Social Emotional Learning

The Art Room: The Happiest Place on Earth

  I always say that the art room is “the happiest place on earth….Forget Disney!”  While that is absurd (I haven’t been to Disney World since 1994 but I remember the magic), I really do try to create a place that is special to everyone. Of course art educators see the gamut of emotions, are… Continue reading The Art Room: The Happiest Place on Earth

advocacy · being an art teacher · Social Emotional Learning · Uncategorized

Arts Advocacy Friday: Check this out!

Sometimes we wonder if art is appreciated in our culture….especially when we oftentimes have to defend the arts in public forums, school committee meetings and among colleagues. This week’s arts advocacy Friday features an article about how Harvard ( yes, Haaaaarvard), along with Yale and other Ivy Leagues are requiring medical students to study paintings… Continue reading Arts Advocacy Friday: Check this out!

Beginning of the Year · favorite find fridays · Growth Mindset · Social Emotional Learning · Uncategorized

FFF: Regina’s Big Mistake

Happy Friday Friends! Here is one of my favorite finds ever….such an oldie that I remember bringing on my job interviews as a resource to share. I feel that Regina’s Big Mistake by Marissa Moss is such a good one, that I read it to every single class on the first day of school. I ask… Continue reading FFF: Regina’s Big Mistake

Growth Mindset · Social Emotional Learning · Uncategorized

“Mine is Bad!”: How to Deal with Negative Self Talk

When handing back work, ending a class, or reflecting on artwork, we as art teachers often hear the words “Mine is so bad!”  I like to say this:


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I see you are unhappy with your work. I think one of these things might be happening:

You are fishing for compliments.

This is a very age appropriate way of getting grown ups to say “No, you are amazing! Your work is so beautiful!” If this is the case, I like to ask the child to identify which parts they are most proud of. I then try to use specific praise….Alfie Kohn style, because, as he puts it we do not want to create “praise junkies.” (Read the article, it is good!)

You are genuinely not pleased with your work yet.

If this is true…..let’s dig a little deeper. This moment is what artists go through! I remind kids to be proud of this discontent, as it means that she is really committed to doing her best work…..and that she is not there yet (growth mindset-hooray!)  This is what artists do, they engage and persist, as Studio Thinking reminds us! (Another essential read and Ted Talk)

You do not know how to be proud of yourself.

This is definitely an issue for some kids, and is why I am motivated to teach. I have this poster (below) that I always show the student and whisper (I have that poster for you!) It takes time to learn how to be proud of yourself….and practice too. I remind them, that is why we are here! (Check out the fabulous Ted Talk link!)


What do you say to your students when they have negative self talk?