Thursday, June 10, 2010

"First Giveaway"!!

Schoolklas begin jaren '50 / Dutch classroom a...Image by Nationaal Archief via Flickr

Part 1:
I've been wondering lately how many of you are elementary art teachers with a classroom of Your Very Own, or like me, a.k.a. a bag lady bouncing around from classroom to classroom/ school to school, teaching art lessons? Or are you a homeschool parent, where the whole world is your classroom? Or are you D) None of the above...and you look at my blog because???

Part 2:
I'm also curious about YOUR elementary art education? (I went to a public elementary school in Northern Calif. in the '60's and we didn't have an art teacher, or an artist-in-residence like myself. All our art lessons, which were rare, were taught by the regular classroom teacher.)

Part 3:
Why am I asking these things? I'm just curious. I've been blogging for almost a year now and would love to know a little more about who my audience is.....

So, if you're game......In a comment, let me know what your current situation, teaching or non-teaching, is (public, private, home, etc.??), what art education you grew up with, and what area you live in. And don't forget to leave your email contact if you want to win the giveaway.

AND to make it fun, on Thursday, June 17th, I will put all the names of people who commented in a basket and draw a winner. The winner will receive 8 of these super cool ".44 cent U.S. Postage Stamps". They're from the series "Cowboys of the Silver Screen" and I bought them a few weeks ago at the post office. I think they're super fun.
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Mrs. Hahn said...

Great questions!

I am a full time Elementary (K-5) art teacher from MN. I work with 650 students for one hour every 5 days. I have been at this school for 6 years and I love it. I worked as a traveling teacher for a couple of years. I was art on a cart at the time, teacher in the home room classes, and teachers lounge. I currently have a WONDERFUL classroom. I have a smartboard, document camera and speakers. I use a digital camera and/or flip vid everyday. I have sinks (not always something I have had) and a kiln. Things are good! I love my job.

When I was growing up (80'sish) I did have art for part of my elementary education from an art teacher, part of the time from my homeroom teacher. Middle and High school I took every art class their was. Our school didn't have a clay program so they bused us over to a near by school that did.

I have my BA in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin Stout and Masters of Education from St Mary's University of MN. I worked on year high school (moved), one year urban (in Minneapolis, MN on a grant), and 6 years suburban (Roger, MN).

No worries about the drawing... I LOVE the stamps, however I just like interacting with your questions...

Love to hear more about you too!

I'm always looking for art teachers to work with and collaborate with!

ayersfamily said...

I am an art teacher -turned homeschool teacher. So, to satisfy my art-teaching needs I teach art classes for homeschool groups and a homeschool co-op. I am teaching a neat art history survey class next year which will involve some fun activities, so I love your art history inspired ideas!
I had an elementary art background similar to yours, pretty crummy. I love homeschooling because we have no real limits. We can really take our time and enjoy some neat projects.
My blog is and my email is

Mrs E (in Texas) said...

I am an Elementary Art Teacher in Texas. I have just completed my 4th year of teaching and I love it.
I have 500 or so students (1st - 6th) that I see once a week.

I also grew up in northern California in the 60's. We got quite a bit of art in school at the time. I remember painting, and especially working with clay - I specifically remember our schools having a kiln.
In 1969 we moved to Missouri, where we NEVER had art classes!!!! Moving to TX in 1973 was a blessing for my creativity!
I will be using your magazine cats lesson plan for a summer session I am teaching.

Thanks for all the inspiration!!

Mrs E (in Texas) said...

I have just completed my 4th year of teaching elementary art in TX. I have 500 or so students (1st - 6th) that I see once a week. We are very blessed in My district with wonderful support from the community.

I too grew up in Northern California in the 60's. I very specifically remember painting classes and doing ceramics in elementary school. I went to 3 different elementary schools in CA and all 3 had kilns. In 1969 we moved to Missouri...and art classes were a thing of our past. My parents were always very encouraging and supported us trying our hand at anything we were interested in. Moving to TX in 1972 was a blessing for my creativity!!

I teach a summer art class at the end of July nad we will be doing your magazinee cats there!

Thanks for all the inspiration!!!

Fairyluver said...

Hi there my name is Jenn and I am a 26 year old homeschooling mama of three, living in western Ma.
Growing up in the 90's our elementary school had an art teacher who would come to your homeroom a couple days a week to do an art lesson. I truley loved art and always got the best grades although art never counted as a subject in my parents eyes. Then in the middle school and junior high we had a seperate room for art class...I believe that's where my love for art really developed. I used so many different materials that I just love to "play" with, I even received an award for student of the month in art. Then I entered high school and tryed to take every art class I could, unfortunatly my parents had other educational plans for me and art was not in those plans. I was able to take pottery and really loved that class. My children I hope will learn the love of art the way I do...I hope to have a hand in that quest by homeschooling:-) Although I don't have any formal training in art education there are so many great programs that break everything down as well as wonderful blogs for inspiration. Currently we are using artistic pursuit which is a wonderful program and we also pull alot of idea's from the scholastic big book od art idea's. I'm also hoping to use Meet the masters program when my kids art alittle older as well...I've only hear wonderful things said about this program as well.

