Page 4 - 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)
The elementary art teachers in my district are teaching 9 thirty-minute art classes a day because this is the contractual planning period for classroom teachers. - Meg
Kids who ask me "Is this good?" I really hate that question. But at the same time it's an opportunity to teach them that they have to answer that question for themselves. Often though there isn't much time to really explore that thought. After several months of classes, most have learned not to ask this.
District administrators and city officials who spout rhetoric about "supporting the arts" when I am teaching art as a volunteer because as a full time artist, I live in a district that with 50 elementary schools serving approx. 50,000 students that doesn’t have a single paid art specialist or a dedicated art room in any of it’s 50 schools. Not one. But we have standards. Yup!
When I go into the "supply" room and there is no white paper but the shelves are lined with box after box of white board markers in all the colors of the rainbow.
Stick people, suns in corners, traced hands, lollipop trees, blue clouds with a white sky and the blue strip sky--you know--landscape drawing with blue strip at the top, large white area, then the ground. --AGH!! - Kelly Mackey
After reading the previous peeves, I sympathize with many. My peeve needs to be explained a bit. My job consists of three different schools. Three days a week I have a classroom (7 classes each day), one day a week on a cart (6 classes), and a day in a lunchroom/gym (4 classes). I also have other random duties at all three schools (bus, car, recess, etc.). Art teachers have their responsibilities, such as making props for school musicals, setting up for the school district display each month, and many others. I can't stand the miscommunication between the schools with my responsibilities. Too many musicals (within a week?!), too many displays, too many favors asked, and teachers that are crabby with me when I mess up their schedule (when the principle switched classes around the assemblies, just so the kids get their art class). Where do you find the time???? I arrive at school two hours early just to set up my projects for my 7 classes in one day, and teachers are coming in asking for displays for their family literacy night that's to happen in two days???? And the school district wonders why they couldn't keep an art teacher in that position for more than a year for the past 10 years! I did bring this to all the principles attention, and I remedied a few situations. It's better to act that to sit and complain!
I agree with the lack of prep time pet peeve as well. The other art teachers in the district get "School Wide Art Project" time, and I get 30 minutes a day to prep materials. Oh well.
And this one gets to me! So... when a student acts out in class, would you like to tell me when to fit in the time to call the parent? I do make the time happen (even if it's 2-3 days after the incident), and even when I'm trying to contact the parent, the phone numbers are all disconnected!!!!! What would happen if your child had an emergency?
- Anonymous elementary teacher
A) When custodians complain about the messes in art rooms are forgetting that spilled paint, glitter and scraps of paper on the floor are job security for them. If there were no messes for them to clean up, they wouldn't have anything to do.
B) When parents, friends, and classroom teachers say it must be fun to be the art teacher they fail to see the fun is had by the kids. Teaching and managing 300 or more students, in more than one school with less then perfect facilities (teaching in the cafeteria) is a job that requires enormous amounts of energy. I love what I do but it is not always fun.
C) It drives me crazy when kids don't write their names on their work, even if you have said it a hundred times
Classroom teachers who pick up their classes from art period late-almost all the time. This takes away the 5 minutes prep time I am supposed have on my 6 class a-day K-5 rotation schedule. Also, when they are so late that your next class has already entered your room, they have to stand out in the hallway unsupervised making noise and disrupting the library across from me and other classes on the hall. I used to just send them back to class on their own, but the principal said that wasn't allowed-I understand because if a child gets hurt I would be blamed. I am surprised no other art teachers listed this in their gripes. This is a problem with many classes I have, year after year, no matter how nicely I remind them of the scheduled times. Always and excuse-meetings, clocks off, etc.
-DD in Texas
Not a Pet Peeve, but a real Grievance. If your administrator doesn't "get" art, you're treated like a second class citizen and your evaluations show it. At the K-8 school where I taught art, my principal appreciated the art and knew when messes and other parts of the classroom were an expected part of the classroom. My evaluations weren't A-pluses, but where I needed improvement, she also mentioned how it was challenging when involved in teaching the fine arts. She "got" the arts! Then I finally got to narrow my field and teach high school art - what I always wanted. But on my first evaluation, I just taken to the wood shed on the messes in my room and put on an improvement plan! They even said I didn't use resources and materials properly. Are you kidding me? Organizing projects to avoid vandalism, having strict material sign-up procedures, using power points and other technology doesn't ring a bell?! How about spending my own money on materials the school won't give me? And I practically a D grade on that section? Are they kidding me?! What am I working my butt off for in the organizing for if they'll give me an Unsatisfactory rating despite everything I've accomplished?!
