“Always remember what a privilege it is to teach Art to the youth of America. We get to teach to a mindset that is often underutilized in other subject areas, spark imagination, elicit thought, teach how to problem-solve, nurture creativity and make beauty. These are largely exclusive to Visual Art teachers. And it is awesome. Ours are often not the majority and often not the popular, but we get to be the beacon for those who can slip through the rest of the school’s fingers. A strong Art department can be that haven for those who might sit alone in other schools, but in our school and perhaps your school, Art students find each other and become a unit of strength and admiration because of their individuality, diversity, and creative abilities. It’s our job to provide and cultivate that. It is such an important responsibility, to seek out our creative-types and provide equity to all kinds of students.”
“Over the last year, I have found myself seeking lots of advice from fellow artist teachers, so I would tell others to not be afraid to recognize when you need help and to seek guidance. Find balance whenever possible. Teaching and being a working artist are two demanding jobs, which has made it easy for me to use this as an excuse to ignore other important components of my life. Focus and dedication are key factors in success, but finding balance and allowing yourself time to rest and reflect is essential to maintain sustainability and happiness within your career.”
- Christina Keith
"Practice what you preach. It’s easier said than done. Teachers have to develop an air of authority and leadership to be good teachers, but we can get a little carried away with our own ego. When I really stop and evaluate myself, I see many more similarities to my students than I would like to admit. It’s good though because it helps me have humility, compassion, and patience."
-Michelle Montrose Larsen
"When you are in the classroom, you are obviously a teacher first. Do whatever you can to help your students succeed. You will find that teaching art will affect your own work in a positive way. Come up with a plan that works for you and expect challenges along the way. Teachers often have other responsibilities. I was a track and cross country coach for a while. During the competitive season, creating art was pushed back into the evenings instead of right after school. Sometimes I didn't get to paint at all, and I had to tell myself that it's okay."
“Keep pushing, keep doing it. Make the time, start small, you never know where it will lead to. Perfect example is 3D printing for me. Learning about it and getting into it literally changed my life and opened up avenues and opportunities I never knew possible. Also, live in both worlds. Go to NAEA and your local art education association conventions, connect. Network. Throw yourself into it. It is super hard, but it can be done.”