Top 5 Tips for New Art Teachers
Find the ULTIMATE Top 5 Tips for New Art Teachers to help you navigate and focus your new career teaching art to kids. Art Education is an amazing opportunity to share to young minds, but it isn’t without its challenges that comes with the job of teaching. Find the 5 best tips for new art teachers, first year art teachers, or anyone looking to become an art teacher.
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Top 5 Tips for New Art Teachers
I am going to share the best advice for new art teachers and tips for being an art teacher in this art teacher blog post. Teaching art to kids is a dream job but isn’t without its own unique challenges. So here are my best tips, ideas, and advice to anyone new to teaching art.
Be Organized and Get Planning.
Nothing says stress, panic or anxiety like not knowing what you’re going to teach. Or, maybe you’ve done the teaching but you get to report cards and you have no idea what curricular content you met.
Create your scope and sequence at the start of the year (if you want support for doing this with templates, click here to view the Professional Development course that can make that happen) and map out what units you will teach in what order. Print off your curricular content for each grade and as you complete it, check it off. You can even color code it for terms.
But you need to keep track of this and use your curricular content pieces or standards as your targets for learning. This should be top of mind when it comes to planning- not scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram and then making what a popular art teacher created and then trying to figure this out at report card time.
If you’re organized and have developed your year-long plan or scope and sequence and the units in order, you’re not going to wonder what you’re going to teach next or if you’ll meet the full curriculum.
That is the point of the plan- you’re creating your road map so you make sure you see all the attractions on your road trip. This is going to help you move away from some of that stress that has been building, turning into a bigger and bigger snowball as it rolls down the mountain, eventually leading to an avalanche.
And all avalanches eventually crash.
If you are looking for resources to make this planning easier, be sure to check out the Ms Artastic TPT Store. There you will find resources to help you plan all the different things you will need to cover and teach such as:
- Elements of Art
- Principles of Design
- Art Critiques & Reflections
- Artists & Art History
- Art Sub Resources
- Holidays & Seasons
- Themed Art Projects
- Back to School
- End of Year
- …and more!
I recommend that you click here to visit the store and see if anything fits into your upcoming units or in your scope and sequence to help you plan in seconds. My store is something I have been working on for over a decade and it represents my cumulative works designed to help support art education in classrooms.
I work every day to design new resources to help support teachers as teaching strategies and themes evolve and develop. To make sure you have this resource readily available, save the Ms Artastic TPT store to your bookmarks bar so that it is only a quick click away and you won’t have to try searching on TPT to find it (wasting even more of your precious time).
Inspire Kids to Create with Choice-Based Learning.
I think that empowering students with choice in your classroom really will allow them to see themselves in your room and also, it is going to give you a bit of a break. Instead of dictating every step for every project and creating every single art lesson example… You get to sit back and let the kids take ownership of the idea and end result.
This being said, you can certainly still teach technique, skills, or themes, or even explain what mediums they’re going to use, but maybe they create their own design and talk with you about it and then create their own artwork. For example, maybe everyone is making abstract portraits with oil pastel. You can teach about contemporary and historical artists that create portraits and why artists make self-portraits or portraits, and show abstract art and teach that movement, then teach about techniques in oil pastel.
Next, kids will come up with a design to SHOW what they learned. You do 1-1 student conferencing and then they get to work. Summarize the lesson with a critique or gallery walk or student-curated display. Maybe they even help you create the criteria. Now you have super-charged your classroom and made it student centered, choice based, and art fostering the ability to be a Creative and Critical thinker all while meeting a lot of curricular content with one in depth art lesson or unit.
Plan Around Student’s Interests
I strongly suggest that you take the time to find out what your students are interested in. You can walk around and talk with them and find out what each of your grade groups are interested in. Write it down because then you can reference that page anytime “you need an idea for an art lesson”.
Not only are they helping you build a huge idea bank that you can choose from, but when you create lessons around these ideas you are creating art lessons around student interest and are allowing them to see themselves in your classroom. It is becoming student-centered.
I would take the time to get to know your students and survey them to find out their interests. Honestly, this tip is gold and I cannot state its importance enough. If you are wondering how to get kids interested in your art lessons and engage in your classroom, this is a huge place to start. I know there are lots of cute ideas on Pinterest and Tiktok, but are these things just cute for us (the adults) or is it what the kids WANT to make.
