Poll any group of students and you’ll probably find that their art teachers are some of their very favorite teachers. We don’t want to generalize, but there are a few characteristics that seem to be inherent in art teachers, and those characteristics seem to be particularly appealing to students. And other teachers. And parents. And, well, pretty much everyone! Wave your paintbrush in the air if you agree that art teachers are:
This one is obvious. Art teachers think outside the box, come up with unique solutions, see things from multiple perspectives, and know there’s more than one way to solve a problem. The art room is an oasis for many students pushing their way through black and white days of right and wrong answers.
From our clothes to our rooms to our cars to our artwork, we prove that there are many ways to be stylish and that it’s okay to own your personal style, whatever that may be.
Our rooms are messy. Heck, we’re probably messy. Sometimes we can’t find the materials we’re looking for and occasionally we forget our lesson plans at home and have to improvise. And that’s okay. Showing our students that adults are real people with flaws is sometimes the most important lesson of all.
In today’s competitive academic environment, it’s more important than ever for students to appreciate that there are many ways to be “smart” and none of those ways is more important than the others. To the art teacher, the math genius, the creative writer, and the gifted sketch artist have equally valuable talents.
Art teachers understand that it takes time to effectively express yourself and are (usually) patient with students who take half the class period to get started or many, many periods to complete their work. There’s no pressure to finish before the bell rings.
In a world where kids are constantly suppressing their true feelings to “play it cool”, art teachers show their students that it’s okay be excited about something, passionate, even.
Art is the opposite of conformity—it’s completely personal and individual. Art teachers don’t always subscribe to the notion of “fitting in” and rather strive to stand out. And we teach our students to do the same.
What do you think your students love most about you? Don’t be shy—let us know in the comments below. Then give yourself a pat on the back. You are truly making a difference, every day.