Showing posts with label best dressed teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label best dressed teacher. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner! The Results are In!

 Well, y'all, the results of the What the Art Teacher(s) Wore//Back to Art Teacherin' Contest are in! Thank you so much to all of you who entered and took the time to vote! Without further ado, I present to you our winners:

First Place with 994 votes, Katie Romanic! Her hand painted zentangle-inspired dress, bow and shoes were adorable. Katie will not only be featured in School Arts Magazine but also receive a free year's subscription. Congrats, Katie! 
Second Place with 934 votes, David Meade! It was a seriously close race between David and Katie. David also created his colorful look by crocheting his beret and making his mustache. He also wears that apron everyday to teach art! David will also be featured in School Arts Magazine. Congrats to you, buddy!
Third Place winner is Cheryl Buchett! Cheryl's hand sewn dress in that super cute art teacher print was definitely a hit! You'll be seeing Cheryl in School Arts Magazine as well! Congrats, friend!
Fourth Place winner is Dorie Mishael! Everyone was just smitten with Dorie's hair, handmade skirt and Kandinsky-inspired rug! Her colorful personality shines through in her clothing and her classroom environment! You'll also find Dorie featured in School Arts soon! Congrats, Dorie!

Thanks again for taking the time to vote! 
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What the Art Teachers Wore//Back to Art Teacherin' Contest!

 Dorie Mishael! Isn't Dorie just the cutest thing?! I totally wanna join her on that fun -n- funky carpet and create some art. Check out that super cute skirt she made AND that rug for her art room that she's both sewing and needle felting. What a fab-o Back-to-Art-Teacherin' ensemble!

Welcome to the What the Art Teacher Wore/Back to Art Teacherin' Contest! These incredible educators got all dressed up to teach the best subject ever, ART! If you would take a moment to vote for your favorites, that would be much appreciated. If you are viewing this from your laptop, the poll is to your right. If you are on your phone, click on "view web version" way at the bottom of the page. These contestants stand a chance to win a free subscription to SchoolArts Magazine as well as an opportunity to see their beautiful faces there! Thanks all y'all who sent me snaps and for those of you taking the time to read about these hard working art teacherin' peeps. 
 Amanda Holloway and her mama! I seriously think that I just about died of cuteness overload when I saw this sweet mama/daughter art teacherin' duo. They made their dresses outta just about the cutest fabric I think I've seen. Both teach elementary art in Jacksonville, Florida to some seriously lucky young artists!
 Jennifer Love Gironda! If you don't read Jennifer's blog, you really should. She's truly inspirational to me because she's creating art ALL THE STINKIN' TIME! Truly! I believe she creates a painting a day all while whipping up super cute crayon necklaces like this one. I need one of these, stat.
Cheryl Burchett! Cheryl is a serious art teacherin' force to be reckoned with. She recently switched to teach at a new school and then raised over $2000 for the art program. And she stitched up this art teacherin' dress which I seriously love. You can follow Cheryl's awesomeness on her blog here
 SuzAnne! SuzAnne wore this super awesome get up on the first day to go over rules. Her school's theme is S.A.I.L. which stands for "students active in learning". To incorporate that theme as well has Monay she created that Capt. Mona you see on the left. What a clever and fun way to welcome her students back!
 Amanda Koonlaba! Amanda is a seriously sweet art teacher in Tupelo, Mississsippi. She welcomed back her students wearing a flower crown inspired by everyone's fave unibrow artist, Frida Kahlo. I'm sure her students were thrilled by her floral headpiece awesomeness!
 Karen Williams! Karen has amazing taste, I mean, check out that super cute palette fabric she used for her dress! Karen has recently started stitching again and is excited to begin creating more art teacherin' outfits (it's additive, Karen!). I love how she accented this dress with different colors at both he waist and the hem. She looks so colorful and cute.
 David Meade! Oh my goodness, this photo just cracks me up! Elementary art teacher David wore this glorious tie-dye number to greet the kids on their first day back to school. David crocheted his beret and wears his tie-dye coat daily to teach art! Imagine how thrilled the kids were to have this fun -n- funkiness open the door for them. I can't decide if the mustache, the beret or those pants are my fave. So much colorful goodness!
Cynthia Gaub! This pop-art themed dress worn by the lovely Cynthia Gaub is so fun! In fact, sewers, you can find this fab-o fabric at! AND, non-sewers, have no fear, this dress can be found at ModCloth. Thank you, Cynthia, you look delish!
 Marcia Beckett! Y'all might recognize Marcia from her awesome art teacherin' blog, Art is Basic. What Marcia doesn't know about this back to art teacherin' t-shirt of hers it that I have the very same one in black from Forever21. If y'all haven't picked up their artist-inspired duds, you might wanna. You could look as cute as Marcia!
 Katie Romantic! Okay, this girl, lemme tell ya, she's killin' it. Katie made this entire zentangle dress using Tulip brand fabric paint. Now, while you digest that, I'll have you know that she also embellished those shoes and that hair bow. Not to mention, this is one of a handful of incredible outfit snaps that Katie sent me! You know I dig her style!
 Lauren Luna! Lauren sent me so many super cute photos that it was hard to chose! Isn't she totes adorbs? I'm lovin' this t-shirt of hers. Y'all have go to check out her art teacherin' blog here and her personal art making blog here! Love her energy!
 Amy Neiwirth! When super cute art teacher Amy Neiwirth sent me her photo (love that dress, gurl!) she failed to mention that she's also an incredible creator of cuteness. You guys have gotta check out her website, you won't believe the adorable jewelry this art teacherin' rock star creates!
Ashley Gonzalez! Doncha just love Ashley's apron? So did her student! She dressed just like her on one of their first days back to school, complete with a Starry Night apron! I love Ashley's hand painted apron, don't y'all?
Natalie Friedl! Can I just go all pun-tastic on y'all? I mean, let's face it, Natalie is looking sharp. Her dress is on point. She's not in the slightest bit sketchy in this super cute ensemble. I love this dress so much I have one myself. That's right, Natalie and I are twinkies! 

