Sunday, December 11, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 25

Y'all can tell it's the craziest time of the year when I start multi-tasking my blog posts. Allow me to introduce to you the first ever (and hopefully the last) What the Art Teacher Wore/Art Teacherin' 101/All Sorts of Other Stuff blog post! Yay! It's kinda like when your mama has too many small portion leftovers and decides that throwin' them all into a pot, heatin' 'em up and callin' it Goulash is making dinner. Welcome to my Bloggy Goulash. Grab your Tums. 

First order of business I want to share with y'all is that Other Stuff...I'll now be sharing one-minute videos on my Instagram, Monday through Friday! 

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up with this new adventure. To join me during our Facebook Live chat, follow me here. And if you miss a video, all of them will be archived on my YouTube channel

I decided to do this because I remember what it was like my very first year teaching, in a portable (aka a trailer), isolated from the other teachers and definitely out of touch with other art teachers. I had so many questions! Now that I have almost 20 years under my sparkly belt, I thought I'd give back what I have learned (and am still learning!) along the way. If there are ANY questions you have for me, please feel free to leave them in the comments or shoot me an email (my address is to the right of this post). I'd love to hear any feedback about this new adventure, y'all! 

Now, on to this week's Art Teacherin' 101...LETTING GO OF NEGATIVITY.
I know I've been sharing with you recently my feelings of stress and how I'm attempting to address it. This week things really hit the proverbial fan with an art show added to the mix. Don't get me wrong, working with Artome was A DREAM (blog post to come, y'all!). However, I was on the receiving end of some not super polite comments from colleagues and, I gotta say, I really allowed that to darken my day. 
This was compounded with some other things that have happened recently. I discovered an entire conversation about me that was happening in a private art teachers group and let's just say there were some very personal and unpleasant words spoken about me. That really wore me out. Unfortunately, I have the habit of allowing negativity to play on loop in my head. Shoot, the words typed out in this email from many moons ago by a fellow art teacher still ring in my ears: It appears your priorities of late are to make a costume a day and write your blog. That is fantastic and shows what a dynamic artist you are, but it leads me to ask, "Do you have time to be a FSSD Art teacher and honor those obligations?"
So all that to say, we are ALL going through stuff. Everyone's got negativity to deal with. The best we can do is try our hardest to let it go. The black balloon visual works really well for me. Another thing we can do is NOT BE A BLACK BALLOON. Remember what your mama taught you: if you've not got anything nice to say then shut it. 
It's also good to know that you aren't alone. Keep that in mind when things start to wear you down. This time of year, everyone is tired and irritable. Just keep your head in the art teacherin' game and focus on the little artists who make you happy. Speaking of, I love these snowfolks created in one day by my firsties!
A good cry always helps. Mine have been coming in waves, sometimes out of no where. Just go with it. You'll feel so much better, I promise!
Retail therapy always helps me...which is why I hit the thrift store so often, it's guilt free!

Seriously, y'all, happy holidays. Stay positive, let go of that negativity and know that you aren't alone. Love y'all! 
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54 comments:

  1. I like your visual of letting go of the black balloon of criticism and downers. I'm going to add to that not to be the person blowing one up, and "shut it".

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    1. Yaz, just shut it, already. No Negative Nellys wanted around these parts!

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  2. I can't believe anyone would have anything negative to say about you!!! You are WONDERFUL and your blog has been helping me SO MUCH throughout my first couple years as an art teacher! :)

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    1. Sara, thank you so much for saying so! I appreciate you reading and commenting.

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  3. As you've taught your little artists, "You Be You". Everyone's teaching practices and processes look different. I'm grateful you are generous enough with your time to share your experience. Thank you, Cassie. I love and appreciate your voice in art education.

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    1. Jillian, thank you. I agree, we are all different which is what makes us all so fabulous! And how we approach the teaching of art is unique just like us. I appreciate your sweet words :)

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  4. You are innovative, fresh, and fun! Just keep being you! Artists do things their own way and wouldn't be the first time someone (the haters) didn't get it. It's all out of love and passion for art and you are brave to put yourself out there sharing with so many people.

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    1. Thank you :) I'm going to play your words on loop in my mind!

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  5. Haters gonna hate! That means you are being awesome! Keep up the positivity!

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    1. I conquer! I think negativity breeds negativity...so why go there?! C'mon get happy :)

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  6. Mean people suck! Big ❤️ to you Cassie!!! And thank you for all you share to make the world a better place!!!

