on which art supplies you will need to replenish and which ones you will need to stock from scratch. Test your markers to see if they are dried out, check on your modeling materials to ensure they haven’t turned to dust and look at your paint (especially liquid tempera) to make sure there is no mold growing.

Here’s what I think should be in every art cupboard: pencils, paper (white drawing paper, colorful construction paper and textured water media paper, pastels (chalk and oil), crayons, markers (including black Sharpie markers), scissors, glue, paintbrushes, paint (watercolors for sure and if you can swing it, acrylic or poster paints), and modeling material (clay, Plasticine, Model Magic, or homemade play dough).

You can find a complete list, and download my art supply guide by clicking HERE.

2) Test out Techniques Before Introducing Them in the Art Room

Test out art techniques.

There’s nothing worse than a classroom demonstration gone horribly wrong. So, before you introduce your students to a new technique, test it out at home ahead of time to make sure your materials will behave the way you want them to (and hope they will). Similarly, mix any materials (like paper mache paste) before class starts to save precious classroom time.

3) Formulate a Plan

While you may not need to plan out your entire year ahead of time, it’s a good idea to figure out what you will be sharing in the classroom in the short term. Working with the elements of art is a nice place to start. I like to break my months down into weeks. Week one I introduce an artist, week two, I introduce a theme, week three I concentrate on drawing and week four I allow for/encourage free choice. You can also choose to look at which master artists have a birthday in the months to come and find lesson plans inspired by their work.

4) Arm Yourself with Loads of Teaching Inspiration

Scholastic Art Magazines

Scholastic Art brings art history to life in your middle school and high school visual arts education program. With dynamic digital learning features like art history videos, museum tours and artist interviews, Scholastic Art is your complete print & online nonfiction art program. In addition to the full color glossy magazine full of creative ideas, there are a slew of online resources available as well.

5) Relax

Happy art teacher!

You’ve got this. Trust in your abilities and you and your students will create magic together.

Scholastic Art can help.