Saturday, May 10, 2014

What Art Teachers Make

I'm sure you've all heard the fabulous speech  "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali. It is so incredibly inspirational and accurate. He speaks no holds barge about what teachers make and I'm NOT talking per pay check people.

After I saw his video I started asking myself, "well what do I make?" So I started writing. Now I am definitely NOT as eloquent a writer as Taylor, but as a sort of 'spoof' on this famous speech I bring you my version called "What Art Teachers Make"

He says the problem with art is 
What’s a kid going to learn about Math and
Science from drawing and painting?
What would the world be if everyone was an artist? 

He reminds the other dinner guest that there’s a reason why they call them “starving artists”. 
How can anyone make a living off of a career in art?
I mean, you’re an art teacher, Annette, be honest. 
What do you make?

I take a deep breathe and hold back my eye roll. 

You want to know what I make?

I make students be more creative than they ever thought they could be
I make test scores go up without teaching one of those “Core” subjects. 

I can make a young artist feel like Van Gogh and the Mona Lisa look like remedial skills. How dare you waste my materials and not challenge yourself. 

I make kids find their own answers and none of my books have the them in the back. How do you think it looks? What do you think this composition needs?

I make students understand that breaking the rules is sometimes acceptable. Yes, you may add that. Yes. you can try that. 

I make students think of ideas they never even thought were possible. 
I make math and science seem easy compared to the problem solving I make my kids do. 

I make students literate in visual aspects.  
I make students critical of themselves and the world around them.
I make a space of safety where difference is celebrated and voices are made visual. 

You want to know what I make? 
I make students connect EVERY subject in ways that they never thought possible          
I make them critique
I make them question 
I make them find inspiration everywhere
I make them struggle
I make them push themselves hard than they have before
I make them erase, erase, erase
I make them try, try, try again until their work is something they are proud of

That’s what I MAKE 
Now you tell me who DOESN’T need that?



  1. This is fantastic!!!! Definitely going on my classroom wall

    1. Fun! Please send me a picture when you do :)

  2. Reading that made me feel so passionate for what we do as Art educators. Why can't our students and fellow teachers see it the same way? Here's to always fighting the good fight. Thanks for sharing.