Are you new to teaching art from a cart? Toting your “art room” from room to room (or school to school!) can be a challenge, but with the help of our 10 tips below, you’ll master the “art of the cart” in short order.
1. Don’t forget to secure a supply closet or cupboard somewhere in the school, to house all of your supplies. You’ll also want to secure a spot to stash your art cart while you take a quick break, eat your lunch, or hit the restroom. A teacher-friend may be willing to let you stash your cart in the back of her room or perhaps the office has a cart parking place for you!
2. Do maintain a current count of your supplies. Read our tips for keeping track of your art supplies inventory.
3. Do sort your cart like you would a classroom, keeping “like” supplies together. For example, keep all of your paint and brushes together, if possible, and your ceramics tools collected in another area. Try to keep a clean, dry area isolated for your lesson plans and handouts. Handle your papers with care by reserving a separate shelf for your watercolor, construction and other art papers.
4. Don’t just toss your supplies onto the cart! Sort them into clear plastic totes, baskets, and cups for easier access.
5. Do decorate your classroom-on-wheels – after all, you’re the art teacher! Display student art on the sides of your cart using butterfly clips and don’t forget a few personal items to provide a bit of sanity and comfort during the day.
6. Do consider the volume of materials needed before selecting a lesson. It’s all got to fit on the cart!
7. Don’t forget to tote along a sample of the project you’ll be creating.
8. Do ask teachers if you can store larger or heavier materials, like clay, in their classrooms, so you don’t have to make room for them on your cart, and for space to dry their students’ work.
9. Do take advantage of each classroom’s white board, document camera, or projector to share artist samples.
10. Do empty your cart after each lesson, returning all supplies to your supply cabinet or cupboard, and noting any changes to your supply inventory.
Teaching from a cart isn’t easy, but with a bit of organization and forethought, it IS possible to share wonderful lessons with your students without an art room. Do you teach from a cart? If so, what tips and tricks can you share with your fellow teachers-on-wheels? Let us know in the comments below.