September 9

ARE VISUAL ARTS TEACHERS CRAZY?

screaming woman
screaming woman

screaming woman

Are Visual Arts teachers crazy?

warning crazy

warning crazy

Well, I’m sure I am already. But what about you?

I would really like you to comment on some of the weird, wild, crazy things that have happened in your classroom.

I once had a child projectile vomit and I watched as it flew across the work table and landed right full on the chest of the child opposite who then stood up and started screaming – now that was a crazy day!

yuk

yuk

And I’ve already told the story on my blog of my lovely grade 6 helper who came in early one morning to assist me. As we were pumping paint into the palettes, side by side, my red paint bottle squirted a huge amount of paint. “Ahh, that’s cleared that blockage,” I thought to myself, until my helper started giggling. I turned to see her covered in red paint! It was all over her hair , all over her face, and all down the front of her Cambridge Primary School uniform jumper! Already a disaster to deal with and it was only 8.15 am!

red paint splodge

red paint splodge

And what about requests from other teachers for your art supplies?

 

please

please

Just when you have that grade that never settles well, actually settled, in barge two students asking can they please have  –

5 pieces of rainbow striped paper,

7 turquoise balloons,

12 frog shaped sequins,

19 paint rollers, (“Little foam rollers?” “No, the type you paint your house with.” ?!?!?!?)

25m of thin wire cut into metre lengths,

25 pairs of scissors (“Don’t you have scissors in your classroom?”  “Yes, but we don’t want to make our scissors blunt cutting up the wire into smaller pieces so we’re going to use yours.”)

127 icy pole sticks all exactly the same size because last time we got them they weren’t all exactly the same size, etc, etc, etc!

“And when do you need these things by?”

“For our maths session – now!”

And what about the crazy things that other people ask you to do???????

please

please

Oh, you’re the art teacher can you just………

draw a dragon for me 4 metres long and it needs to have purple wings…………..

draw a dodecahedron 2 metres across………..

and an icosahedron that isn’t two metres across………..

draw a caricature of me that doesn’t make me look fat

and draw a caricature of all the children in my class…………..

wrap these 27 presents for our special school visitors…………….

after you’ve made the 27 gifts for our special school visitors…………

they ask you about how they should display this work in their classroom and can you just put it all up for me because I’m too busy to do it myself …………..

can you paint me 12 signs for the next dance/trivia night/parent evening/camp meeting/ball/church fundraiser/basketball club enrolment night/…………

can you write out all my wedding invitations for me in your nice handwriting…………..

and by the way I need it by next week/Thursday/tomorrow/today/in an hour/in twenty minutes/in 5 minutes/last week!

And what about when the students made incredible mosaic pictures of Australian animals using lentils and soup mix and seeds.

seeds lentils

seeds lentils

They were gorgeous and I left them out on the work shelves for the PVA glue to dry. It was about the same time that they started building new houses along one side of our school and all the tiny little field mice quickly packed their bags and moved into the art room and started feasting on the Australian animal mosaics, each and every one!  

small mouse

small mouse

I could write some sort of scientific paper about how they seemed to like the pumpkin seeds best, as when presented so generously by me with such an all you can eat banquet, they ate pumpkin seeds the most, but still managed to nibble on every single art work!

fat mouse

fat mouse

And did we have the school fumigated to get rid of them ? Of course not – that costs too much! Instead, the Principal bought long post mailing tubes and told me to stick a mouse trap in the end of each one.

mail tube

mail tube

“Pardon?” I said blankly.

“Put a mouse trap in the end of each one of these long postage tubes.”

“Why?” I ventured bravely.

“To catch the mice!” He snapped with a look on his face that told me I was as thick as a plank.

“And why a tube?” I bravely enquired further. Hey, I was on a roll here. He hadn’t had a meltdown, which he was famous for, yet, so I might as well keep asking my obviously silly, annoying questions.

mousetrap

mousetrap

“Because it is DANGEROUS to have mouse traps in a classroom full of children!!!!” He growled.

“How do I get the mouse trap down the end of the long tube?”

“You put it in there!”

“How?”

“With your hand obviously!!!”

“In the long tube?”

“Yes.”

“With your hand ?”

‘Yes!”

“Down the long tube?”

“YES!!!”

“Has the trap been set?”

Silence.

“Or am I supposed to set the trap while it’s down the long tube with only one hand and I won’t be able to see what I’m doing?” I queried, pleasantly.