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    1. Hey buddy! I agree, they sure do! I remember when everyone had that as a bumper sticker a while back...I think we need to bring it back! Happy holidays to you :)

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  7. That is the voice of jealousy and insecurity. You are inspiring to so many teachers (me from small town Canada) and i can only imagine how inspiring you are to your extremely lucky students with all the extras you do. Don't ever change!
    xo

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    1. Thank you! I don't think changing is an option except to grow some thicker skin. Stay warm in Canada and thank you for your sweet and encouraging words :)

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  8. You are WAY above those losers! Put your smile back on!!

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  9. Ugh. This makes me so sad. Chin up, you are awesome and an inspiration to so many people.

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    1. Chin's up! Just gotta keep that smile on :) xo!

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  10. Haters are going to hate! (taylor swift) Shake it off! I adore you and most do. I actually use the word Y'all now. Maybe I read your blog a lot! If you ever find yourself in Tucson, let me know! I would love to take you on a tour of this fun town!

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    1. Oh, I'd love a tour of Tucson :) I don't have much of a Southern accent (says me) but I use y'all all the time...it's just the best thing ever :) I'll remember to Shake It Off!

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    2. I'm another fan of yours in Tucson! I can't believe anyone would say anything negative about a dynamic teacher who inspires her students and other teachers and shares all of her knowledge. This world is crazy! They must be jealous . . . I, any many others, appreciate your enthusiasm and wish I had had a teacher like you when I was in school.

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  11. I started off blogging back in 2008 only blogging my art lessons but as you mentioned above, the negative comments wore me down so I just stopped shAring. I am shocked and annoyed that anyone especially fellow art teachers would say anything hurtful about you. Your sharing and lessons are fantastic!

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    1. I'm so sad you stopped blogging! Boo! If you enjoyed it, you should consider getting back into it. Mine is a labor of love as I don't see any financial benefit from it...I just truly love sharing. Here's to makin' it to the holi-daze!

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  12. THANK YOU. Had a pretty vicious parent e-mail this week about their kiddo getting a 2 on two projects even though their overall grade for the trimester was still a 3. I let it spread and fester and get to me at a pretty deep level and really made me question what I was doing. I needed approval from so many of my art teacherin' friends to make sure I made the right decisions. I should have just put it in a balloon and friggin' let it go!

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    1. I knoooooooow what you mean. I had a parent ordeal at the start of my school year and it really REALLY bothered me for entirely too long. Yes, let that mess go. You are doing the right thing, you are in the right place...who knows what they are going thru. Pop that doggone balloon! Or let it drift away...

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  13. Awe, Cassie, so sorry to hear people are hatin on ya! Happens to my hubby and I alllll the time. We have come to the co conclusion that it usually stems from some sort of jealousy. It's still hard to handle, I agree. Here's to new beginnings and lettin that black balloon go! :-) Thank you again for all you do!

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    1. I'm sorry it's happened to you and the hubs...what is wrong with folks? I really think that when you find your passion it makes others sad as they have yet to find theres? I dunno...I just know I gotta let it go! xo!

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  14. I have almost 40 years under my belt and let me tell you girl. You are the real thing. Your kids are so lucky to have you and will always remember you. You are a bright star in their lives and for some you may be the only bright spot. Connie

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    1. Connie! Thank you so much for saying those sweet words. And congrats to you an your 40 years!! Wowza!!

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  15. Pure jealousy from others who wish they could be half the educator you are. You rock.

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  16. It's so sad to me those internet trolls have nothing better to do than start drama and talk about someone whose inspired so many!!!
    You should have replied to that lady, "if you've got time to send me this, then you must not be fullfilling your duities as a person-being a decent human isn't difficult" but then again.... I'm the reactive type, I'm working on that- because negativity breeds negativity--and while yes I'm a "recovering" reactor...I just have to say this: I'm sure they're ugly anyway- :) my mom always said the ones who talk ugly about you ARE ugly and jealousy transforms into some hate filled ammunition and there ain't nothin' pretty about that!
    With that said:

    This is my 11th year teaching but some how my FIRST year teaching cultural arts, whatever that is...lol !! I originally started following your blog because I live in Louisville, KY (which is just a hop, skip, and jump from NashVegas) I've been following u on ig (@views_from_the_car) and I've got so many amazing ideas from you this year!!!

    I KNOW my students wouldn't have experienced 1/2 of the things we've done without your blogs and posts because you've inspired 80% of my content! I knew nothing about teaching art, and one of the toughest critics in my school said "you're the best art teacher we've had in years" AND that inspiration comes from teachers like you!

