Be an Art Teacher BOSS… Mindset Strategies – Teaching Strategies for Art Educators
Before we begin we have to understand what it means to be BOSS. Someone who is boss knows what they want, how to get what they want, and implements the process to get it. This is what it means to be BOSS! Essentially, you’re the ultimate to-do list checker, task completer, and productivity person. Being boss is a great mindset to have. Of course, it’s not just mindset. You have to feel it in your heart and you have to do the work to get there. Being boss means that your actively and consciously doing the steps each and every day, every moment, working to make the slight improvements in yourself that are needed to get to your goals and your better version of yourself. I like to say: “Reflect, self-improve, and calibrate perfection.” Of course, this is a LONG journey of success, not a quick trip. This is way of LIVING LIFE.
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Mindsets set you on a Path to Success
This topic is so big that I had to make it a two-parter because honestly, there is so much to say. That is HOW IMPORTANT Being BOSS is. Being an Art Teacher BOSS is a lifestyle change and, if you’re ready, you can implement these changes to change your mindset and change your life. All changes are hard at the beginning, messy in the middle, and easy at the end. My lovely friend, make sure that you have a notebook ready, phone to make notes in, or if you’re listening while you’re driving or running… that’s ok. Just jot down these tips as soon as you can and get ready to implement them too so that you can be an Art Teacher BOSS.
In the first part of this two-part series of Being an Art Teacher BOSS, I’m going to talk about some mindsets that you can implement into your boss journey.
Next, I’ll talk about things that you can do in your teaching practice to fire it up and take it to boss level. They will help you get those things checked off your to-do list and help you be a more productive teacher so that you can leave sooner each day. Because living your life… Is kind of a big deal.
MINDSETS FOR A PATH TO SUCCESS:
In the Artastic Collective, I have a Journey of Success, monthly art teacher challenges that are set up and these provide members with monthly challenges to help them make slight changes or improvements or helps them get the things done that need to be did. Here, I’m going to give ideas for mindsets to help you initiate your OWN Journey of Success. But if you want to join mine, you can always make the decision to join the Artastic Collective, exclusive membership for Art Teachers who want FREEDOM to live their lives. Remember, with the membership, I give you the curriculum and lessons all planned and laid out in an easy-to teach way and provide you with all the lessons you need to engage your kids with. With your subscription you can consider your lesson planning done forever. Membership opens in August and January of every year so visit www.artasticcollective.com to get on the waitlist right now so you know when you can make the best decision of your professional life.
Mindsets are the qualities that you believe in, assumptions you hold, or a person’s world view or philosophy of life. Mindset is the key to success and is something we understand more and more.
Mindsets for a BOSS Art Teacher
GRATITUDE: Gratitude is the shift of our thoughts from thinking about and focusing on the negative or thinking about what we don’t have to being grateful and thankful for what we ALREADY have. We are consciously making the change to, instead of focusing on the negative, deciding to focus on the positive. We are focusing on just being grateful for everything that already exists. And if we’re happy and grateful for what we have, wouldn’t that mean that overall, we are happier too?
GROWTH MINDSET: This is the mindset you need if you want to push the boundaries of possibilities and really let growth… yah… accelerate in your classroom. We all face challenges and obstacles in our lives… we can choose to let them become roadblocks or change our mindset and think of them as opportunities for experimentation where we can invite mistakes in and explore new possibilities. We can think of our brains as a muscle that can be built and grow, instead of viewing ourselves as people born with fixed traits that cannot get better. I love to accept a problem with an “I can” instead of saying… I can’t. Like… “Oh, I can’t draw”. Really? How many adults have you heard say that? But we know this isn’t true… Of course, the more you work at something, the better you can get. I love to use this podcast and my YouTube videos as very clear examples. My early YouTube Videos, Podcast Episodes, and even my early blog posts are not as great as what I can do now. And I’m still new at them! I will, of course, get better with time. I was deathly afraid to do them all because I get so nervous, but I new that fear was the big flag or notification that told me that THIS was the challenge or obstacle I had to face. So I did. And although they’re a lot of hard work, I’m so glad I started these adventures because I’ve learned so much from them and have done so much I never imagined I could do. If you spend all your time saying “I can’t” or limit what you do with your students because you think you can’t, then it’ll be hard to grow both on a personal level and in your professional world. This is such an important mindset to use in your classroom and to have to be an Art Teacher BOSS. Like Nike says… “Just do it!”.
NO RISK, NO REWARD:
So, rewards are awesome. But yah, they probably required taking a risk. And yah, you’re going to fail. Oh well. Let me tell you, I do a lot of stuff that never works out. But if I don’t go trying it, how am I ever going to know if it’s going to be a rewarding experience or one that is a failure… although is it really a failure if you have Growth Mindset? Or would you just say it was an opportunity for growth and learning? Just saying. Doing things that are out of our comfort zone will help push us to new heights. So whether it is in your own studio or in your own art… or maybe leading a Professional-Development workshop, illustrating and writing a kid’s book, being a guest on a podcast (like this one), doing large ceramic sculptures or papier mache works with your students… if we don’t do those things that are out of our comfort zones, we do encounter the risk of becoming rigid and never leaving our comfort zones and never allowing ourselves the opportunity to grow and seek a potential reward or amazing success we couldn’t have fathomed. I mean sure, you could do a large project with your students, maybe they’re large, figurative ceramic sculptures… and maybe some were still wet when the kiln turned on or were too thick or whatever and they cracked or chunks popped off. I mean… yup it sucks. It was a risk. But it happens and I’m sure you could easily reflect on the experience and you probably learned a lot from it for next time.
