dcsimg

Career Story: Art Teacher At An Elementary School

Art Teacher At An Elementary School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a public school district

Education: BA in Art, Bates College, MS in Education, Mass. College of Art

Previous Experience: I have been a teacher in three other school systems

Job Tasks: I am an art teacher in an elementary school in a suburb of Boston. Students come to art once a week for an hour and I see some classes more than once in a week. We have a choice-based art program which means that students get to choose what artwork they will make and how they will do it. For example, a child who enjoys working with clay can make whatever she or he wants, but their friend who does not like working with clay can draw instead.

I teach basic techniques in all media, and we talk a lot about how to generate good ideas for artmaking. In our art room, we have the following studios: clay, drawing, painting, 3D construction, collage, fiber arts, digital arts and printmaking. This pedagogy is called Teaching for Artistic Behavior and works from the premise that students are artists and should learn how to use their ideas and skills to make art about the things they value. There is a book coming out soon called Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom. This book will give the reader a good framework to develop a choice-based art program, incorporate instruction with assessment and provide for differentiation among students.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I get to play with art materials all day, help young artists problem-solve as they make their art, and make a difference in the world of education. The worst part is that, after everyone goes home, I still have to wash the paint brushes, the tables, fire up the kiln, and so on.

Job Tips:
1. If you think you might like to be an art teacher, visit a school and observe the art program. Volunteer if you can, art teachers always need extra help.

2. Take a class in art education.

3. Join a listserv and read what art teachers are talking about. Ask questions.

Additional Thoughts: I began my career as an illustrator and had many good years in that field. However, I find being a teacher is the ultimate satisfaction because I work with a wonderful community of colleagues, parents and students. Best of all, the job begins and ends each year, so there is always a feeling of completion. Summer vacation is fun! I spend most of it taking courses, reflecting on my profession and making artwork.

Popular Schools offering Elementary Education Teaching Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure), M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure), M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: General Education - Doctor of Education, E-Learning - EdS, International Education - EdS, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Early Childhood Education (Certificate Only) - Online, Early Childhood Education (MEd plus Certification) - Online, Early Childhood Education (Master of Education) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: Online Accelerated Teaching Certification , MS in Education - Instructional Technology - Master's Only
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology, Master of Science in Education
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

  • Programs: Instructional Design & Technology
  • Degrees: Master

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • Degrees: Master

Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Elementary School Teachers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Elementary School Teachers, including:

Back to Top