    Thank you for sharing your art-life with us! And to those trolls...be careful, u may get eaten by an ogre! Ugh, there goes that reactive mess again....oops, guess we are ALL truly a masterpiece in progress, right!!?! ;) have a great week!!!

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  17. I only just started following your blog, but from my brief time here, you seem to me to be a very fun and innovative art teacher who has so much creativity! I would think that your students are super lucky to have you and i know that i would have loved you as a teacher- art was my favorite subject and i still remember many of my art teachers. Sometimes jealousy is the root of the naysayers. Just keep being you and soar above it all like an Eagle when they are all being negative.

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  18. First of all, this makes me so sad that anyone would say anything ugly about you! You're the perfect art teacher as far as I'm concerned! I strive to be more like you as I'm sure the majority of art teachers do! What's even sadder is that those who are talking so ugly must be so miserable. I always try to think about how I'd feel in their shoes and that makes me so thankful that I'm not. I think about how sad and negative it would be to live in their world and it actually makes me feel sorry for them. Secondly, I'm so glad you posted this on this exact day... last week was one of my worst weeks ever as an art teacher. I too had some nasty colleague comments and I let it totally ruin my week. I just couldn't believe that adults could be so unprofessional and ugly. Makes you kinda lose faith in humankind altogether if that makes any sense?! Anyway, as sorry as I am that you've had to go through a rough place, I was relieved to read that even you have these same struggles! So if someone as great as YOU still has these same issues, then clearly it must be the ugliness of the world and not us, right? Thanks for making my week better before it even started. I love to read your blog. I don't comment a lot because my schedule is insane, but I always read it! I think you're awesome and always so positive. Keep up the amazing job and know that there's a whole other world of people and art teachers that love you! Enjoy your week Cassie!

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  19. Honestly Cassie, I would be willing to bet that you actually intimidate some of your co-workers. I'm always wondering how you appear to fit 36 hours worth of creativity into a 24 hour day. You seem to be a force of nature. That can probably lead some people to feel a little ordinary. Anyone who could ask if you have time to teach is willfully ignoring the evidence. Murals made of student artwork, that fabulous art show and a classroom setting to inspire. And for crying out loud, how many teachers in my school make videos for their subs? Zero. You're rocking what you do kiddo. Don't pay any attention to the nasty people trying to project their own insecurities onto you.

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  20. Your style is fabulous! I always enjoy reading your posts. You are an incredible inspiration! You would be great on a TED talk !!

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  21. Every day I come into work, I start off with a yogurt and a peek at your Instagram/blog. Every. Single. Day. So, thank you for taking all the time you do to make soooo many art teacher get jazzed about their jobs! But I am glad you post things like this so we all know EVEN THE VERY BEST are sometimes treated unwell...am I happy about this, no. But, we are all right there with you. Being a special areas teacher is not an easy job.
    When I was in college, I was dating this guy (ugh) and he used to try to pick fights with me all the time..he would get mad because "You're just like Teflon! Everything slides right off of you!"....I considered it a compliment. I try more and more to be like Teflon-though it isn't always easy.
    Thanks for being the best...don't change for anyone.

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  22. Cassie,
    I will repeat what many above have said- You are the best!!!! You are responsible for this being a terrific year of teaching- and my students notice the change in me as well. I am so thankful for everything you put into your blog, I just wonder if you ever sleep! You are creative, funny, and such an inspiration to me I can't thank you enough.
    Jodi

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  23. How unfortunate that you have had to deal with such a negativity storm! Clearly, some peoples' insecurities get the better of them. Please don't stop being yourself for you, your students and you fellow art teachers! We can't be everything to everyone. Thank you for your constant inspiration, enthusiasm and passion for what you do! As a fellow art teacher, who is now using a Time Timer, made some rockin' self portraits inspired by your Ain't gonna paint no more project with 1st graders this morning and who looks forward to and is humbled by all you do I say thank you!

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  24. Mary Arritt12/12/2016

    4th year art teacher here. I have used your blog as inspiration since my student teacherin' days. My 4th graders are currently working on your faux stained glass tree project and they are IN LOVE with using black glue. Thank you so much for taking your time to blog and be such an awesome person. I know you are the real deal. YOU ROCK!!

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  25. I have to tell you how much I love following your blog! I found it about a year ago. What's crazy is that I'm a music teacher but I've still learned so much from it about just being a good teacher!!! I often feel so isolated being the only music teacher in my building. Reading your blog is truly a highlight of my week! This post was very helpful to me. I just got through a concert. While I didn't receive negative comments, I also didn't receive many comments at all! It takes so much work to put a concert on that I was sort of stewing about this. Thank you so much for sharing what you know for all of us (Including this one music teacher)!

