Rules to Live By — Both In and Out of the Art Room

I don’t have a lot of spe­cial rules for my stu­dents to remem­ber dur­ing Art time.… their class­room teach­ers do a great job of “lay­ing down the law” for expected behav­ior no mat­ter where they are on cam­pus.  But I do have three spe­cial “Art Rules” that I teach them on day one, and remind them of through­out the year as needed.  These rules are unique in that they all involve things that you say.… and they’re good rules to live by out­side the Art room, too!  I always state my rules in the ‘pos­i­tive’ and also post them at the front of the room for those visual learners!
  • Rule #1 - “Say only things that are kind and encour­ag­ing about another person’s art­work.” (This includes any famous artists we may be learn­ing about — yes, even Picasso!)
  • Rule #2 - “Say only things that are kind and encour­ag­ing about YOUR OWN art­work.” (Neg­a­tive self-talk is not healthy for you or those around you… it can actu­ally dis­cour­age stu­dents sit­ting near you who may be admir­ing what you’ve just done!)
  • Rule #3 - “Say ‘I’ll try’ instead of ‘I can’t’.”

Here’s a cute story involv­ing our Art Rules that hap­pened last year.… I had just fin­ished going over the rules for Art time with my sec­ond graders.  As the stu­dents started in on their project, one of them (who is often eas­ily dis­cour­aged) blurted out, “This is impos­si­ble!!!” The room fell instantly silent and he quickly added, “.…but I’ll try!” Then the whole class cheered. It was one of those great “teacher moments”!!

4 Responses to Rules to Live By — Both In and Out of the Art Room

  1. Mrs. Skojec August 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Great story! I love teacher moments!
    Hope you have a LOT of them this year!


  2. Zina :: Let's Lasso the Moon August 30, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    I can’t” is a phrase I hear too often in our house. I am going to have to keep tip #3 in mind in general!

    What a won­der­ful story!

  3. Kate August 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    That’s a great story! When my stu­dents say ‘this is hard!’ my response is ‘Yes, and isn’t that GREAT?! If life was easy, it would be BORING!’

  4. Tahlia Newland September 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Nice rules. It’s so impor­tant to have that pos­i­tive atti­tude if cre­ativ­ity is to flour­ish — and life.

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