Becoming an Art Teacher Boss… Strategies for Success – Teaching Strategies for Art Educators
Today we’re going onto the second part of this two-part series and I’m going to give you those real and raw strategies that will set you on a growth path that will ultimately take you to the Art Teacher BOSS Level. Let’s dive into it!
Before we begin we have to understand what it means to be Art Teacher 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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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 talked about mindsets that you can implement into your boss journey.
Today, I’ll talk about things that you can do in your art 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. Let’s learn strategies for being Art Teacher BOSS!
Alright, let’s talk about things that you can do in your teaching practice to fire it up and take it to boss level.
Being an Art Teacher BOSS
BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER:
Okay, so literally, once you make the transformation from Student Teacher and get hired on as a teacher, your cheerleading squad disappears. When you’re in school to become a teacher, you have all your classmates, professors, and practicum teacher cheering you on, giving you high fives and hugs, crying at your achievements… and then you graduate, get hired as a teacher and then you realize, you’re on your own. Teaching, although we have coworkers who understand us, can be pretty lonely. Although your coworkers can understand the struggles you might be facing, they won’t know what it’s like. We can’t all be hanging out together all day because… we’re all in our own cubicles, educating the future. So you need to be your own cheerleader and find your own ways of high-fiving yourself, giving yourself gold stars hugs. Maybe, after meeting a goal or teaching a super big art unit, or lesson, or maybe you complete your batch of lesson plans, you give yourself a reward like a coffee from your favorite coffee shop or a bite of dark chocolate or you get a new set of colored pens. Whatever it is, own it and be your own cheerleader because your successes need to be celebrated.
PUT THINGS IN YOUR CLASSROOM… FOR YOU:
Yah so, your classroom doesn’t need to have things all over for the kids. You can easily hang up those motivational quotes, those cool posters, hang things from ceilings, or whatever… that make sense for a classroom but… REALLY… are for you. Maybe you have a meditation area with a diffuser and calming pictures or quotes… And sure this can appear to be for the kids, but it can double as a reminder to yourself to stay calm and chill and take deep breaths when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Or maybe you are like me and really need the poster of kittens puking rainbows that I can see from my desk which is on a wall across the room. It gives me a little chuckle when I look at it. Sometimes I need that chuckle.
I started batching when I started running into serious time-constraints trying to both be a full-time teacher and running everything Ms Artastic consistently. Once I started batching for that I realized I could easily do this at school too to make everything streamlined and easier and to speed up the processes. Batching means you’re essentially doing large batches of 1 thing all at once.
So for Ms Artastic I’ll do like 5 YouTube videos at once or 4 blog posts or 4 podcasts or write 6 newsletters. That way it’s done for awhile. It also means you can focus on 1 thing for a long time instead of breaking up your focus on lots of different things.
For example, if you batch your lesson plans, you won’t have to do them for a while instead of every day or every other evening or every weekend.
So what can you batch?
KEEP A TO-DO LIST (visual or digital):
Thinking you’re magically going to remember everything is ridiculous. I can’ t even remember what I needed at the grocery store after I looked in my fridge before I left. Literally asking too much of myself. So if you want to keep on task, organized, and have everything done in a decent time and by the expectations of yourself, your students, the parents, and the administrators, then make a to-do list. So you can easily be a post-it note person and have a post-it for every task stuck to your wall. You can write all upcoming tasks on paper. But now with technology, I’m a fan of the oh-so-many different digital options. Post-It has a app if you want to have post-it notes but not waste the actual things. I like to use Google Keep Notes, Asana, and Airtable as my digital task calendars. They’re all amazing and my top favs for keeping myself on-task for my career and personal life.
WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS:
Yes, write down your goals. Keep them on a goal sheet or put them in a journal. This is essential in this process if you want to monitor your growth. How can you measure growth and see your accomplishments if you don’t make a goal list that you check off as you go?