More silence.

He looked around the room. Grabbed my metre ruler from where it stood near the board. Crouched down on the art room floor in his oh so tailored navy blue trousers and hand made Italian leather shoes, set the trap and started pushing it towards the end of the tube.

metre ruler

SNAP!

The mouse trap went off and bounced wildly up and down on the art room floor.

trap going off

trap going off

So he jumped up and ran and grabbed a shorter ruler from one of the tables, crouched down and reset the trap. He oh so carefully pushed it towards the end of the tube again.

SNAP!

So again he jumped up and grabbed a pencil from the tabletop. got down on his hands and knees, reset the trap ever so carefully, then approaching the trap like a demented ninja, extended the pencil balletically from the grip of his thumb and first finger and began to push the trap agonisingly slowly towards the tube.

pencil trap

pencil trap

I could imagine the sweat beading on his brow as he was concentrating so hard. The air was sickly thick with tension.

SNAP!

And this time the trap was stuck on the end of the pencil!

Oh-oh! Meltdown here we come!

So he bent down, picked up the tube and the rulers, held the tube upright, dropped the offensive pencil eating trap down it, shoved the tube and everything else at me, stormed across the room, hastily brushing the invisible dust off his now, art room germ soiled, oh so tailored navy blue trousers and hand made Italian leather shoes,  growling over his shoulder as he went,  “I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out!” And slammed the door shut.

So come on – tell me about all the happenings, requests and demands on you that have contributed to turning you into a CRAZY ART TEACHER!!!!

crazy art teacher

crazy art teacher

And thank you for the idea for this post Kaneisha in grade 4!

I look forward to reading your comments,

Shell

7 thoughts on “ARE VISUAL ARTS TEACHERS CRAZY?

  1. shelleymenhennet (Post author)

    Thank you 4S student – and I think I know who you are!!!
    Yes, a lot of what we do is crestive and crazy and that is basically because i am creative and crazy. I don’t think you can actually be a Visual Arts teacher without being a little bit crazy!!!!
    I am so happy that you have commented on my blog and I would love it if you left some comments on some of the other posts in the blog. That would be terrific. It’s probably not a good idea to tell you that I am very
    Thanks again,
    Mrs Menhennet happy when my students write comments on my blog as it is excellent wring practice!!!!

    Reply
  2. shelleymenhennet (Post author)

    Whoops! The last sentence was supposed to read
    That would be terrific. It’s probably not a good idea to tell you that I am very happy when my students write comments on my blog as it is excellent wring practice!!!!

    Reply
  3. 4s student

    Thanks for responding I really hope I have you next year you are one of my favourite teachers I love how you made us paint on the old CDs it was a very creative way to make a tree thanks from 4s student ps my CD was on your blog

    Reply
  4. shelleymenhennet (Post author)

    Thank you 4S student!
    You are one of my favourite students!!!
    Painting on the CDs was a lot of fun. I just have to find time to put the CDs up on the wall. Hopefully I will get it done soon but it won’t be until after the Art Show as I am spending every minute I can on getting ready for it. Your painted CD was one of my favourites!!!
    Thanks for writing on my blog. Did you read the long post I put on this page about being crazy? I would like to know what you thought of my story with the mice.

    Reply
  5. Gail

    Hi Shell,
    You made me laugh this morning when I came across this post. Of course we are crazy…no one else would put up with this stuff. I once got a request to build a train for the food bank drive (great cause but seriously a train), oh and make it look realistic with extra cars we can add as we collect food and we need Monday (this was Friday am).
    or the “we need to take both your storage rooms away, the teachers need a small meeting area, (uh can’t they use the library) and while your at it you should toss all that cardboard, fire hazard.

    Gail

    Reply
    1. shelleymenhennet (Post author)

      Yes Gail, the last minute requests are usually the best ones! last weekend was our whole school art show and nobody in their right mind would volunteer to be in charge of that! We had approx 3000 pieces of art on display as my still aching body keeps reminding me. Coming in to school yesterday morning was awful as I was so exhausted. I went to the supermarket on the way home from school yesterday arvo, walked in the house, dumped the shopping for dinner on the kitchen bench, told my kids they were cooking dinner, and was asleep in bed at 6.00pm! I d feel a little better today but really don’t think /I’ll be fully recovered until next week!
      Thanks for your comment,
      Shell

      Reply

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