Page 2 - The pet peeves below were submitted by people around the world, both teachers and students. We thank you for your submissions! We sincerely hope that those who submitted them were able to blow off some steam and feel better now. We also hope that those who are reading these will also feel better. Enjoy! (To submit a peeve, post at the bottom of this page)
Art Educators that CHOOSE the artwork of certain elementary students to put on display. That's the way to discourage little artists for sure. Display the work by class, and everyone gets a chance at being proud of themselves.
(- Submitted by Kim)
People who say, "It's only art how can you fail?" "You should get an "A" for trying." "Take art, its an easy "A". "I came everyday, I should at least get a "D". Needless to say, the students who fail, don't come to school or do anything, right? Oh yea, the parents all have degrees from the finest art schools in the country...
(- Submitted by 20+)
Having to give art work a letter grade because the students will not work without that incentive.
Having to teach 13 different standards with no books.
Having to deal with administrators who don't give a @!#* except for ISTEP scores.
(- Respectfully submitted by Mrs. Muller, Indiana Intermediate School)
I teach grades 1-5. We love to paint, but the undignified sound that the paint insists on making when the tube is almost empty is unbearable, reducing the class to hysterics... and of course the hysterics are contagious!
Speaking of paint, forget about squeezing out anything from the brown family into a little paint cup. Drawing... there have been days when I've actually hidden the erasers...
(- Submitted by Melanie W. of New Jersey)
I'm near retirement so I'm able to take some risks with which others may not presently be comfortable. I must tell you though, as classes get larger and more diverse, and kids mimic what they see on TV and in the movies, and counselors seem to continue to use my class as a parking lot for the less intellectual in my school, I've stopped most of my whining to my colleagues. I've found Open House is the first good place for making clear to parents that I am really glad their children are taking art but it is NOT a bunny class and I did not get a degree in "relaxing" at school. I teach kids to think creatively. Most learn to love to make art. There are kind, but firm ways for faculty to come to understand that as well. When I politely stand up for myself and my subject I eventually earn respect. It is a matter of having high expectations for myself, my colleagues and the subject I love. Do you think math or even health and p.e. teachers have the self-esteem problems most art teachers do? Heck no!!!
(- Submitted by Karen R. Carrico, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School)
Students who take art classes because they are good with computers and expect an "A."
Students who would like to further their knowledge in computer arts but the curriculum isn't being expanded to accommodate art in the digital age.
Students who save work on a network, miss the deadline because the network was down then want credit for the work. (this despite students being told to save on zip discs etc.)
(- Submitted by Sally Hunter)
Administrators who love to advertise that they have schools with National Blue Ribbon status, but have since sabotaged the art programs that got them the award.
Anyone who thinks I just teach kids how to draw. I teach reading, writing, math, science, history, world cultures and religions, geography, spelling, craftsmanship, visual and verbal expression, symbolism, recycling and reuse, aesthetic perception, research, personal and collective responsibility, technology, cooperation and kindness all within my art classes. And so do you.
(- Submitted by Dawn Kruger)
Teachers that year after year "win" regional and national art scholarships/and awards for their students by photographing subject matter and letting students duplicate the photo with grid methods or projector assistance or out and out plagiarism from well-known geographical based magazines. The same teachers serve as board directors for these scholastic based art awards. How can a self-portrait be so exquisitely lit and foreshortened if the student is drawing himself? The student must use a good focal length camera with a very long bulb attachment.
Administrations that make it obvious to the rest of the faculty that your class has no importance and really does not count.
Administrations and faculty members that value remediation over the arts and constantly pull kids from your classes and then put them back.
Classroom teachers who continually send their kids late to Art class and then e-mail me-- the art teacher telling me to please have their hands washed before i send them back to their class.
(-Submitted by Angela)
My pet peeve at the moment is when the cleaner complains to the principal that my students' art work and props (for the school play) are on top of the desks that he wants to wipe! The funny part is he never does a good job of wiping them anyway!