Ask them what they’re interested in, sit and talk and get to know them, and record these things they say… You can also inquire about what art mediums they want to explore or try in your classroom and see if you can meet any of their requests. Don’t feel pressured like you HAVE to meet every wish (you’re not a genie), but the act of talking with them and listening builds a relationship with the individual, and if you CAN meet the request, they will be so overjoyed.
Once you have a bunch of ideas written down from all your classes, compile them into a document for each grade group (or each grade if you like that better). You can use that as your brainstorm for finding ideas for art lessons! Not only are they helping you with finding ideas for lesson planning, but then you are planning your lessons around THEIR interests and making it student centered. In this way you are making your classroom a place where they can see themselves and you are fostering community.
Get the FREE Art Teacher Focus Guide
Grab my FREE Art Teacher Focus Guide. This free resource is absolutely perfect for new art teachers and it will give you somewhere to start in terms of finding areas to focus on for self-improvement and development as you dive in on your teaching journey. It is a quick and easy guide to give you 7 areas of focus to give you a sense of where to start as a first year art teacher. It is full of good advice and tips and is of no cost to you so I would grab it for sure.
Create & Foster Relationships and Classroom Community.
It is important to take the time to build relationships with your students, no matter how many there are and no matter what they come with to your room, and no matter how much unexpected behavior. The foundations of classroom management are around how well you have fostered community and relationships with your students.
However, before you roll your eyes at me (because I know every admin and district is preaching this), this does not mean it solves the problems like some people make it out to be. What I want to say is that creating and fostering relationships and taking the time to develop classroom community absolutely makes a difference. You can get so much farther with students if you have earned their trust- especially the challenging students.
The way I see it is like locked doors. Locked doors are barriers and if you’re trying to get through the doorway, a locked door is pretty frustrating. Your students are locked doors. Some locked doors are easy to open, but some have like 15 locks, chains, and booby traps just to make sure adults don’t enter (for their own personal reasons, not all kids trust adults or authority. You need to prove to them with your actions, words, and commitment that they can trust you).
When you can’t find a key to a door, it can be stressful, but once you do it is easier. Sometimes you find a key right away. Sometimes your digging through your bag, in the dark, only to then try every key on the world’s largest keyring, hoping you find the key that opens the door.
But once you find the key, everything is a lot easier. It is not perfect and you’ll still get stuck or hit your toe on the door frame, but it is so much easier to get through the door frame when it’s unlocked compared to before. You can get that much farther.
If you don’t take the time to earn trust or build that relationship, sometimes a student is not going to want to learn from you or sit with you to get help. It is a lot easier to support challenging students or students who don’t automatically trust teachers (or adults for their own reasons) if you have a key to the door. Sometimes you have to dig way down in the bag for the key ring and scramble through trying a hundred keys, but once you find it the door opens and the panic and stress passes.
Enroll in Art Teacher Academy if you are looking for more in depth, art teacher training and support and systems to help you move forward in your art teaching career. If you are feeling overwhelmed or have a lot of questions about how to do things better such as classroom management, lesson planning, and creating a solid scope and sequence (where I walk you through it and provide the templates as well!) or organizing or exploring creativity, then Art Teacher Academy might be the perfect fit for you.
Art Teacher Academy is for anyone who is an art teacher, new art teacher, or is becoming an art teacher and wants to achieve confidence, focus, resolve, and art teaching excellence. It’s for anyone who has been facing stress in the job and struggle in the classroom or for new teachers and those who are in training that are feeling lost and alone without guidance for where to start, how to create highly engaging and structured lesson plans, are needing classroom management strategies, systems for organization and time management due to an unforgiving schedule and lack of time for planning and prep, and ideas for energizing and motivating students to participate and create their best work.
If you would like to learn more about this course, click here to get started.
Well, this is the best advice for new art teachers and top 5 tips for new art teachers in this art teacher blog post. Teaching art to kids is a dream job but isn’t without its own unique challenges. In your own journey you will face a lot, but ensuring your organized, planning ahead, and ensuring you’re building relationships in your classroom will help ease a lot of teacher stress.
Want FREE Art Lessons for your Classroom or Homeschool Program?
Find FREE art lessons to help educators and homeschool parents plan the year efficiently with art resources that teach the curriculum and engage students with interesting content and art techniques. You can find all Ms Artastic FREE art lessons in one, easy to access spot and they’re all organized by seasons/times of the school year, and by holidays. Find the resources by clicking here.