After several years of teaching art in a variety of settings and schools, I have come to find that there are a standard set of preconceived notions about the type of people who become art teachers. Well, I’m here to rebuke these misconceptions folks!
1. Art Teachers are crazy.
Yes, we may wear bows in our hair or theme our outfits, but this is not totally unsound as we are simply trying to ‘be’ inspiration to our students as a walking talking piece of art. Yes, we have wonderfully whimsical ideas that most can not understand but we are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams darn it! Plus, if it wasn’t for our ‘craziness’ who would hang the decorative lights and pom poms in the staff room that you all enjoy, uh!?
2. Art Teachers are granola munching hippies.
Yes, we do love peace and all forms of expression but that does not mean we passively put flowers in your hair. We load kilns, carry box cutters and own hot glue guns, for Gosh sake! I personally dispatch cockroaches the size of small house cats, know how to taxadermy small mammals and birds for the purpose of art making AND I use enough glue to give the winners of the Kentucky Derby a run for their money! Put that in your hippie pipe and smoke it!
3. Art Teachers are disorganised.
On the contrary! Art Teachers are responsible for large budgets to spend on exhaustible materials. Ordering, storing, organising and managing tens of thousands of dollars of art supplies and equipment is not for the faint of heart. I insist that most art teachers are frugal, resourceful, systematic merry makers who protect and respect their piles and piles of magical materials for art makin’.
4. Art Teachers can draw anything.
Thank you for having such faith in us, but no, this is not true. Yes, we have a lot of practice drawing a variety of random things but asking us to draw a tree, heading for a bulletin board and/or portrait of your pet hamster is like going to the PE teacher and asking them to dribble and dunk for you or a science teacher to explain why the sky is blue. We don’t just pull this stuff off like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. A good rule of thumb is try drawing it yourself and then come to us and ask for guidance, just like we do with the students.
5. Art Teachers have an easy gig.
Imagine if you will…twenty-five plus students all with wet balls of clay and at any moment they could turn on you, cry mutiny, and you literally become the class’s clay project. Imagine…repeating the same thing over, and over and over again to the same students the entire year. Art teacherin’ is tough! It is not for the weak, but for the bold! AND there is the on going battle to prove that our subject i relevant, important and meaningful. We gotta fight, for our right, to paaaaaaper mâché! See what I did there?
You now know the truth. So, go forth and make the art teacher your friend. It is she or he who will help you make your halloween costume awesome!