 Carrie Mann! Okay, y'all. I think Carrie should when in the special Awesomely Electric Ensemble category. Did you see, her skirt LIGHTS UP! She created it to read to her students The Very Lonely Firefly. You know they'll remember that experience for years to come.
 Jamia Weir! Sometimes, when I see people have a genius idea, I shake my fist at the heavens and say, "Argh! Why didn't I think of that?!" This here TWISTER GAME APRON was one of those times. That's right, Jamia created her back to art teacherin' apron from a vinyl Twister mat! How smart is that, y'all?!

 Joan Wheeler! Joan has caught the needle felting bug! I am so loving her Forever21 dress that she needle felted the palette onto, aren't you? Not only that but she created her jewelry using paint from a watercolor tray. How smart! I love her happy, colorful look.
 Kim Schulster! Kim doesn't know this but I have some serious fabric envy. If you look closely, there are lovely Frida's around the bottom of her dress! She looks absolutely fabulous. She and Amanda need to teach a Frida Kahlo unit together, doncha think?! Adorbs, Kim!
 Nicki Leatherwood! Art teacher Nicki from Austin, Texas chose her fabric based on her students love for Dr. Who. I'm sure they loved her skirt! She stitched it herself from the book Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes, a book I'd love to get my kitten mittens on. It looks like she did a fabulous job!
Teresa Euken! I have been going bananas over Teresa's top every since she sent me this photo. I love that fabric, a JoAnn's score, as well as that blouse pattern. She looks fabulous! I'm sure her students got a kick out of her back to art teacherin' top!
Lisa Hirkaler! Lisa is a high school art teacher who wore this dress back to school to introduce her students to Monet! You know, I bet not too many high school teachers go too wild -n- crazy with their outfits so I'm sure Lisa's students were thrilled to see how she'd coordinated her lesson with her flowery frock. Way to go, Lisa!
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Friday, June 20, 2014

In the Art Room: The Best Dressed Art Teacher!

Hey, kids! That super cute art teacher you see before you (who I think could totally pass as a younger, cuter kid sis of mine), you've actually seen before on this here blog. You might have even voted for her during a lil Best Dressed Art Teacher Contest I hosted I while back. Face not ringing a bell? 

How abouts now? She looks just a pinch different, doncha think? It's amazing what a good eyebrow pluckin' will do.  Meet Natalie Friedl, Best Dressed Art Teacher extraordinaire! I was lucky enough to interview Natalie about her all-around art-teaching-awesomeness and I'm so excited to share her words of wisdom with ya'll today. So, without further jibber-jabber, take it away, Natalie!
Hi, guys! I'm Natalie Friedl and I've been teaching elementary art for 10 years, 9 of these glorious years have been at the wonderful Torrence Creek Elementary school in Huntersville, NC (right outside of Charlotte).  I am originally from NE Ohio where I graduated with an Art Ed. And Studio Arts degree from Kent State University.

