SchoolArts Room

Ten Best Practices

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Aug 10, 2011

Managing the Art Room



  1. “Act” like a teacher - confident, calm, and in control (of self). If you get angry, try not to show it. (Sarcasm doesn’t work, either.) Treat students with respect.
  2. Establish classroom procedures from the beginning: coming in, assigning seats (helps you learn names and your substitutes will thank you), procedures for distributing and taking up materials, procedures for cleanup and leaving the room.
  3. Be prepared. Have everything you will need for your classes handy so you don’t waste time looking for things (while students wait). Lay out everything you will need for the next day before you leave for the day. (Keeping the room organized will also help).
  4. Keep students busy from the moment they walk in the room. Over prepare. Always have a backup plan if a lesson doesn’t take as long as you thought it would. Be flexible.
  5. Constantly move around the room, checking for understanding, and giving assistance as needed, while also being aware of everything else happening in the room (eyes in back of head, radar, etc.).
  6. Don’t turn your back to the class to help one student. Move so that you can scan the room as much as possible.
  7. Have consequences for both preferred and undesirable behaviors. Try to catch students doing things well and praise them.
  8. Use cues to get students’ attention (clapping hands, bells, other kinds of sounds).  I had a cleanup bell and used clackers and other noisemakers.
  9. Do not let students leave their seats without permission or direction (helpful with very young students and large classes).
  10. Write better lesson plans than you have to. It will impress your administrators and make you a better teacher.