SchoolArts Magazine

April 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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10. Be Yourself Being yourself allows you to enjoy your time with your students. If you treat your students like adults, they will treat you with respect. I like to infuse humor with my teach- ing, which makes my students more comfortable in the class- room. 9. Focus on the Positive We are constantly faced with high demand for increasing rigor within the curriculum. It's easy to be overwhelmed. However, the earlier you learn that there are things that you can control and things that you cannot, you're more apt to make better decisions by focus- ing on the positive. Focus on what you can change. 8. Push Yourself into the Unknown I am driven by not knowing what may happen next. This may sound some - what frightening, but I have found that I enjoy being challenged. We teach students to practice critical thinking and problem solving. Shouldn't we do the same? 7. Ignore the Critics and Take Risks This is a difficult thing to do, espe- cially when you're a beginning art teacher. However, to develop as a professional you must take risks and ignore what people may say about your decisions. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Trust your gut. If you don't take risks, how will you grow? 6. Focus on Your Students What you do in the classroom isn't about you—it's about your students. If a student has a difficult time learning something, figure out a way to differ - entiate your instruction. If a student is not being challenged, figure out how to increase rigor. As educators, it's our responsibility to provide students with the tools they need to succeed. 5. Laugh Most of us go into education because we want to teach what we are pas- sionate about, but we often forget to enjoy ourselves. It's okay to laugh once in a while. Students like to see that you're human. Laughter is just one way to make your classroom a more comfortable place. 4. Surround Yourself with Good People Rather than wasting precious energy on things you cannot control, sur- round yourself with people who are positive, optimistic, and will- ing to embrace change for the betterment of the students. 3. Smile I stand outside of my class- room during passing period every day in a special spot where I greet students with a smile or a "How's it going?" This small gesture can make a world of difference in the way students interact with you and each other. 2. Advocate and Promote When I first started teaching, I could tell that staff and stu - dents didn't fully understand what happens inside the art classroom. I discovered ways to bring art education into the hallways and into the community by writing press releases, creating opportuni - ties for my students' work to be displayed in local busi - nesses, including art news in our parent newsletter, writing an annual review and send - ing it to my school board and superintendent, submitting student artwork to local and state art exhibitions, and joining my state's art education asso - ciation. Today, the art department is a creative and integral part of my school. 1. Follow your Instincts This is the most important piece of advice I can offer any teacher new to the profession. There's a reason you became an art teacher. Let this reason guide you to create the best possible art program for your students and school. You are the only person who knows what's best for your students. It's okay to ask for advice, but be sure to follow your own instincts. Carve your own path to success. Frank Juarez is art department chair at Sheboygan North High School in She- boygan, Wisconsin, and founder of the Midwest Artist Studios Project and the 365 Artists 365 Days Project. fjuarez@ sasd.net SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 39 Wha ou do in the classroom isn't about ou; it's alwa s about our students.

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