They didn't "get" the art making process and also didn't get that messes are a part of the process. The important thing is for students to be aware of the process and take responsibility for clean up when that part of the class period begins. That same evaluation also dragged me threw the rocks on not having "bell to bell" instruction. Um, when you need to use the last 5-10 minutes of class to clean up, tell me how I'm supposed to teach to the bell?! If they're following the process and cleaning up, then they are doing what they're supposed to be doing and learning classroom parameters as well as techniques, principles and elements of art. - Anonymous in Arizona
Art teachers that don't show techniques.
Art teachers that don't know any painting techniques.
Art teachers that are never in the class because they are too busy doing other things, and not teaching the class.
Art teachers that don't teach marketability.
Art teachers that change their mind half way through a project.
Art teachers that give very simple instruction and then don't like what the student does.
Art teachers that have students make useless objects that get thrown out afterwards.
Art teachers that pick favorites.
Art teachers that have some thing going on, and then expect each student to know what it is without any explanation.
Art teachers that want students to write negative sentences about other students work.
Art teachers that talk badly about other students.
Art teachers that are not progressive in today's economy.
Art teachers that like what the student is doing and then take over their project, just when the student thought it was fun.
Art teachers that just don't know how to teach.
Art teachers that think they know everything, and then paint paperdoll cut out dresses.
Art teachers that give too little information and then turn their nose up, expecting student to guess what they are asking for.
When a related arts teacher (elementary level) is out sick, we must "sprinkle" the class among our class . The kids who are sprinkled do bot have a clue what we are doing... apparently it just doesn't matter. - LaDonna Dixon
Teachers who call students out of the art classroom to come to their room by saying, 'Are you doing anything important today?' - Anonymous
My pet peeve is parents who tell me in front of their kid that "he/she is not creative" or that "he/she is not artistic"! Why not encourage the student and see what happens? Some of the biggest success stories of my students have been the kids who's parents didn't think they had it in them. What they needed was exposure and encouragement. Will they hang works in the Louvre? Maybe, maybe not, but what we are after is creative expression of high quality, not necessarily a career in art in the first year of class. - Jeffrey Jones
Students that feel like they are already there so they sign everything even before they finish. Students with this type of attitude never learn anything because they know it all and are too afraid to try something new. - Anonymous
Art teachers who think art is all about "Creativity" and spend absolutely no time teaching students technique.
Art teachers who think the grid method is "evil"; maybe your students artwork wouldn't suck if you used the grid method too!
Art teachers who over value originality way too much; let the kids focus on technique, they will discover how to create their own compositions when they become more confident with their art skills.
Art teachers who spend "2 weeks" teaching drawing and move on, could you finish a drawing in 2 weeks? Oh yeah, that's right, you probably can't draw yourself!
Art teachers who set deadlines for students who are working hard on their projects, if they are showing continual progress, why does it have to be done by a certain date?
Art teachers who were influenced by "bad" art teachers growing up, become a "bad" art teacher themselves, do exactly what their "bad" teacher taught them, and continue the viscious cycle!
Art teachers who are too lazy to enter more than one art show a year! If you don't want to promote your program, don't be an ART TEACHER!
Art teachers who think if a high school kid did good art that their teacher either probably did it for them or they student copied or traced it. Maybe that kid just has a really good teacher and the reason why your students work isn't as good is because you are NOT! - Mike
I hate it when students complain about every project the teacher comes up with. Don't they know that teachers have standards that they have to follow? When they work on your art it's to teach, so pay attention! - Lenny
3 words.. "It's just art" no matter who says them...students, other teachers, parents, guidance counselors... administrators! I challenge anyone to go one day, heck, even one hour without using something created by an artist/designer/creator! Tracey, Art Educator