CHECK IN ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, VIEW PROGRESS:
Since you went ahead and wrote down all your goals, now you need to maintain the checking in of them. You have to look back and remind yourself of what the goals were, then twice or three times a year, need to look at the goals and see your progress. Are you close to achieving it? Have you achieved any? Check them off or give a sticker to the ones that you complete.
At the end of the year, even on New Year’s Day as a routine and something to look foreward to, you can look at the list a final time and view your progress. This way, you stick to your goals and FEEL the accomplishments. Trust me, you’ll LOVE this in a year.
Now… since a year is done, make a new goals list!
You are a big deal and you are amazing. Feel that and own that. As well, you are inspiring kids to be creative thinkers, a skill in which they can take into any career and is essential in the workforce, especially when the entrepreneur field is on the rise. Just remember than next time someone argues about the importance of art education. But again, YOU my lovely friend, are a BIG DEAL. So be confident.
And remember, it is ok to say know. For some reason, this expectation has grown where suddenly art teachers are expected to have to like… use their talents to like paint the windows for Christmas, or be guilted into murals or whatever for no extra pay. “Oh could you paint me this banner”. Now, if you want to do it, go for it! I’m not saying don’t do it. But if you don’t WANT to do it, you don’t have to. It is not part of your job description to be this like, entity that creates things on command because others have fixed mindset and think they can’t. Here is my suggestion: Kindly say “No” with a smile and offer them the suggestion that they use their projector to project whatever it is that they want bigger and trace it. And no, they can’t use the art room paint. Because you barely have enough paint for the kids in your classroom to LEARN. Unless, the school does provide you with extra money for this then, I guess it’s fine.
And remember, there is more where that came from, so dig deep and pull it all out and SHINE.
CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS:
Thinking of trying to achieve a big goal can feel pretty overwhelming and the slow progress to actually getting the goal accomplished is a feeling or sense of forever. But, if you create small goals and complete them, then you should celebrate! Maybe if you were able to batch all your lesson planning and photocopying for the next couple weeks then you get a dark chocolate bar or get to watch a show on Netflix or you fill up the tub with bubbles obviously and play tropical rainforest sounds on a Bluetooth speaker with candles while sipping some wine or whatever. I don’t know. A great way to do this is if you write a list of WINS that you want to achieve in the next couple weeks or week… Once you achieve 5 or 10 or whatever makes sense to you, then you get the reward. Yes, we totally do this for the kids, but do it for you. Honestly, you will be LOVING that reward. It will feel special. And you will get to look at that list that you just finished crossing off and you can leave at the end of the day feeling like you accomplished a lot… which will make you feel less stressed and overwhelmed… especially if you sit in that bubble bath and do some deep breathing with a drink.
CREATE A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT & SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
So, workplaces are full of all kinds of people and this is true for schools do. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people. Listen, hanging around people who are negative and just sit and complain about everything makes you feel the same way. And then suddenly you wonder why you’re feeling so down and angry. No one needs that in their lives, teaching is already stressful. So change your mindset and make the conscious decision to surround yourself with positive people and make your classroom the positive environment. This is a BOSS decision that has to be made. No toxicity please!
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Here is your Action Item
Here is your action item: Pick one of these to do each week. If you need to re-listen to this episode you can, or find the show notes on my blog, msartastic.com. Write down the headers or what you need to do and make it your goal to implement 1 a week. Make it your focus. Write it in your phone. Actively think about each week’s focus until you’ve implemented them all as a new habit. Write a journal daily or weekly and reflect on the transformation and progress. At the end, see what the difference is! You can totally do your reflections on social media like TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter in videos and tag me @msartastic or use the hashtag #msartasticpodcast so I can hear your stories.
I hope you can implement these in your teaching practice to fire up your art teacher journey and take it to boss level. These will allow you to be 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.
Of course, if you really want to be the ULTIMATE Art Teacher BOSS, make sure you join me and the other members of the Artastic Collective, my membership which opens twice a year, once in January and once in August. Find it at www.artasticcollective.com
Kathleen… signing out.
Art Lessons by Ms Artastic
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Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)
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