Home Depot Saved My Sanity
Home Depot saved my san- ity. I’m not talking about a building project, I’m talking about my career. plies in my pants pockets. That made me look really hippy, plus most of my pants don’t have pockets. Then it happened. I was rooting down. Some days when I didn’t think I needed to wear it, students would become restless until I put it on. One student even asked if she could deco-
It all started when I was transferred around in one of my cabinets for my
rate it for me (now it has foam hands,
to another middle school in my dis-
pink tool bag. Instead, I spotted a
stars, and hearts on it).
trict. Although my students were a
canvas waist apron with the words,
I was often told by my professors in
rowdier group, their quality of art was “Home Depot” emblazoned upon it in college and by my colleagues to make
orange. I had forgot- sure I dressed well for my job—to look
thing was, pencils,
ten that it was given Just as a doctor wears like a teacher. I’ve since discovered
markers, glue-sticks, to me for a tool-kit white or a police officer
that when you look like a teacher, be
erasers, and so forth
has a uniform, an art
it in an aqua smock or a canvas pocket
seemed to just walk
couldn’t sell pink,
apron, students connect the look with
apparently). It had teacher needs an apron.
the job at hand. Just as a doctor wears
would ask to use
nice roomy pockets white or a police officer has a uni-
one of these things and I would find
and I could still wear stylish clothes
form, an art teacher needs an apron.
myself running back to my desk to get with it. I put it on and it was like
I’m so convinced of this that my goal
it. The kids would get raucous, and by magic.
is to get pocket aprons for the entire
the end of the day, I was exhausted. I
A student would ask for an eraser
Canton City, Ohio art staff, except
needed to save my sanity.
and, Eureka! I happened to have one in for the nice young elementary teacher
I thought of a few teachers I’ve
my pocket. All of a sudden “service”
with her denim apple apron. I always
known who had a solution to this.
was my middle name. When students marveled at how well she handled her
One guy always wore this aqua smock were done with materials, I would
with pockets (too geeky). One young
just walk by and whoosh them into
teacher always wore a denim apron
my trusty pocket apron. When I had
with a cute little apple embroidered on it on, students treated me like a real
it (too elementary). I tried putting sup- teacher. Most of them even calmed
classroom. Now I’ve got her secret.
Veronica Krug is an art teacher at Hartford
Middle School in Canton, Ohio. bigv123@