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    1. Wow! I certainly know what that's like: putting sweat and tears in to a program (art show here) and to have it hardly acknowledged. The sad part is...at least compliment the kiddos! I know what it's like to stew as I have a bad habit of that as well. Focus on what matters most: the kids! And forget the rest (or try very hard to :)

      xo!

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  26. Another huge fan of your blog here! I don't know how I would have survived this past year and a half without you! I teach at a small rural school where music and art are taught by the same person: me! Music has always been my area of expertise, so your blog has been so helpful in creating my lessons. I have actually been able to give my students a well-rounded art education thanks to you, plus your videos are so helpful! There have been several concepts and techniques that I just didn't quite understand, but your videos came to the rescue! So, thank you for your awesomeness and your amazing blog!! I will be forever grateful!!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that my blog has helped :) I cannot imagine how you teach both art and music!! That is insane! So glad to be of help :) xo!

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  27. Love your blog! I teach high school art, but have been adapting many of your lessons for my Adaptive Art class, which I am teaching for the first time this year. Great idea with the balloons popping as they float away with those negative comments. A 'visual' I have been using this year is to imagine negative comments going into a box, which I then wrap with ribbon embellished with the words forgiveness, compassion, love, etc. to remind myself to always try to turn a negative into something positive. Just thought I'd share that, as it has really helped me this year!

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    1. I love your visual!! Thank you so much for sharing that, just might have to use that as well :)

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  28. Hey Girl, I am truly sorry to hear life hasn't been rainbows and unicorns lately (as life should be!) I know I've never met you, but feel like I've known you for years!!! This is all thanks to your blog, I have used countless projects you have so generously shared and wanted to say, "THANKS!". You have a huge heart and seem to have a real zest for life. Yes, we can all grow from struggles, but I think you're doing pretty gosh darn awesome!!! Keep on keep in' on Cassie, and thanks again for all your lessons, advice, tips, tricks (the list goes on) that you've shared!!!

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    1. Thank you! I usually think of myself as an upbeat person but we all have our days when we feel down. So it always sucks to get kicked when we are. I appreciate your kind words and you taking the time to say so!!

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  29. Don't let all that mumbo jumbo trip you up. I think that no matter how wonderful someone is (you!) there will always be someone trying to bring her down. These people are just trying to make themselves feel better by stepping on others. Please take all of the positive comments people have been writing to you on this post (and countless others) to heart and turn them up loud to drown all of that other nonsense out. You are such a hard-working, inspirational and generous person who has helped so many of us be better art teachers! Keep on keepin' on - YOU ROCK!

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    1. Thank you!! I'll take your words to heart :) xo!!

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  30. Cassie, you are such an inspiration! Reading your posts has made me a better art teacher! Thank you for giving back and sharing all the great things you are doing!!

    Personally, I refer to those naysayers in my life as "energy vampires". They suck all the energy away from you... best to stay away when possible.

    Keep shining!

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  31. I just recently discovered your blog when I was looking for Dot activities. I immediately forwarded it to some creative teachers who I knew would appreciate it. I teach kindergarten and I would give anything to have you teach my kids art. What a wonderful opportunity your kids have! You seem like an absolutely amazing person and one that would definitely be friends with. The Grinch is alive and prowling around many school staffs at this time of year. Let's hope that the break for Christmas holidays will help .

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  32. Cassie, your experience raises so many memories of my years teaching Freshman Writing (and be glad you don't have to hang out with the big hitters (so to speak) in higher education). So many teachers put their own egos before the needs of the wonderful, individual students who walk through the doors into their classrooms. Educational systems bear much of the blame for the problems, but I have always thought academic life was more difficult for creative people. Many comments above mention jealousy (accurately) but there is also an element of fear in those sad, frozen, mean-spirited critics. They're thinking "Oh no, what if I have to actually think about what I teach and what my students need, and be flexible and compassionate, and--gasp--even loving toward all my fellow creatures?!" I continued teaching until I felt that I didn't want to be complicit in a system/machine that I didn't believe in. But please know that everything you do as an art teacher is valuable, and given that you seem to have some freedom to stick to your principles, continue sharing your joy and creativity with your students as long as you can.

    I must confess that I'm contemplating the end of civilization as we have known it, but I think I'd be very good in a zombie apocalypse (I can identify many edible wild foods, and I can be mean to protect the innocent) and I think you'd be a star! Hang on, sweet girl. Kate in Oregon

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)