(- Submitted by Liz Clout)
Corner suns! (now that my kids know I hate corner suns, they like to sneak them into their work every now and then to see if I notice- they get quite a kick out of watching my face once i discover one)
(- Submitted by Lauren Turner)
Administrators who love to advertise that they have schools with National Blue Ribbon status, but have since sabotaged the art programs that got them the award. (Anonymous)
So called art teachers who WORK ON the students work, get away with it and are praised as being FANTASTIC art teachers by parents, administrators, judges and anyone else... If we teach nothing else, we must teach INTEGRITY. The reward will be short lived for their students, while the knowledge that they won unjustly will last a lifetime-- not to mention the innocent competitors who could be so discouraged that they may give up art altogether.
I teach grades 1-5. We love to paint, but the undignified sound that the paint insists on making when the tube is almost empty is unbearable, reducing the class to hysterics... and of course the hysterics are contagious! Speaking of paint, forget about squeezing out anything from the brown family into a little paint cup. (Ow! The mental image of this is too much for my brain!- Ken)
Drawing... there have been days when I've actually hidden the erasers...
P.S. Can't believe Barbara left "lollipop" and "broccoli" trees off her list! ;o)
Submitted by Melanie W. of New Jersey
I teach Art and Design in Scotland, UK. Unbelievably, almost all your pet peeves are mine too - so it must be a shared thing world wide in our subject. My main pet peeve has to be - kids who throw erasers around the room when you aren't looking! You never seem to have any erasers!! Keep up all the good work worldwide in art teaching!
- Alison Ross (Art teacher - Paisley, Scotland)
Guidance counselors who tell art kids to pursue other majors because "art is just a hobby"!...drives me crazy...
- Debra Ronning, LI, New York
Teachers who bring their children to my art class 10 minutes early and get mad when I don’t take them. My classes are 45 minutes each with a 5 minute prep span in between. Oh and lets not forget I have 6 classes a day with varying levels!
Not being considered a teacher.
(Sergent PreK-5th Elementary Art Teacher)
MY pet peeves
#1 - Having students taken from class for half the time for reading, math, etc. as if we aren't an important subject. They rarely finish a project which really drives me crazy.
#2 Never knowing if you have a room or a cart. Classroom teachers not understanding why this makes us crabby -- just once I would like them to teach on a cart in the gym (that you share) with no sink or water. The supplies you need are in another room and you always forget SOMETHING.
#3 Having non-teachers telling me that my job is so easy and great because I get 3 months off. What they would give to have that....
#4The amount of disrespect coming through the school systems. Do parents teach morals/values anymore?
#5 Having hardly any prep time and then getting questioned why the artwork on the walls hasn't been changed in awhile. Uh, I could use a little help.
(Submitted by an elementary art teacher, Wisconsin)
My pet peeve (other than the MANY I read that apply to me) is when I spend a few class periods preparing for a big project by practicing with supplies and by looking at and discussing similar artwork that's been created, and the students waste my supplies on the big project and come up with nothing because they weren't LISTENING TO THE DIRECTIONS--apparently EVER!!!
Donna Catton-Johnson, Myrle Beach, SC
When students tell me that they can't think of ANYTHING to do for their project, even after having had it explained, ideas suggested, visuals provided, discussion about what they can do to jump-start their brainstorming, etc. It's as if they expect the teacher to come up with the idea and do it for them.
After 30 yrs. teaching art and ready to retire, I empathize with all of the above. I think the most demoralizing pet peeve I have had is to be turned down for a sink in my classroom 6 times by our head of purchasing who bought himself new office equipment as a higher priority. Yet they are always saying we are here for the kids! We use two plastic buckets and anger the shop teacher, who has a room four times the size of the art room, by using his sink to fill the buckets. He also has a bathroom and drinking fountain that he does not want my students to use, as it would interrupt his classes. (The irony of it all... they dumped his program and kept art for next year, when they riffed and dropped programs this year!) There is some justice in the schools!!!
Art teacher colleagues who let/encourage their children to merely COPY Bart Simpson, Metallica covers, Spongebob -- I can see learning about painting by copying a painting, but is it really the best use of their time to make Bart Simpson out of clay? Aeehh?? Then they complain if I ask them to be creative... Not to mention what thoughts they are getting about copyright issues?
Sign me anonymous...
Students who stab the erasers with the pencils - breaking both!
