The end of the year is a good time to reflect on what we’ve learned over the last 12 months. For me, this reads like a “Murphy’s Law* in the Art Room” list! So here’s my
“Top Ten Lessons Learned (and Sometimes Re-learned!) This Year”
*Murphy’s Law: “If something can go wrong, it will!”
1. If you plan painting projects for “Picture Day”, the kids will all show up in their best clothes and at least one will end up with paint where it shouldn’t be.
2. If you don’t try a lesson first yourself, you’re likely to encounter a major problem with it – right in the middle of your demo, in front of a class full of students, and of course, parent volunteers.
3. If you’re not feeling as prepared as usual (i.e. you’re “winging it” a little), that will be the time the principal decides to drop in with prospective parents for an “informal” observation.
4. If you make a mistake in your demo/instructions, and then tell your students to disregard what you just said, at least half of the class will still do it the way you first told them to.
5. If you use a glue stick (instead of “YES Paste“) to mount artwork for a display that you think will only be up for a week, someone will decide it has to stay up longer and you’ll spend the rest of that time re-gluing things as they pop off.
6. If you don’t keep careful records of what you teach to each class, you’ll end up re-teaching the same lesson to the same group of kids later on.
7. If you leave a permanent marker near the front of the room, someone will use it to draw on the whiteboard. (FYI – Drawing over a permanent marker with a whiteboard marker will erase it – yay!!)
8. If there’s going to be a fire drill during Art time, it won’t happen until all supplies have been passed out and students are hard at work on their projects.
9. If you pass out supplies before giving directions, it’s guaranteed your students will only hear about half of what you say.
10. Just because the permanent markers didn’t bleed through the paper on your sample, it doesn’t mean that they won’t bleed through your students’ papers…. all over their desks!
(If this has happened to you, as it did to me a couple of weeks ago, I have the perfect solution here! Happy New Year and happy creating in the year ahead!)
What lessons have you learned this year? Send me your comments…. I’d love to hear!!