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.
I've been struggling a lot lately with being strong. Who can I rely on? Who can I count on? Everything is wild and crazy right now and it has been getting to me in a way it never has before. What to do? I'm learning to be my own rock. To learn to rely on myself even if I'm completely unreliable. I hope this podcast helps if you are feeling stress, fear and/or anxiety.
We kicked off this school year with a What a Wonderful World Mural and it's been so fun to create and beautiful to see! I thought I'd share the process with you. On my blog post, you can take a tour of the mural as well as take a peek at the many school-wide collabs we've created over the years. Have fun!
Hey, y'all! This is the follow up to Part One of an interview I did with Dr. G...get your pencils ready! She's got more amazing information to share that will help us and our students navigate this school year!
Well, here we are. Stuck inside...and still wanting to connect, teach and reach our students. So how can we do that? I've been doing so for the last couple of days now and I feel like I've learned so much along the way. I'm hoping this podcast episode helps you out at least a little. Just know, we'll get through this and come out the other side even better for it! Love y'all!
In this follow-up episode to Episode 46...turns out I have a lot to say about printmaking! In this episode, I'll be talking about collagraph prints and monoprints. I'll also be sharing what it is we do with our printing plates when we are done with printmaking as well as what we do with all of those prints!
I never took a printmaking class in college and it's a huge regret as I had no clue how to teach printmaking to small humans. I mean, I don't know about you but I wasn't about to put carving tools in their hands! Over the years, I've learned some printmaking hacks that have made printmaking not only one of my favorite things to teach but also inexpensive and mess-free! In this episode, I'll be sharing all things Styrofoam printing: what supplies to buy, how to organize it all and what to do with those prints. If you visit my blog, I'll be sharing my very favorite printing projects to give you a visual on all that I'm sharing here. Thanks for listening!
Okay...so, markers. I know what you are thinking: Really, Stephens? You have a whole episode on markers?! Yes! And you bet your bottom dollah you gonna learn a thing or two. From how to dissect them to how to recycle them, make marker juice, paint with them and so much more. Stay tuned at the end for my three favorite things this week. And be sure to check out our awesome sponsor, I'm so excited to share their product with you!
There is so much in this episode you won't wanna miss it. Even if you think you know everything there is about oil pastels, I have some tips that will surprise you! For instance, did you know that you can clean oil pastels? Did you know that there is one household item that will turn oil pastels into paint? AND did you know that soaking pastels overnight does something magical? You'll have to listen to find out more...and check my blog for the lessons mentioned in the podcast, all free and many with video! Enjoy!
I'm spilling the BEANS on all things chalk pastels: my favorite hacks, my favorite projects and all that I learned while creating this episode! Also, I have a BIG announcement. I'm excited to share our sponsor this week AND a new segment at the end. Thank you for listening!
Not too long ago, I shared my thoughts on evaluations...they're a crock, says me. However, they are a necessary evil that deep inside, even the most jaded of art teachers like me, hopes to rock. So today I'm sharing my Top Ten's: Top Ten Things to do before and during your evaluation. I'm also talking about what to do after your evaluation, how to make the most of it AND those miserable things called SURPRISE evaluations (what did we do to deserve this, y'all?!). Enjoy!
Trying to navigate the waters of standards, curriculum and lessons plans is tough and exhausting...and if you let it, it can seem to suck the very joy right out of teaching. The key is not to lose sight of who you are as an art teacher. Why did you become an art teacher? Keeping that at the front of your mind will make creating a curriculum map and writing a lesson plan not only easier but, dare I say...FUN! Let' go!
What noise level do you strive for in your art room? In this episode, I'm talking (a lot!) about how to introduce noise level expectations to your students, how they will know which noise level they are to work toward and all my favorite hacks on working toward a focused art room. Some days, my kids are chatty and others they are quiet. It's really a matter of preference. Whatever you decide, a solid management plan will make that happen. Let's talk about it!
