Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 31

If you've been joining in on my Facebook LIVE chats which I (attempt) to host each Wednesday night at 8pm CST, then you know it's a large crowd of art teachers from all walks of art teacherin' life: we've got high school teachers all the way down to pre-K. Our common bond is our love for creating art with young artists...and the gamut of feelings that come with that: joy, stress, frustration, celebration, etc. I look forward to our chats each Wednesday as it helps me know that I'm not in this alone and that the feelings I experience are shared by many. At the close of our chats, I'll usually ask what we'd like to talk about the following week. One art teacher tentatively threw out the topic of burnout. I think she was apprehensive to admit that she was experiencing this as what you often see here on this blog and on other social media platforms that art teachers use are the celebrations...not the frustrations. But, trust me, we ALL experience burnout. In fact, it was burnout that brought me to blogging!

It was several years ago and I was feeling stuck in a rut. I wasn't excited about the lessons I was teaching and it was reflecting in my art room. Then I would become frustrated when my students weren't excited either. It became a bit of a cycle and I knew I had to do something about it. So I decided to create a blog. I figured that if I had to weekly share a lesson that I was proud of, something that I'd created and whatever wacky outfit I wore, it might inspire me to try a little harder, be more creative and give my approach to art teaching the reboot it needed. 

That's what worked for me. If you are going thru a slump, you need to find out what is gonna work best for you. Maybe it's taking some art classes. Planning a craft night. Taking a mental health day. It's a super short life we live, y'all! We need to be healthy, happy and have the energy to share our joy for art. You gotta do what it takes to make that happen. But know that burnout is just a part of life. I think of life as a cycle. And burnout is just one of those phases that we all go through sooner or later. 

Love to hear what you do when you find yourself in a slump. And I hope to hear from you on Wednesday night over on my official Facebook page. See you then! 

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  1. So true Cassie! Your suggestions are spot on!

  2. Idea for a Wednesday night tslk..
    What tyle of lessons are best for teaching art education...long term project (finished over a course of eeeks) or nee short lessons each week?
    Teaching 8 different ages each day, for 40 mintues, is it beneficial for students to learn more a variety of mediums and techniques, differnt artists, or limit the number of projects per year to have a more in depth learning process or have more experiences to introduce students to somethin they might find enjoyable..
    Yeah..long sentences...i write likeni talk...too much

    1. What tyoe of lessons...cant type either

    2. It's tough to figure that out, I know. Here's what I do: long term projects that students are invested in and proud of that explore a wide variety of media. For example, that tree weaving lesson you can see off to the right as one of my "popular posts" teaches color mixing, landscape painting, back-middle-foreground, perspective, space AND warping and weaving. It takes us a while...but it packs a powerful punch. I do break up long projects with shorter ones...but because I love a mix of media, that's how I teach. I hope that helps :)


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