Becoming a Successful Art Teacher: A Step-by-Step Guide

Becoming a Successful Art Teacher: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you passionate about art and education? Do you dream of inspiring the next generation of artists? In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to becoming a successful art teacher. From obtaining the necessary education and certifications to developing your teaching skills and building a strong portfolio, this guide covers everything you need to know to excel in this rewarding career. Whether you are just starting out or looking to take your teaching to the next level, this guide will provide you with the tools and resources you need to succeed as an art teacher.

Education and Training

To become a successful art teacher, it is essential to obtain the necessary education and training. Here are the steps you can take to achieve this:

Obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education

One of the first steps towards becoming an art teacher is to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education. This program typically includes coursework in art history, studio art, and art education methods. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) to ensure that you receive a high-quality education.

Complete a student teaching internship

Hands-on experience is crucial for aspiring art teachers. As part of your education and training, you will need to complete a student teaching internship in a classroom setting. This will allow you to gain practical experience working with students and implementing art education curriculum.

Pursue continuing education and professional development

The field of art education is constantly evolving, so it is important to stay current with the latest trends and techniques. Consider pursuing continuing education courses, attending workshops and conferences, and joining professional organizations such as the National Art Education Association (NAEA). By continuing to learn and grow as an art teacher, you will be better equipped to help your students succeed.

Building a Strong Portfolio

When it comes to becoming a successful art teacher, having a strong portfolio is essential. Your portfolio is a reflection of your skills, creativity, and teaching abilities. Here are some key points to consider when building your art teacher portfolio:

Create a diverse range of artwork

Showcase your versatility as an artist by including a variety of mediums, styles, and subjects in your portfolio. This will demonstrate to potential employers or clients that you have a wide range of skills and can teach a variety of techniques to your students.

Showcase your teaching philosophy and methodologies

In addition to showcasing your artwork, it’s important to include your teaching philosophy and methodologies in your portfolio. This will give potential employers or clients insight into your approach to teaching art and how you can help students develop their own artistic skills and creativity.

Include student work and success stories

Another important aspect of building a strong art teacher portfolio is including examples of student work and success stories. This will demonstrate your ability to inspire and guide students to achieve their artistic goals and showcase the impact you have as a teacher.

By following these tips and including a diverse range of artwork, your teaching philosophy, and student work in your portfolio, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful art teacher.

Gaining Teaching Experience

Aspiring art teachers can gain valuable experience by volunteering or interning at local schools or art programs. This hands-on experience allows individuals to work closely with students, develop teaching skills, and build a strong foundation in art education.

Another option is to apply for substitute teaching positions. Subbing allows individuals to gain experience in a variety of classroom settings and grade levels, while also providing the opportunity to showcase their teaching abilities.

For those looking for more permanent opportunities, seeking out part-time or full-time art teaching positions is key. This allows individuals to fully immerse themselves in the role of an art teacher, develop curriculum, and establish themselves within the education community.

Developing Classroom Management Skills

As an art teacher, developing strong classroom management skills is essential to creating a productive and positive learning environment for your students. Here are some key strategies to help you effectively manage your art classroom:

Establish clear expectations and consequences

Setting clear expectations for behavior and academic performance is crucial in maintaining a well-functioning classroom. Clearly communicate your expectations to your students from the beginning of the school year and consistently reinforce them throughout the year. Make sure to also establish consequences for when students do not meet these expectations, and be sure to follow through with them consistently.

Implement engaging and interactive teaching methods

Keeping your students engaged and interested in the material is key to preventing behavior issues in the classroom. Implementing interactive teaching methods, such as hands-on art projects, group work, and multimedia presentations, can help keep your students actively involved in the learning process. Be sure to vary your teaching methods to cater to different learning styles and keep your lessons interesting and engaging.

Adapt lessons to cater to diverse student needs

Every student is unique, with their own learning preferences and abilities. As an art teacher, it’s important to adapt your lessons to cater to the diverse needs of your students. This may involve providing alternative assignments for students who may struggle with traditional art projects, offering extra support for students with learning disabilities, or challenging advanced students with more complex projects. By individualizing your instruction, you can create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for all of your students.


Becoming a successful art teacher is a rewarding and fulfilling journey that requires dedication, passion, and continuous learning. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, aspiring art teachers can develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to excel in the classroom. Remember to always prioritize creativity, individuality, and student engagement in your teaching practice. With perseverance and a genuine love for art education, you can inspire and empower the next generation of artists to reach their full potential.