Kathryn Antman - Art Teacher
My pet peeve is when I tell the students where their artwork or supplies are supposed to go and two seconds later someone asks me, "Miss, where do I put my stuff when I’m done?" It drives me crazy, "PAY ATTENTION"!!
Middle School, Colorado
When art teachers are judged not on the content and quality of their work with students in the classroom, but on their OWN ARTWORK! Would we really hire an English teacher based on how many novels she'd published? Would we hire a Math teacher based on his personal accounting career? This goes for how Art teachers are utilized within the school system as well: People go to the Art teacher to have a brochure designed, a T-shirt design made, etc. Yet our colleagues never go to the Math Dept to get their taxes done, or to the Health teacher to have their blood pressure taken! Being an artist and being an art teacher are overlapping skill sets - but NOT one and same!
Asking "where do I put this?" even though they have been taking art in my room for 5 years.
Walking into my room and asking "What are we doing?" when they are in the middle of a project.
Asking for scotch tape.
- Lara Large, Art Teacher
When you are hired in the middle of the year, are given no budget, and are expected to beg borrow and steel from the other art teachers in the building. Even though 1/3 of the supplies should belong to me because the students had to pay a lab fee at the beginning of the year.
Ms. M HS Art teacher
My biggest pet peeve is being given the smallest room in the school with NO windows, and NO water, bad lighting, not to mention no floor space (with five tables crammed in the room, I can barely teach, let alone maneuver around the students!!)
Another pet peeve is when parents complain because you've given their "angel" a poor grade (because of destructive and behavioral issues in your classroom, not to mention NEVER finishing a project and goofing off instead). I had one set of parents say "Art is not important, anyway!" When I tried to explain the poor grade was because the child purposely ruined others artwork and my art supplies and never did anything in class, they tried to pull the race card on me! RIDICULOUS!
Finally, at last year's art show, the principal had the school custodians mopping and sweeping the floors during the exhibit time! When I complained, she answered, "Well, this is the time they NORMALLY come!" AAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!
"Oh no he didn’t!" Page three, number 18 needs to realize that our goal (art teachers) is to teach the standards (Yes, art teachers have standards) and to do so in a creative way. If the student finds art to be fun than great. Remember, our classes tend to be the dumping grounds for illiterate, unmotivated, behavioral problem type students. Not all students like art; I am an art teacher not a therapist. My pet peeve is to other teachers who think we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. – McLaughlin-California
My art education pet peeves:
- Censorship- People who think the only good art is pretty.
- People who think art ended with Warhol and don't want students to learn anything current because it is "unsafe and controversial."
- People who think if you look at a violent painting it will make you violent.
–Thanks, Jessica, artist and art teacher in New Orleans
This is only my second year of teaching, and my biggest pet peeve last year were the students who really didn't give a darn about ANYTHING in my class, didn't care about art, and who were extremely rude and disruptive. But... towards the end of their 9 week block or semester class... it was like something just sparked. They started to do okay... but then the class would be over. I thought I would never see those kids again, and to be honest with you, I would've been happy if I didn't. But this year, all of those same students signed up for my classes as electives, and I thought that they just did it to get some extra credits or because they thought they would have it easy. But we are going into the third week of school right now, and those are the students in my classes who are learning the most, participating all of the time, and they did a complete 360 degree turn around from last year. I am completely blown away by this. Its like they aren't the same students. So, I will never give up on another student like that again, because change is possible in these kids if you just give them a little bit of your time and show them that you care about them, their lives, and who they are as an individual.
– Rachael Harold
When custodians act like the world has come to an end if there is any little bit of waterbased paint drippings on your classroom floor. Then follows up by saying it took him all summer to get that floor waxed and last week the floor didn't look like this! Its like, well duh! This is an art room, we do paint things, and last week we did not paint! I feel like saying, what is your job again? And I am terribly OCD with the way my room looks! That custodian really has it good!! - (from disgruntled art teacher)
People who sign their art work in huge [grandiose] letters, taking away from the beauty of the piece. I prefer signing on the back. (Submitted by Monica Bowcut)
Other teachers who take away kids' art time if they need to finish classroom work!
Educators that think art teachers were made to make posters and banners at the drop of a hat.
School systems that have no art program (here in Indiana) but advertise that students are involved in art every week. (3 peeves submitted by Sandra Smith)