I have been a high school art teacher for 13 years and without a doubt, the most difficult task I face isn't discipline, funding or even reaching non-English speaking students.  No, the biggest battle I have as an art teacher is organizing and storing my equipment and supplies.

I am fortunate to have a recently built classroom with a storage closet but it never fails that I am struggling with how to organize and manage.  I actually took my old classroom desks, stacked them and use them as shelves in the closet.  I have invested in a few storage tubs and portfolios to store examples but it never seems to be enough.

Like most creative types, I have a tendency toward hoarding because I never know when I meet need this stack of twenty, used mouse pads for a new project.

Storing student work and supplies is another challenge.  I am fortunate to have purchased four wire, portfolio racks that help my advanced, 2-D students keep their drawings and paintings.

Craft supplies are another challenge with limited space and students who like to "borrow" supplies when they find a chance.  This problem is multiplied with large numbers that come and go through my classroom everyday.  (AND - we all know how neat and tidy teenagers naturally are)

This week I was ending old units and starting brand new ones so supplies and equipment were overlapping.  I had blenders and drying racks set up for papermaking while I was dragging out printmaking inks, rollers and blades.  I found myself finishing up 24" x 36" (huge) ink drawing assignments while getting charcoal and pastels ready for the next projects.  I was also giving my most advanced students the freedom to select personal mediums so I had a class of 18 teens all going in different directions with watercolors, pastels, acrylics, pencil and (most chaotic of all) mixed-media-anything-goes.  

It seems I am always stirring my room like a big pot of stew but the truth is I love what I do and I am blessed to have these terrific supplies and a supportive school district.


Susan said…
I hear you! I teach both high school and elementary art, and not only does my storage place become a crowded mess, but every now and then I come in in the morning to find that someone else has cleaned out their storage and dumped a bunch of whatever on me because they think I can use whatever to make something with the kids! I have more dry rotted paper in every color than you can ever imagine! And styrofoam peanuts! And toilet paper tubes! And all kinds of really strange stuff.
Love your blog.

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