Thursday, September 29, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 20

Y'all have heard me chat before about the importance of pursing your creative passion in order to be the best art teacherin' type you can be. But you might be wondering, how? How do I find the time to do that?! Allow me to introduce you to the Power of NO. 
I was born and raised in the mid-seventies in the Midwest. I was raised to be to do what I was told even if I didn't wanna (the power of the paddle, y'all) and to be agreeable even if I didn't agree (I'm a self-diagnosed passive-agressive). When someone asks something of me, it's my nature to just say Yes! when I'm screaming NOOOOO on the inside. 

As art teachers, we are asked for our time, our talents and our resources. This should be considered sacred and only doled out in tiny amounts, if at all. I'm not saying don't be a team player (although, truth be told, I've NEVER been considered one of those!), if it benefits the education of your students and is fair for all sides of the teacherin' table, I say go for it. However, when scales are disproportionately weighted to the disservice of you, your students and your supplies, you gotta draw the line. And, as we 80's kids learned: Just Say No. Nancy Reagan taught us well. 
This past weekend, I really needed to just say no and focus on some creative YES. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know my weekend was spent crafting up a storm. From making these Celluclay Halloween heads (DIY to come, kids!) to finally getting back into my sewing room with some fun IKEA fabric...
It seriously felt like I was putting gas in an empty tank. 

So, how do you get yourself into that NO mindset? My husband put it so stinkin' well: imagine how long it would take you to do said task. Now think about how long it will take you to say no. The amount of time it would take to say no outweighs that time zapped from you day. Just say NO if you want to and forget about it. 

I also love advice about responding to requests either in person or via email: Thank you for your kind offer and for thinking of me. I am going to politely pass. 

And there you have it! More time for you, your students and their resources. Power to you and your No-ness!
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  1. How do you handle it when teachers ask to borrow supplies? I don't mind lending a little sometimes, but teachers seem to think us art teachers are bottomless pits. I lost half a quart of paint and half a pack of color diffuse leaves. I need to learn to say no and still be generous somehow. Any advice?

  2. I'm sorry, I don't have the budget to give you x,y,z. But, if you need to borrow scissors, or rulers, or etc that is not consumable...
    That's what I say.

  3. Thanks. I think this will be my script for now on!

  4. I'm asked over and over to do the window display at the entrance of my school, because I'm the one person on staff that's so "creative and talented", after all, I'm the art teacher. It takes a huge amout of my lunch and after school time to put it together every month and yes, I can get my students involved, but it still takes A LOT of my time and effort, which in the end, does not necessarily have an impact on my student's learning or make a difference in their lives...or does it? My inerself screams NOOOOO as well, but I keep saying yes... Opinions, or thoughts?

  5. Anonymous10/01/2016

    PREACH! I started out as a "yes" girl but as I get older I've gotten more and more comfortable with telling people NO! I loathe the poster contest, could you just do this right quick, and when others assume that I am a holiday decorator! On the flip side, my husband like yours, never has a problem saying no. He put it to me this way, no gives you time to think. Yes, commits you!-M3

  6. Wow. That's Celluclay??? It looks like concrete! They turned out wonderfully.

  7. Sherry Warren10/02/2016

    Love the art t-shirt! Where can I get one? I am an art teacher as well.

  8. I say no unless it directly benefits my kids learning or it is forced upon me by my superiors haha.

  9. I have been the "oh so awesomely creative, hallway,front entrance, lobby designer go-to"(so deserve these acolades and title) as a para("Para with an art cert" my other title) for years now. It has served 2 purposes. One good for me and the other good for reigning art teacher. He hates doing them and I need a job. So for me it has worked in my favor, as my famous displays and generousity got me highly recommended for a position(which I unfortunately didnt get but it certainly put me on the map with admins for the next). I have resigned as a para this year to sub teach in the district(so advised by same said admins)and still have the forum(as I said he hates it)to showcase myself in the district. They so know me and my displays, like I'm a freak'n Macy's window. This year I solved the annoying monthly displays with more permanant/year round school theme/motto displays. They are killer and I'm good for a long while now. Can't wait to get that art teacher position so I can say NO like y'all.


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