The End is near, guys...
Whether we are ready or not, we are about to start a new school year.
Now for some people this is a very exciting time. For the rest of us, we are pretty sad about saying goodbye to our flip-flops, pajamas until 2 pm, and a 10 am coffee while watching Kathie Lee and Hoda. Some people have started planning for the new year since before the last year ended. Some of us haven't thought about school or our art room since we peaced out for summer break.
If you are approaching the new year a little clueless on where to even start, here are are 5 Great Ways To Get "Art-Teacher-Organized" before you walk back through those school doors!
1) Reflect on last year.
Now is the best (and only time you will probably have) to really spend reflecting on what happened last year. I suggest checking out this FREE..(yes..I said Free!!!!) resource from my shop to help you get a game plan for the new school year! Consider the good, the bad and the ugly of what went down in that art room last year and find solutions and embrace successes.
2) Start pinning lessons you want to try with the kids.
Yes, there will always be those tried and true lessons that you will do every year, but we all need variety to make our jobs more interesting. If you aren't the adventurous type, try at least 3 new art projects this year. If you aren't on Pinterest, you are missing out! Being an art teacher and having Pinterest go together like peanut butter and jelly! I only find ideas these days on Pinterest. Check out my boards for some inspiration!
3) Get a good teacher planner
Find a planner that will help you plan weekly, monthly and record notes throughout the year. I highly recommend The Art Teacher's Best Friend Planner. It comes in 4 different, colorful covers to choose from. It is a 14 month planner that was made just for Art Teachers. Every page is a coloring book. There are pages to record faculty meeting notes, places to journal and reflect, monthly interdisciplinary connections you can try to incorporate into your lesson planning, weekly planning pages for every week, and even a curriculum map to help you scope out an entire grade throughout the year. It also has an Art Teacher Sub Folder that you can fill out and print, printable worksheets, fillable parent letters, inventory sheets and other "operational" things to help you smoothly navigate throughout the year. I honestly wouldn't start planning your year without something like this.
4) Hit up the dollar store now.
Seriously, the teachers are coming. They are coming to get every cute plastic bin the dollar store has and if you don't get what you need now, you will be looking at a picked over selection trying to come up with creative ways to make it all work. Don't waste your creative energy trying to make something work. I purchased these plastic bins from the dollar store a few weeks ago, and spray painted them to look like galvanized metal. If you don't want to spray paint, NBD! They were still cute and function perfectly as table bins for materials :)
5) Color Code!
I love the paint chips in the paint section. LOVE THEM. They are free, guys. FREE. Don't go crazy with how many you take but take what you need. I use them to color code my tables and material bins. I highly recommend, if you haven't already, color coding your tables and material bins. I will post way more about this, but when I say color coding was a game changer, I absolutely mean it. Game. Changer. They also make a great free border for bulletin boards, you can use them for collage pieces with the students, show value changes, or even paste them onto butcher paper to create a super impressive mural.
What are some ways you are working to get organized for the year?!