Okay, final chat about kiln fire clay! Here's all you'll need to know about how I store clay projects and how I go about glazing. If you don't wanna mess with glaze, then I am also covering my very favorite glaze-less techniques too! Don't forget to listen to Part 1 and 2 of these episodes for much more clay info. Enjoy!
Now that you know the supplies to order, let's roll up our sleeves and get a little messy! Today I'll be talking about setting up for clay, how to teach clay for optimum success and how to successfully fire those pieces (without blowing 'em up). I'll also be sharing how to reconstitute even the most dried out bag of clay. I'm calling this series a Clay Crash Course and I hope you'll join me!
Isn't it kinda crazy to think that when you are hired as an art teacher, it's just assumed you know everything about every medium?! I'd never TOUCHED a kiln until my third year teaching when I found myself with one and five hundred pounds of clay. Wanna know what happened? Well...it's worse than you think. You'll have to take a listen to find out. Join me as we cover clay for the next couple of episodes (don't worry, kilnless friends, we'll talk about you too, right in front of you!). Hope you enjoy!
"I'm done!" has gotta be up there with my Top Ten Least Favorite Things I Hear in the Art Room...anyone else? But what DO you do with those artists who truly are finished? Let's talk about it! I'm sharing my favorite activities in Early Finishers Land...hope you'll take a listen!
Oh, lawd. And we thought junior high was over. Wrong! Do you encounter bullying in your school? How do you deal with it? Today I'm sharing my experiences with bullies and how I've dealt with it over the years.
You guys...just a couple of things: don't you ever do as I did. Don't you ever just laser focus on teaching and neglect your creative self. We are ALL creatives. Time to carve out time for you. A happy person makes for a happy teacher, the one your students truly deserve. AND you won't want to miss out on this week's sponsor Vooks as they have a FREE SUBSCRIPTION for you! My favorite price...FREE! Enjoy!
Because, let's face it, sometimes clean up time is the opposite of fun, especially for you, the teacher. But I'll be sharing a little audio of my clean up routine with my students and the tips and tricks that work for me...most days. I hope you enjoy!
You sure about that? Cuz the start of an art teacher's career kinda depends on it. I'm going to share with you my top five tips to taking on a student teacher...and you'll hear why I don't do it anymore.
I spent the first seven years of my teaching career lonely. No one ever tells you just how difficult life can be when you don't have people to turn to, lean on or talk to. In this episode, I'll be sharing how you can get off that lonely island...and how you, if you've already found your group of art teacherin' friends, can share the love with those who seek a friend.
Ah, kindergarten. We teachers seem to struggle the most with this magical group of artists. In this podcast episode, I'll be sharing my tips to having fun, laughter and success with the most magical artists of them all. Enjoy!
BRACE YOURSELF! Kindergarten is coming! And they are not to be fooled with, y'all. I EASE my kindergarten into the rules and routines of art class on the very first day. My focus is to get them creating and having fun. In this episode, I'll give you a peak inside my art class with kindergarten on the first days of art.
This is my first go round of Dear Cassie...a chance for me to chat with you and attempt to answer your questions...about anything! I hope to get a little faster at answering questions in the future so I can chat with more of you. If you have a question for me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week I shared with y'all my Happy/Sad board which is easily my favorite classroom management hack. This week, I took a look around my art room and came up with my Top Ten Classroom Management Hacks to share with you! Here you go!
The idea for this episode struck me the other day when I was out for a walk. We spend so much of our lives burying our true self and identity to fit in with school rules, society, our peers. We do it to conform to our family's wishes...but at some point, many of us, we decide we want to rediscover that person we buried. We want to find that buried treasure that is our true selves. Let's talk about it in this episode.
This week, I began my second week of school and my third art class with my students. I introduced them to tempera painting! In this episode, I am sharing my favorite supplies for tempera painting with kids; how I set up my room and tables; what our very first lesson is and how I teach. You're gonna hear our silly rhymes and sayings and our fun way to remember my painting procedures for our art makin' adventures. If you enjoy, please leave a rate and review and don't forget to subscribe!
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.