Wednesday, April 3, 2013

SmockTip #6- How to Get Students Out the Door On Time!

When the bell rings, is your art room spotless with students standing in a perfect & orderly line?  If your answer is no or not always, continue reading for another helpful SmockTip.

If there is one thing that art teachers wish for, it is more time with our students.  As much as we wish we could have five more minutes, the reality is that we have to stick to a strict time schedule and tardiness is not an option.

When I first started working as an art specialist I admit that I was less than punctual when it came to getting my students out the door on time.  If I did get them out the door on time, the room was often left in chaos.  I was giving my students at least 5 minutes for cleanup, so why wasn't it working?

An experienced colleague with 22 years of art teaching under her belt gave me some great advice.  In her planning book she writes the times of the classes with a little mental trick in place.  If a class is officially scheduled from 9:00-9:45, she records the time in her planning book as 9:00-9:40.  By doing this, her brain is on track to have the class out the door at 9:40 allowing for ample passing time to the next location.

I decided to follow in her footsteps and record all of my class times with an ending time 5 minutes ahead of schedule.  The results are on-time exits 90% of the time (Hey, I am not perfect and this is a BIG improvement).

If my students ever surprise me by cleaning up speedily and we are left with a few extra minutes before we really need to walk out the door then I use it as an opportunity to review key concepts, vocabulary words, artist biographical information, or to teach an art song : )

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