Well I hope that answered your questions, and thatnk you so much for the giveaway, I know my son would love them as he loves anything western and he also collects stamps...(although 3/4 of his collection are my old stamps from my collection) He would be so happy to add a few of his own!!
or my blog..

Unknown said...

I own Blue Mountain Montessori in Erie, CO ( and teach full time. We have 60 children and study different artists throughout the year. You have so many wonderful ideas that even preschoolers can do! Thank you for sharing them!

I had wonderful Art teachers all through school, especially in High School. I had always thought I was going to be an Art Teacher but then later fell in love with the Montessori Philosophy. Now I have the opportunity to combine both and I love it!

UPAE art said...

hi! my name is Danielle and i am a K-5 art teacher at a charter school in down town Detroit city! i love my job, we have the best jobs ever. well, i do have my own classroom and i also travel. in the AM i am at one school on a cart, and in the PM am at my home based school in my room.

i see 25 classes in one week between the 2 schools, and they change every 6 weeks.
When i was in school i loved art, my teacher, that i still keep in touch with, was very pop art oriented, we did everything from clay to paper weaving to drawing.

love the blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dana Leeds said...

That was a great question. I am a homeschool mom of one daughter who is 9. I try to incorporate quite a bit of art and artists studies into our curriculum, though I didn't do so well this year.

Growing up, I remember a few big projects (which I LOVED) from elementary school. (70's in small town in Kansas.) I don't remember if we had regular art time, or I am just remember some special projects.

My 2 favoites were:
-one where we used whole punches & glue & a straight pin to make a picture on a large piece of paper. This took HOURS, but I made an incredible snowman that my mom still has. I loved it!
-we used a styrofoam cup and some kind of clay to make a historical bust. We painted the cups black and then shaped the head. I did George Washington and I thought it turned out so well.

I now live in the Houston area and I enjoy your blog!

drleeds at sbcglobal dot net

DellaRae said...

My name is Raedell and I am a K-5 Art Teacher from Florida. Fortunately I have my own classroom with all the necessities for teaching art. I am from a county that considers art a valuable subject for the children. Every school in our district has at least one art teacher.

I grew up in a small town in the 50's and 60's and never had an elementary or high school art teacher, but I always knew I loved art.
I work at a mangnet school and teach 478 children. I see them once a week for 45 minutes...not enough time. I have really enjoyed your blog this year and am hoping to start a school blog next year. I love looking at the projects you and other art teacher bloggers do and have used some of them this year.

Thanks for sharing your creativty!

Phyl said...

Hi, I teach K-6 and have a very nice classroom as our school building is only 10 years old. It is a rural public school, serving kids from three towns and a lot of area in between. We have PreK-12 all in one building and we are situated in the beautiful "Adirondack Park" area of northeastern NY state. Before the new building I commuted between 2 buildings in 2 towns every day. I shared a classroom with a music teacher in the primary building (and it was basically an old locker room) and I didn't have my own room for a number of years in the other building. I don't have the fancy technology Mrs. Hahn spoke of above, but I can borrow an Elmo from time-to-time. Our elementary students are on a 6-day schedule, and I see most of them twice in every 6-day rotation, which I believe is very lucky for an elementary art teacher. I've been in this job for 25 years, though at first I also taught 7th and 8th graders. Before coming here, I spent one year as a K-12 teacher in another rural NY state district, and even before that, I spent 8 years as a grade 8-12 teacher in still a different northern NY district. I've been teaching a long time and will probably retire in another year or two, though I still love my job every day. It will be a difficult decision, but with my son graduating from college in a year, I may want to structure my life differently.
I don't remember elementary art too well - sorry - but with a family artistic heritage I was always encouraged to pursue a career in the arts. My college education was all in the NY state university system, with my wonderful undergrad years at SUNY New Paltz. Hope this helps!

I'm actually curious about following up on your survey later this summer on my blog, because I realize that NY state has some regulations about certified art teachers and program requirements, mostly at the upper levels, that offer some protections not found in all states. We're in a state financial crisis now and a lot of elementary schools in particular are getting hit with cuts in arts programs. It's tragic.

Melissa said...

I'm a K-12 art teacher who works on 2 campuses. I just finished my 12th year. At the high school I have a small room. The sink is out in the hallway. Storage is non-existent. At the elementary I have had a great large classroom for the last 2 years. My only complaint was no sink but thankfully that was a water source nearby. This summer I'm being moved to a tiny room so the 3rd grade teacher, (who had 10 kids this year and was super cramped) has a larger space because the upcoming class is too large for her room. However I don't think most of the classes I teach will fit in this tiny room so I'll probably be teaching in the teacher's classrooms. It's hard to be enthusiastic about the year to come.

I graduated hs in 83 and didn't have an art teacher until my 10th grade year. My degress is a BFA in studio art with a printmaking emphasis with all the education classes tacked on top of that.

Tisha Smith said...