I'm also married to the hunky Alan Friedl and we have a beautiful 5 year old princess named Felicity.
Me and the check we gave to Second Harvest Food Bank from our very first Empty Bowls night.
I teach the wonderful world of ART to Kindergarten through 5th grade artists at Torrence Creek Elementary School and have since the doors opened in 2005.  We are a Charlotte Mecklenburg School.  For the last eight years our population has been about 1200 students and this is our first year with half of that.  This year was very busy: in the fall I presented a workshop called "Hooray for Clay" with my partner-in-art, Alicia Waters, at the North Carolina Art Education Conference.  And in the spring, I presented our school's first Empty Bowls success at the NAEA conference along side 5 other wonderful CMS art educators.'s been a whirlwind of fun and art! I wouldn't have it any other way!
One of my favorite pics of a students empty bowl with her artist statement. To find out more about the Empty Bowls project and have your students participate, visit their website. 
  I love being an Art Teacher and have two important pieces of advice to other art educators:

Make like minded friends.
Don't get me wrong non-artsy people are good folks too but artsy-smartsy peeps just get our craziness! The best thing I ever did was to become friends with my BFF Sarah Beirne ( while in art ed classes at Kent State University and then meet Wade Cox at the NAEA convention in New Orleans and help to hire Ms. Alicia Waters (  These 3 amazing art educators are my ART TEACHER BFFs!  They are my support system for great ideas, new lessons, CRAZY talk, venting, NAEA and NCAEA travel buddies but most importantly my friends.

My team is a WONDERFUL support system too! Mrs. Joyce Mutter, our technology teacher and Beth Smiley, our media specialist help me to carry out my ideas into real life success along with being the best co-workers and friends a girl could ask for.
They get my crazy and we all need that.
Get involved.
Become a NAEA member, go to the conferences, become a state art ed association member and travel to their conferences or if you are lucky like me your district has art education professional developments. Shout out to Cheryl Maney - Visual Arts and Dance curriculum specialist!
By joining these organizations and attending their functions you become knowledgeable on what's new and you meet important people!
 Just like I did when I met my new friend, Cassie Stephens!
 Now, about Natalie's Frida Kahlo look...

I love teaching art to the little artists of TCES and this Halloween I decided to take a sick day to enjoy my favorite holiday. Well, I was so happy to find that Frida Kahlo herself had recently become a substitute in our system.  I quickly called her and she agreed to sub for me on Halloween!

I was sad to miss the fun but my students filled me in on her life, stories she told, new Spanish words they learned and completed the class with an oil pastel drawing of her including her pets, colorful tissue paper flowers and glitter galore! Most TCES artists loved her thick Spanish accent too!

To this day the kids mix my name up with Frida by calling me "Frida Friedl" and it cracks me up because I remind them that I was absent that day. So FUN! 
The amazing artwork that resulted in Frida's substituting stint.

Frida Kahlo has always been one of my favorite artists because of the vibrant colors she uses and her Mexican culture. Not to mentions, she was an amazingly creative and strong woman. After I traveled to Mexico several times I was under Frida's spell.  She is a colorful person to look at herself from studying many of her self-portraits.  It was a no-brainer for me to dress up as her.
 I drove to school with a black wig tied up with flowers, a large uni-brow and bright red lipstick. As I entered the school my Spanish began to flow and Frida Kahlo was in full force for the rest of the day.  We learned about Frida's life, studied many of her self-portraits and created a portrait of her with one of her pets using oil pastels, tissue paper flowers and GLITTER.  We even listened to Mariachi folk music as we created and also learned about El Dia de Los Muertos.  It was a fun and an exhausting day that left the art room floor very messy yet sparkly.

This was my first time--but not my last time-- dressing up in full costume as a famous artist. I have a lot more up my sleeve for next school year! I do enjoy wearing art themed shirts such as Warhol's soup cans, crayon shirts, Make Art Not War, Keep Calm and Teach Art.  I am not a stranger to crazy hats, crazy hair or crazy socks days either.  There have also been many a time where I have worn complementary colors and had reindeer antlers coming out of my head.

I urge all ART TEACHERS to dress up! The kids EAT IT UP and will remember more from you teaching with a unibrow than your paint-splattered apron!

(OMG, yous guys, don't you LOVE Natalie?! Can I puh-lease adopt her as my kid sister??)
I have tried a variety of super fun activities but the art making projects that mean the most are the ones in which we create art to help others.  Most recently our school participated in students rebuild in which we created enough magazine beads to give clean drinking water to over 40 people in Tanzania ( This year was also our first Empty Bowls night in which the entire school created or helped create a bowl and then they were sold and auctioned off.  We raised over $2,000 for Second Harvest Food Bank!!!

