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Conquer Your First Day Back: Art Teacher Survival Guide

art teacher back to school first day of school May 25, 2024
Conquer the first day back at school with ease. Our guide offers art teachers actionable tips, creative project ideas, and access to the Art Teacher Academy for continuous professional growth. Elevate your teaching and engage your students from day one.

Conquer the first day back at school with ease. Our guide offers art teachers actionable tips, creative project ideas, and access to the Art Teacher Academy for continuous professional growth. Elevate your teaching and engage your students from day one.

Introduction: The Back-to-School Excitement and Jitters 


The back-to-school season brings a palpable energy that can stir up a mix of emotions for educators, particularly those in the creative realm of art education. The anticipation of stepping back into the art room, the curiosity about the new faces that will soon fill the space, and the eagerness to spark creativity in young minds can be as daunting as it is thrilling. This guide is designed to ease the transition back to school, providing art teachers with a treasure trove of tips, techniques, and inspirational ideas to conquer the first day and beyond. Whether it's setting the right atmosphere, engaging students from the get-go, or planning a year full of artistic exploration, we're here to ensure you start on a high note, equipped to face any challenge with creativity and confidence.


Practical Tips for a Smooth First Day 

The first day of school sets the tone for the entire year, especially in the dynamic, colorful world of the art classroom. Here's how to ensure a smooth, successful start:

  1. Preparation is Key: Spend time before school starts organizing your supplies, planning your layout, and envisioning how each area of your room will be used. Clear signage, labeled supplies, and an organized workspace will not only help you but also guide your students in navigating the room efficiently.

  2. First Impressions Matter: Create an inviting atmosphere. Consider a welcome banner or a colorful, interactive art installation at the entrance. This can spark curiosity and excitement as students enter, making a memorable first impression.

  3. Establish Routines Early: Clearly outline the class structure, routines, and expectations from the get-go. Use engaging visuals or interactive activities to introduce these concepts, making it easier for students to understand and remember the rules and routines.

  4. Engage with Icebreakers: Start with an art-related icebreaker activity that allows students to express themselves and get to know each other. It can be as simple as drawing their summer experience, creating a name tag with illustrations, or sharing their favorite art medium.

  5. Set Clear Goals and Expectations: Discuss the objectives and expectations for the year, highlighting the exciting projects and skills students will learn. This not only builds anticipation but also gives students a clear understanding of what to expect and strive for.

  6. Foster a Safe and Inclusive Environment: Emphasize the importance of respect, creativity, and open-mindedness in your classroom. Encourage students to appreciate and celebrate each other's work, creating a supportive community where creativity can flourish.

  7. Incorporate Technology Smoothly: If you plan to use digital tools or platforms, introduce these early on. A brief tutorial on accessing and utilizing these resources can save time and confusion later, ensuring seamless integration into your projects and assignments.

  8. Personal Connection: Make an effort to learn something about each student. This can be achieved through a simple questionnaire, a one-on-one chat as they work on their first activity, or a group discussion. Knowing your students' interests, strengths, and areas for growth can help tailor your teaching to meet their needs.

By focusing on these practical steps, you can ensure that your first day back is not only smooth but sets a positive and creative tone for the year ahead. Remember, the goal is to ignite a passion for art in your students while creating an organized, welcoming environment where they feel valued and inspired.

Igniting Creativity: Engaging Students from Day One


In the art classroom, the first day presents a unique opportunity to kindle the creative spark within each student, setting the stage for a year of exploration, discovery, and artistic growth. Engaging students from the outset requires a blend of innovation, inspiration, and personal connection. Imagine starting the year with an artistic time capsule activity, where students fill a small container with personal artifacts, aspirations, and a self-reflective letter. This not only serves as an introspective exercise but also as a tangible measure of personal and artistic growth when revisited at the year's end.

Consider the power of collaboration through a class-wide mural project. This activity not only allows students to leave a personal mark on the classroom environment but also fosters a sense of community and shared achievement. By integrating personal sketchbook introductions, students can dive into self-expression from day one, offering a window into their personalities and interests through visual language, which can be shared among peers to build connections.

The setting of personal and collective artistic goals can further personalize the educational journey. Encourage students to visualize their aspirations through vision boards or mind maps, blending imagery and text to craft a roadmap of their desired achievements and areas of exploration. This process not only anchors the students' intentions for the year but also encourages a sense of ownership over their learning process.

Incorporating technology, such as digital art quests, allows students to explore the vast world of art beyond the classroom, fostering digital literacy alongside artistic curiosity. Interactive activities like creating a community art bucket list can broaden students' understanding of art's impact and its potential to enrich the community. This approach not only promises a year filled with creativity and exploration but also cultivates a classroom atmosphere where art is seen as a dynamic, living dialogue between the individual and the world. Through these engaging, creative practices, the art classroom becomes a sanctuary of imagination, where every student is empowered to explore their creative potential and express their unique vision.

