Inspirational tips for art teachers


Teaching art has a big role to play in promoting creativity and encouraging children to try new things, regardless of their age or ability.

It’s a subject with the power to inspire and it often exposes pupils to topics and aspects of culture that they may otherwise not know much about.

Art teachers can, therefore, act as drivers to ensure that pupils are thinking about art in new ways and enjoying the subject in the process.

Here are a handful of ways that art teachers can help to inspire pupils at both primary and secondary level to showcase their creative talents.

Start with the basics and work up

When working with younger pupils, art teachers need to start with the basics, before moving onto more complex challenges.

If pupils have a better understanding of what they are looking at, they are far more likely to be engaged – for instance, an art teacher may first ask for pupils to draw animals or flowers, before progressing onto people and buildings.

This should mean that pupils can build their confidence as they develop new skills, making them more comfortable by the time it comes to tackling something more difficult.

Give pupils time to be creative

Once a task is set, pupils should be given a quiet period in which to work and reflect on it – they should learn that this is a period of silence and that there will be other times when discussion and chit-chat are allowed.

While a certain amount of structure is needed in lessons, pupils also need time to use their skills and develop new techniques, which such time allows.

Having a quiet time also enables pupils to gather their thoughts effectively, enabling them to question what they have created and to think about ways of improving their work.

The role of demonstration

Art teachers that can demonstrate the key concepts they are trying to showcase should find they have greater levels of engagement in the classroom.

Not only does drawing or painting in front of the class provide inspiration, but it can also give encouragement for those that might be unsure of how best to do things.

Consider different objects and materials

Art doesn’t have to be all about drawing and painting! Several materials that can be used to spark creativity, from fabrics and textiles to elements from the outdoors.

An art teacher may also wish to use other forms of art alongside each other to illustrate their point, such as using photography to accompany painting for example.

The power of planning

Introducing new artistic concepts and ideas isn’t always easy, which is why an art teacher should give plenty of thought to planning.

Good lessons will include everything from recaps and a focus on basic skills to wider tasks and opportunities to review what has been done, although the finer details will vary wildly.

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