 Some other very meaningful art experiences that we have participated in are cards for Vietnam Veterans and The Memory Project's - books for Africa.The first picture is of the magazine beads my students made for students

Thank you SO MUCH, Natalie! You are truly an art-teachin' inspiration! Her students and colleagues   are so lucky to have her, doncha think?! Unibrow and all. 

Now, this isn't the last you'll be seeing of Natalie and some other folks from the Best Dressed Contest -- oh no! They'll be featured in non-other than SchoolArts Magazine thanks to the editor Nancy Walkup. How exciting! I'll be sure to share that with you in the near future. Oh and if you need more art-teacher-dressin'-craziness, go here, ya'll. It's like a Starter Kit to Crazy Town. Until next time, ya'll!

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

DIY: The Best Dressed Art Teacher Contest!

Well, folks the entries are in! Here are just some of the most crazily, er, Best Dressed Art Teachers around. I've included a super short bio (there were so many entries, I had to keep 'em brief) as well as a blog link if available. Casting your vote is easy peasy, just click on your fave in the poll on the right (it's a tough choice so you can vote for more than one!). Voting ends Thursday, May 8th with winners announced shortly thereafter. Have fun checking out these awesome characters and good luck, you crazy art teachers!

 Meet Natalie Friedl who is an elementary art teacher in Huntersville, NC (right outside of Charlotte). She says, "I love teaching art to little artists and this Halloween I decided to take a sick day to enjoy my favorite holiday. Well, I was so happy to find that Frida Kahlo herself had recently become a substitute in our system.  I quickly called her and she agreed to sub for me on Halloween!"

 You might know Don from his blog. He teachers at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy which is a K-5 Visual Arts Magnet School in San Diego. He writes, "The first look is me as a Che Guevara t-shirt. I stenciled "Viva la education!" below the portrait on the shirt. The second one is me as the one and only Bob Ross. I wore this one for our halloween parade a couple years ago. Gosh, I remember being mesmerized by him on TV when I was a kid. That voice, that fan brush, that hair..."
Kimberly Jones has a "sub" known as Ms. Paintbrush that occasionally shows up for her! Kimberly writes, "Ms. Paintbrush is my crazy cousin who, interestingly enough, looks and sounds just like me! It's been rumored that Ms. Paintbrush has actually demonstrated painting with her paintbrush hair!"

 Deyana Matt teaches art in Bloomingdale, IL  to students in 6th through 8th grade. Deyana sent me so many amazing outfit photos, I can tell she is a girl after my own heart! I wish I could have share 'em all with you. These were my faves!
Melinda Flinchum, aka Miss French Fry, writes "I am a kindergarten through fifth grade art and special education teacher. I LOVE color, my dog Mugsy and putting together theme-y outfits based on the artists we're studying.  Most of my outfits are thrifted because you never know when a Kindergartener will spill a container of red glaze on you (true story)." 
Stephanie Walton taught middle school art since 2001.  In 2013,  she made the leap to elementary school! She is now more comfortable in dressing the part as Crazy Art Teacher and does so with her adorable apron collection. She says, "They [the aprons] are a hit now and the kids worry when I don't have my aprons on in cute colors!" What a perfect way to add a little color to your art teacher wardrobe, Stephanie!

Amy Fitzpatrick teaches grades first and fourth through seventh at Duluth Edison Charter North Star Academy. She writes, "The Art Fairy was originally a Halloween costume, but she's made appearances on days when we've done art history or art appreciation." I love this idea of an art fairy, so stealing this one, ya'll!

 Debra Thomson organizes an "Art for Ed's Sake" event as a public school art fundraiser in my district. She says, "So of course I had to dress up as well.  This is my hubby and I as American Gothic.  (Once in awhile we stood the other way and said "the tornado had come through"…." So much fun! I love that hubster got involved. And what a fabulous idea for a fundraiser, Debra!
Heather Hyslop, who blogs at Art Intertwine, says that she put this look together after finding a Marilyn t-shirt. She wrote me to say, " Since no outfit is complete without accessories I also included my Andy Warhol soup cans and 25 cats which are 'hidden' throughout both pics."
Heather lives in Victoria, Canada where she teaches art as a sub to elementary, middle, and high school students.  She also runs an art program for elementary kids through community recreational center.  