Oh I just love reading about all you lovers of teaching art! How about this, only 6 teachers have commented thus far, but I'm estimating the 6 of you plus I, have taught more than 4,000 students this year!!
Phyl, it looks like you're the longest one in-the-business thus far!!! Amazing, good for you:)
Karen, you mentioned moving in '73 to Texas where there was more art in your new school; that reminds me about how much I wonder what would be different if I had art influences growing up. My major in college was actually Business/Economics for 3 years before I saw the light and switched to Multiple-Subject(Elementary) Education. I dream about taking more art classes myself once my son is older, maybe even going back to college for a degree in it??? (I drool over the "schools" section in the back of all art magazines!)
Interesting how geographically we're spread out...
Phyl, you mentioned your state financial crisis in NY....I HEAR you on that one! Calif. education budget is pathetic, last I heard we're ranked 48th out of the 50 states in per pupil spending by the state. Some districts are still wealthy b/c they get most of their funds from the property taxes of the wealthy communities that lie in the district - These are called "basic aid" districts, but the rest of us rely on the state and have seen NUMEROUS wonderful teachers get pink slips this past spring:(
All my friends ask me if my job has been cut too, I explain that my paycheck is so low that I'm about the only person left the school can afford. This is tongue-in-cheek, but kind of true, when some of my schools hire me to teach TWO art lessons to each class, per YEAR, it's not much $! But I'm super grateful just the same. Because I'm such a rare commodity, the kids treat me like Santa Claus. (2 lessons, then I'm off on my sleigh, with my giant art bags, until I return the next year.)
Other schools book me for more lessons in fewer classes, so those kids feel more familiar w/ me. Every site is different. Every year is different too.
Phyl, you also said you see your students twice in 6-day rotation. I think you're right in guessing that you're lucky for an elementary art teacher, but more important how LUCKY for your students to get to go into your room w/ a dragon twice every 6 days!!! Again- you go Phyll!!
Hope we get to hear about more lovers of kids and art.

Tisha Smith said...

Melissa, Thanks for sharing! Wow, bouncing from high school to elementary school.....what state are you in? 10 kids in a 3rd grade classroom is unheard of in my neck of the woods.

ArtfulArtsyAmy said...

I just found you, but am enjoying reading about another art teacher's journey. I teach elem through high school art at a private school. I had a great elementary art teacher who inspired me so much that now I'm an artist and an art teacher. So, I was lucky. And, I'm super lucky in that I have not one, but two art rooms of my very own. And, now that I'm coming off as a very spoiled art teacher. . .I'm going to stop and just say again how excited I am to see another art teacher blogger!

Jacquelien said...

I'm a teacher at elementary school in Holland. I was triggered by the photograph here, a Dutch school class in the 50's! It is not how are schools look like today!
We don't often have specialized art teachers on elementary schools. I teach all subjects, from maths to gym, from Dutch language to art. Art is my favorite, and that's why I switched subject with one of my colleagues. She teaches English in my group, I teach art in hers.

Susan Bivona, Art Teacher said...

I am an Elementary Art Teacher in central NJ, I have over 700 students at my school but I teach about 500 and another part-time teacher teaches the rest. My students have ART once a week for 50 minutes. I have been at this school for 9 years but have been teaching 18 (can't believe it). Most of my time has been spent at the K - 5 level with a few years of K - 8 sprinkled in!!! I was on a cart for 6 years at this school, but thankfully have had a beautiful ART ROOM for the past 3. We were very over crowded for a time and eany teacher that did not have a class - was on a cart!!! I have a Smartboard (which I love and use daily) and I also have a kiln. I just started using the kiln this year. After being on the cart for so long and not doing any clay projects it took a few years to gather the materials (tools & glaze) - so this year was the first year I used the kiln. The kids are loving it and so am I!

In elementary school I had "Art on A Cart" and Mrs. Weitza was our teacher - she was German and spoke with a cool accent - I LOVED her! We had art once a week, in our classrooms K - 4. My favorite and most memorable project was a cuckoo clock that we made out of a milk carton in 3rd grade. Then we went to a middle school and had it by semester - Mrs. Ippolito - she let us listen to records (yes, records) - The Doors & Billy Joel(how funny is that)! In high school there were two art rooms a craft room for ceramics and weaving and a fine arts room for painting and drawing.

I went to Kutztown University, in Kutztown, PA and I have a BS & MEd in Art Education! My High School Art teacher went to Kutztown (it is not the only reason I went - I loved KU it was the perfect place for ME)!!!
I love my job!
Happy Summer Everyone!

You can see my students work in my ARTSONIA Gallery at:

Tisha Smith said...

Hi Susan,
Your memory of your 3rd grade "Cuckoo Clock made out of a milk carton" sounds wonderful!! You got my wheels spinning on how to make it:) One of my favorite art memories is making candles in first grade, where we put ice cubes in the wax before it hardened (classic 70's candles!) Of course we used milk cartons for the molds too:)
Yes, I too remember how special it was when the teacher played a record!!!

Phyl said...

Oh gosh, I was going to get off the computer when I saw your comment about ice cubes and milk cartons. I made those candles in my basement as a kid, plus sand candles as well. Such memories. And I've been teaching long enough that I had a record player in my first art room - I remember it was the year of Peter Frampton and "baby I love your way" over and over and over again...