Find Art Resources and Lessons for Back to School:


Preparing your art classroom for the return to school is an exciting opportunity to inspire and engage your students from day one. The Ms. Artastic TPT store is an invaluable resource for art educators seeking creative, ready-to-use art lessons and activities tailored for the Back to School season. Here’s a guide to finding and utilizing these resources to ensure your classroom is a hub of creativity and learning:

Navigating to the Ms. Artastic TPT Store

Your first step is to visit the Ms. Artastic TPT store, a platform filled with resources curated by an experienced art educator. The store’s layout is designed to help you find what you need quickly, whether it’s lesson plans, project ideas, or classroom decor.

Discovering the “Back to School” Resources

Specifically tailored for the art classroom, the Back to School category features a selection of resources designed to ease the transition back into the academic year. Here, you’ll find activities that not only engage students but also lay the groundwork for a year of artistic exploration.

Utilizing Advanced Search Features

For art teachers with specific themes or projects in mind, the search feature within the Ms. Artastic store is incredibly helpful. Enter keywords related to your curriculum needs, such as “Back to School art activities” or “creative icebreakers,” to filter through the extensive catalog of resources.

Examining Resource Details and Previews

When a particular resource catches your eye, delve into its details and previews. Ms. Artastic provides thorough descriptions and visual previews for each resource, allowing you to gauge its suitability for your classroom and teaching style.

Exploring Resource Bundles

For comprehensive curriculum support, consider the resource bundles offered by Ms. Artastic. These bundles provide a curated collection of lessons and activities at a value, covering various topics and skills ideal for starting the school year off strong.

Staying Updated With New Releases

The Ms. Artastic TPT store is continually updated with fresh, innovative resources that reflect the latest in art education. Make it a habit to visit regularly or follow the store to receive notifications about new additions and seasonal resources that can enhance your teaching and your students’ learning experience.

Leveraging the art resources and lessons available in the Ms. Artastic TPT store empowers you to create an engaging, supportive, and creative environment from the very start of the school year. With a diverse range of materials at your fingertips, you can spend less time planning and more time doing what you do best—inspiring your students through the power of art.


Leveraging the Art Teacher Academy for Year-Round Support:

The Art Teacher Academy stands as a beacon for educators in the vibrant world of art education, offering an unparalleled resource designed to refine and enhance teaching methodologies. This program is meticulously crafted to address the unique challenges and opportunities faced by art teachers, equipping them with the tools, strategies, and insights needed to elevate their teaching experience and make a lasting impact on their students and school community.

At the heart of the Art Teacher Academy is a comprehensive 10-week, work-at-your-own-pace program that delves into the essential facets of art education. Through engaging video lessons, participants are guided through innovative strategies and systems focused on the key areas of lesson planning, productivity, classroom management, student engagement, and effective communication. These lessons are not just theoretical; they are rooted in practicality, designed to be directly applicable to the classroom setting, ensuring that teachers can see real improvement in their methods and outcomes.

To complement the video lessons, the Academy provides a dynamic workbook that serves as a roadmap for personal and professional growth throughout the program. This interactive workbook encourages reflection, planning, and the application of learned strategies, ensuring that each participant can tailor the experience to their specific needs and goals.

Moreover, the inclusion of ready-to-use templates within the Academy's resources is a game-changer for educators. These templates streamline the planning process, from lesson development to classroom management, allowing teachers to focus more on the creative and impactful aspects of their role rather than getting bogged down by administrative tasks.

Recognizing the ongoing need for professional development, the Academy awards a 10 PD Hours Certificate upon completion, acknowledging the commitment and learning achieved through the program. This certification, subject to approval by local districts, underscores the program's value and the tangible skills gained by its participants.

An exciting bonus that sets the Art Teacher Academy apart is the Art Creation Toolkit. This toolkit is a treasure trove of resources including structured lesson plan templates with quick pick features, creativity challenges, choice-based art lessons, and fully planned art projects complete with tutorials, lesson plans, and assessments. Valued at $80, this toolkit is offered for free with the course, providing an incredible resource that promises to inspire, organize, and invigorate the art teaching experience.

The Art Teacher Academy is more than just a professional development course; it's a community and a resource that supports art educators in their mission to bring creativity, passion, and excellence to their classrooms. By focusing on proven strategies and continuous improvement, it empowers teachers to work smarter, not harder, and to truly make a difference in the lives of their students and the broader school community. Discover more about how this program can transform your teaching approach by visiting the Art Teacher Academy website.



As we conclude, it’s clear that the resources available in the Ms. Artastic TPT store are invaluable for art educators seeking to make the Back to School season as productive and engaging as possible. From detailed lesson plans to creative art projects, these resources are designed to ease the transition into the academic year while sparking students' creativity from day one. Armed with these tools, teachers can look forward to a school year that not only meets educational standards but also exceeds the creative expectations of their students. Let the journey begin, and may your art classroom be a space where creativity knows no bounds and every student feels empowered to express their artistic voice.


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