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Ideal Art Classroom

At our last meeting for art department chairs from high schools in our district, we were presented with an outline of the “ideal art classroom”. Generated by someone at the district office, the list contained every piece of technology known to man including a “Smart Board” (cost $3,000.00), the latest model desktop computers (several per class), ergonomic keyboards, printers, etc.

“Where is the sink?” I asked after scanning the list. “There is no sink on this list.”

“Oh. You are right.” Came the response from our Art Subject Area Coordinator — who acts as the liaison between us teachers and the district administration. “We better add that to the list.” She said.

The list also lacked bookshelves, paper drawers, drying racks, and student storage. It reflected none of the needs of a fine art studio and was instead front loaded with technical equipment that would not only be useless in an art room, but would take up precious display and work space. It came as no surprise to me that the district had developed this list without input from actual teachers, but what worries me is that this is their vision of what an art room should look like. And will, if they have their way.  

My ideal art room would be large, roomy and contain PLENTY of storage space — which has always been a serious problem in every class that I have ever taught in. It would include storage for student backpacks and books that get in the way of working. Lots of windows and natural light, a minimum of three sinks, lots of wall display areas, counter space and ceilings that allow for hanging art. I ‘ll keep our flat screen TV and DVD player, but I don ‘t want computers cluttering up counter space. And as for Smart Boards? I ‘d rather have a smart Board of Education than a Smart Board for my classroom.  

What ‘s does your ideal arts classroom look like?

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