I've taught art for the last 20 something years, y'all. I've learned a lot about art teacherin', art makin' and finding a happy balance between the two. I'm here to share my ups, downs and what works best for me and my awesome artists.
The journey to happiness is just that...a journey. Sometimes it's even an uphill battle. However, I have discovered some things you can do to make finding your happiness a whole lot easier. I'm excited to share it with you today. Here's to our HAPPINESS!
Oh boy. Were my first 20 years of teaching art a shocker ;) Good thing I'm going into year 21 and now kinda know what I'm doing. Some days. Occasionally. Okay, often never. But I have learned many a thing along the way and it's a whole buncha stuff that I really wish they woulda taught me in college. So, I'm here to school you today. Professor Stephens is about to lead you in a session of all that they didn't teach you in college. Let's get started.
Okay. Y'all know that podcast episode I shared titled "W.E.L.C.O.M.E."? Well...that's what I would ideally like my very first day(s) of art class to be like. BUT I decided to change things up this year and I think you might be surprised just what I did. Take a listen AND hear a bit from my sweet artists too!
In this LONG podcast (sorry!), I'll be walking you through how I set up my art room from start to finish. I'll also be sharing some ideas for you if you are in a portable as I once was or if you are on a cart. Decorating your room should take a backseat when setting up your art room...start right here first!
After college, I fell into a deep creative slump that lasted 7 years. It sucked! When I finally decided to work my way out of it, I had no idea what I wanted to create! I have a habit of putting a lot of hurdles in my creative path...that I used to just let stop me. Here's how I managed to start leaping over them and run right out of that creative slump.
What are they? In my wild and wacky art room, my three C's of classroom management might surprise you. I'm gonna chat with you on how to gauge your classes to tell just what management tool they need for a successful class.
There are exactly one trillion fancy, cute and colorful ways to manage your art room. I love them all but cannot for the life of me maintain any of them. Instead, I got one little thing that's cheap and easy (like me in high school) that works fabulously to redirect, remind and reteach my students. I'm sharing what it is with you today and all the reasons I use it and love it.
Lookie, here y'all. When those sweet little artists disregard your rules and routines, the very ones you've established to help you create this beautiful masterpiece of an art room for said sweet little artists, then it's time to talk consequences. They don't have to be big or scary. They aren't mean. They are a necessity in the art room to maintain a creative environment for your students. Today I'll be sharing my three little consequences that I introduce on the very first day.
Okay, so that title is a bit misleading as there are MANY reasons as to why our students might be misbehaving in our class. But I have managed to whittle it down to my top four. Our students might be misbehaving and disregarding our rules and routines because they are feeling a lack of something in our art room. What could our amazing art room possibly be lacking? I've got four things...but you'll have to take a listen to find out what they are and how you can remedy the situation.
My second book, Stitch and String Lab for Kids comes out on July 23rd! I'm so excited about it. I've learned many things on my book writing journey...and one of them is that many folks have the desire to write a book too. I know it was on my bucket list in 2007! I'm spilling the beans with you all today, sharing my honest journey into book writing adventureland. It may not be all that you dreamed it is. I know it certainly wasn't for me!
For years I just borrowed rules from other art teachers and classroom teachers without giving much thought to what I wanted mine to be. Rules are the broad brush strokes of the art room masterpiece you are trying to create for your students. What should they be? This is another podcast that might require you to pull out a sheet of paper and work. Think about your vision for your art room...and cultivate your rules from there. Let's go!
ROUTINES, y'all! In my art room, my routines are the key to my sanity. In this episode, I'll share some nightmarish stories from my first year teaching where I thought RULES were where it's at. Did you know there's a difference between Rules and Routines? I didn't! I learned real fast that rules are the broad brush strokes of the masterpiece of an art class you are trying to create while your ROUTINES are the finer details. They are truly what will bring the vision you have of your art room for you and your students to life. In this episode I'll be sharing my acronym for remembering my first day routines: W.E.L.C.O.M.E.
I spent year and I do mean YEARS discovering this answer to this secret...and I am excited to share it with you. Mostly because I don't want you to lose years from your art teacherin' and art makerin' career not knowing what I know to be true. Take a listen...and spread the word. THE SECRET IT OUT, Y'ALL!
This is my first ever MAKE AND TAKE kind of podcast! I encourage you to grab some a sheet of paper, some markers and pull up a chair. We are going to be working our way through some very serious questions that will hopefully help you discover your WHY. Why do YOU teach? What do you want your students to LEARN, DO and KNOW! I think you'll learn so much about yourself in this episode...and just in time to head back to your classrooms in a matter of weeks. I hope you'll join me and I'd love to see what you create.
Since being on Season 3, Episode 3 of the Netflix show Nailed It!, I've gotten a ton of questions. What was it like? How was I chosen? Is Wes really as hot in person as he is on the show? (DUH. YES.) I decided to wrangle all of these questions up and do my best to answer them in this here podcast. There is a big take-away that I do want to stress...JUST SAY YES. Yes! to what scares you but intrigues you. Yes! to opportunities that you might never have again. In the end, it may not take you any closer to achieving your goals...but it just might allow you to learn a couple things about your awesome self. Have fun listening!
Discovering who you are as a person is a lifelong journey, I think. Discovering who you are as an art teacher is similarly difficult. In this episode, we're gonna chat about all the things that make up your art teacherin' DNA and define you, and ONLY you, as the art teacher you are. It's a rough road and it's not for everyone but YOU'VE.GOT.THIS.
Warning: this story is not appropriate for young listeners or anyone sensitive to adult content. I mean, I don't cuss or anything (surprise!) but this is a completely NOT art teacherin' episode and strictly for fun and laughs. This story is one I tell to my closest of friends so consider yourself a good buddy. Also, this episode makes for an epic drinking game...you'll find out the magic word within the first five minutes. Enjoy!
I've been contemplating sharing this episode with you for a long time. This episode was very difficult for me to talk about and share but I truly felt like there were somethings that I needed to say. This episode may not be appropriate for younger listeners so please be advised. Thank you for letting me share this rough and raw side of my teaching and my life.
Congratulations! Whether you've landed a new art teacherin' gig or your very first...OR you are just looking to revamp and reorganize your art room, have I got an episode for you! I'll walk you through all the mistakes I made when landing the job at my current school...and all the things I would have done differently. From taking stock of all that you have, to creating an inventory, writing up a supply list, getting all of that organized and much more...we have a lot to cover in this podcast. So let's get started!
After 7 years into art teacherin', I hit a wall. You could call it depression, burnout, the 7 year itch...I called it frightening. I started to ask myself "is this IT?!" Am I going to spend the next 20 plus years feeling stressed, tired, overwhelmed and underappreciated? It was a dark place to be in...but I managed to get myself out of it. I find that I'm now a happier person which makes for a happy art teacher...one that my students deserve. If you find yourself in this place, no matter what your career, you might want to take a listen. What helped me may help you as well.
I'm so excited to share all the ups and downs, ins and outs that my 20 years of art teacherin' and art makerin' has gifted me. This podcast episode serves as an introduction so you can know what to find when you join me here. Some weeks we'll chat classroom management while others we'll talk about how to get back to what brought us to teaching art in the first place: creating. It's a mixed bag of nuts, just like we folks who teach art. I'm so glad you are here.