13 Qualities of an Effective Art Teacher

All art teachers must have the ability to communicate, inspire trust and confidence, and motivate students, as well as understand the students’ educational and emotional needs. They must be able to recognize and respond to individual and cultural differences in students and respond with the appropriate teaching method that will ensure student success.

While this is a start, as an art teacher, you must be creative with a passion for art and a drive to share that love of art with others. This passion will inspire your students to use their imagination, ignore traditional boundaries and embrace innovation. Because you’ll be working with students to help develop skills or unlock potential that they may not have the confidence to see yet, you must also be patient, caring and empathetic. Implementing an open-door policy and taking the time to listen, coach and guide students will not only build their skill set but also foster a lifelong love of art making.
If you don’t have enthusiasm about what you’re teaching, then why would your students? A high-energy class that encourages creativity, collaboration and understanding is the best way to solidify a solid, fun learning environment.

According to the National Art Education Association’s (NAEA) Professional Standards for Visual Arts Educators, art teachers should posses certain knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide high-quality art instruction for all students. This combination of skills will allow you to guide and support meaningful art instruction in K-12 schools, museums, and other community settings.

NAEA Standards at a Glance
As you continue on your journey to obtain your masters in art education, refer back to this list often to remind yourself of why the education profession is right for you.

  1. Art teachers must have a thorough understanding of visual art
  2. Art teachers understand student characteristics, abilities and learning styles
  3. Art teachers understand diverse social and cultural constructions of identity
  4. Art teachers make informed selections of art content and curricula
  5. Art teachers use knowledge of students as learners to plan appropriate instruction
  6. Art teachers use contemporary technology to enhance teaching and learning
  7. Art teachers conduct meaningful and appropriate assessments of student learning
  8. Art teachers systematically reflect on their own teaching practice
  9. Art teachers assess program effectiveness
  10. Art teachers collaborate with other educators
  11. Art teachers serve their schools and their communities
  12. Art teachers continue their professional development throughout their careers
  13. Art teachers contribute to the growth of their profession

Last revised on: June 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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