 Sheryl Depp teaches elementary school art. About her outfits, she writes, "One is the typical artist "uniform" and the other is my self proclaimed Queen of Recycle costume." I personally love her typical artist outfit, especially that scarf, fantastic!
 Erin Maday is a baby to the art education game. She's a second year elementary art teacher in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. She says, "I love my job (I am 39 and left a marketing corp. America type jobs few years ago to finish up an Art Ed certificate and have never looked back! I love being an Elementary Art teacher!)." Here she is dressed as a silent film star for Halloween, highlighting the art element "value" and principle of design, "contrast." And... of course the silent film movies of yesteryear.

Patricia Brentano is an Elementary Art Teacher in Neptune, NJ. About this lovely look, she writes, "I love Hokusai's Great Wave and have a pair of leggings and a shirt with his print. As a way to introduce the artist and a project on the Great Wave to my third grade classes, I wore my leggings, origami crane earrings, and a wave bracelet. Now kids in all grades can say "Hokusai", without someone exclaiming "God bless you!" and students who are doing the Great Wave project are super excited to begin!"  

Donna Staten, most famous for her amazing art education pinterest boards (which I am so very thankful for, Donna, what a resource!) got all Suess'ed up for Read Across America week! She teaches kindergarten through fifth grade art at Gattis Elementary in Round Rock, Tx (right by Austin).

Hope Knight, the art teacher behind Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists, sent these photos and wrote, "I am dressed as a Picasso painting, fictitiously called "Head of a Woman." I don't dress up very often - I have to admit that comedy is a huge part of my life, but for some reason I act very serious and teacherly in the classroom. I have some sort of hang-up about getting in silly mode at school, but that's just my introverted nature I suppose. So glad my partner in crime, the music teacher, is a total extrovert and we make the best team."

 Ashley Hammond is an art teacher at Munford Elementary School in Munford, TN. She says, "I love making my own costumes to surprise my students, even though I am absolutely too scared to sew a single stitch. So everything is made with my best friend, the hot glue gun! :)  

The Very Hungry Caterpillar comes from my avid love for the life and work of Eric Carle. 
The Super Art Teacher outfit greeted my students on the first day of school this year. Nothing says "Welcome back!" than to harness your inner power of creativity!" 
Michael Kantor, aka Michael van Gogh, wore this awesome ensemble for Dress Like Your Hero Day! He says that he uses this very cool ensemble all the time and writes that when he dresses this way, the kids listen to "Micahel van Gogh more than me!"
Meet Lindsey Ostafy, an elementary are teacher in Bear, DE. Her first costume was inspired by an Egyptian themed unit (I have that very same hat, Lindsey!). She writes, "Each student used their photos to make themselves into a pharaoh. It was a fabulous day, and all of the students were inspired by my costume!" Her second photo features  a super cute scissor happy skirt. perfect for a lesson on collage!
Arlene Shelton teaches ninth grade art in Aledo, Texas.  This fabulous ensemble was inspired by an SNL Dress-Up Day! She says, "I have always wanted to wear my paint pants to school but I knew I would have to get creative to be allowed to wear them.  Therefore, when SNL Dress-Up Day was announced I grabbed the chance and dressed up like Garth from Wayne's World!  My counterpart, Wayne, is our school librarian."
Jena Love is a pre-k, third through eighth art teacher whose philosophy is, "If kids can relate to it then they get excited about it!" She writes, "Kids can relate to comics so I show them examples of comics and superheroes that have primary color costumes/uniforms then we talk about that. Then I tell that that I have a secret. I put on the cape and glasses and become a superhero whose power is to make any color in the whole world!"
 Ya'll probably know Phyl who blogs over at There's a Dragon in my Art Room. After teaching for 36 years, most of that at a rural elementary school in upstate New York, Phyl is now 2 years into her retirement. Although, you'd never know it. She stays busy teaching, painting, sculpting, you name it! This ensemble was created from a large collection of free art tees that Phyl had collected from attending years of conventions. If you were at NAEA in San Diego, you probably saw Phyl wearing this dress!
And, lastly, we have the super cute Erin Mikels who teaches at the Blue Earth Area School District in Minnesota.  About her look, she writes, "I love color, but have always been "scared" of being too loud. However, after adding bits of color and loud patterns, I have had nothing but positive feedback on my wardrobe! I buy most of my clothing from thrift shops, strictly because we are "poor" due to having five people in our family!But the other reason is due to the fact that every article of clothing I own has some sort of paint stain on it." Oh, friend. I think we can ALL relate to that!

And there you have it, folks! Place your votes. I'll keep you posted on the winner shortly after May 8th!

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