EMBRACE YOUR MISTAKES:
Yes! Guys. Let’s all make mistakes and fail. IT IS SO EXCITING! I love it. I didn’t always love it. But in the past few years I made the decision to own it. Upon reflecting, I realize that every time I failed, even when I had a huge ceramic sculpture of mine off a wall in a gallery exhibition and smash on the concrete floor which was both devastating and embarrassing… I learned from the experiences. So now, I don’t freak out and worry about making mistakes. I own that opportunity as a moment for growth and experimentation. I deliberately make the decision to experiment and let the mistakes fly through the air like a space saucer around Mt. Rainier. Why? Because every time I fail or make a mistake I immediately find a solution to a problem or learn something new that I didn’t even know was a possibility. Isn’t that just cool? So start making mistakes at work (not dangerous ones or ones that put kids at risk… obviously.) Start pulling out a range of mediums and materials like a Unicorn at Michaels and get to work! Remember, don’t spend a whole bunch of time worrying or fixating on the mistake after it has been made. Accept it. Acknowledge it. Learn from it. Move on.
Follow those wandering thoughts down the rabbit hole. You never know what caterpillar you might find down there! Be curious because it’s the key to seeing beyond what is in front of you. Keep asking those “what if” questions while you’re experimenting in your own studio or while you’re creating videos, writing stories, designing new art lessons for your classroom, curating an art show at your school. Be ever curious because the doors will keep opening for you, presenting with more challenges and obstacles for you to conquer. It’s the Art Teacher BOSS mindset after all!
KEEP YOUR ENERGY HIGH:
Yah, this one is a challenge, especially because being a teacher is exhausting because the to-do list is always a mile long. But if you want to be an Art Teacher BOSS, you have to keep that energy high and vibrating in your classroom to get IT done. So here are my suggestions for keeping your energy high so that YOU can be an Art Teacher BOSS. First, do the hard things on your to-do list first, when your head still has a full fuel gauge for focus. Or full “Focus Power” as I like to call of it. Think of your focus like a battery gauge on your phone. The more power your phone uses and the more tasks it does, the battery goes down until it is out, and the phone is dead. That is like our focus. Think of all the things that happen in your day. Teaching is a lot and requires a lot of energy and answering questions and making decisions. I don’t know about you, but I cannot do hard things after working all day or teaching all day. I’m so drained and when I get home, I still have house stuff to do and then I work on Ms Artastic stuff. By the time it’s the end of the day I am drained, and I don’t have enough juice to get me to focus on hard tasks because I’ve already spent all my “focus power”. So knowing this, do the hard things when you have the most “focus power” or energy. For me, this is 5 am. At the time of this podcast, my typical day looks like me waking up at 4:45 or 5:00am so that I can get the cats fed, coffee on, dressed for work, and I put something to eat in my lunch kit. And then I work on Ms Artastic stuff for an hour and a half before I begin my hour-long drive to my school. This means I can put in a lot of focus on the things that are important to me. When I get to school, I focus on hard tasks for that job, like lesson planning or communication or report cards. As the day goes, I can do the less difficult tasks and it’s okay if I’m a bit tired because those tasks, like photocopying, don’t really require as much focus power.
You can also keep your energy high by eating and doing things that will fuel it. Excersizing and eating healthy foods fuel you longer and keep your mind clear and focused on the goal. You can also consider eliminating the focus drainers… Think of them like apps using power in the background of your phone, draining it slowly. Things like, Instagram or TikTok or TV, although fun, DO take up focus power. If you have a big task that you need to get done, it is best to do the task and save your brain power for it and then use the left over focus power on your favorite apps or other things when you don’t need to worry about conserving it any longer.
So those are my mindset strategies that are SO important to implement in your daily life so that YOU can be an Art Teacher BOSS.
Download Free Art Worksheets for Kids
Click here to download free art worksheets that you can print to allow kids to explore art at home!
Here is your action item: pick a couple of these mindsets that you’re going to implement in your life starting now. Write them out in a journal or on paper and keep it somewhere as a reminder to yourself that you’re going to do this. And keep it somewhere that you will look EVERYDAY. Start implementing these new habits into your world. It takes at least 3 months for a habit to stick so be committed. Now once these habits stick, you can work on adding in more, or at least when you feel ready to.
Now don’t forget to join me in a couple weeks when I talk about the things that you can do in your teaching practice to fire up your art teacher journey and take it to boss level. These will be real and raw strategies that will have you pumped up and ready to tackle anything and will kick start your growth so make sure you follow this podcast and be ready for when the newest episode arrives.
Kathleen… signing out.
Find free Art Lessons on the Ms Artastic YouTube Channel!
Finally, if you need some ideas or need to take a break in your classroom or from recording lessons for online instruction, I have artworks on my YouTube Channel! Find the lovely drawings in my YouTube Channel, Ms Artastic!
Art Lessons by Ms Artastic
Thank you for reading my blog post! I am grateful that you did and I appreciate you having took the time to read to the end. Thank you so much. Please write any questions you have in the comments section of this post.
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Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)
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