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Shirley A Boudreaux

Michelle Livek

Inquiry in Art Education

March 2, 2015

Art On A Cart: The Traveling Teacher

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Art On A Cart


Chapter I

Art On A Cart From The View Point Of Teachers In The Field

Patty Palmer

Mrs. C

Linda Papanicolaou

Chapter II

Effect: What causes them not to have a classroom

Education/Curriculum: The Show Must Go On


Chapter III


Conclusion: Surviving Art On A Cart


Chapter IV




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Visual art teachers find themselves without the all-important designated classroom
and then have to utilize carts to deliver their art lessons. This is their world. Teaching
from their art room, on a cart, has to influence these teachers in profound ways. The
practice of moving art and art materials from class to class, and sometimes from school to
school is a heavy responsibility for an art teacher. They keep all their supplies on a moving
cart or in storage boxes inside the trunk of the car. This is called art on a cart. This
practice has been going on for years and is not getting any better. This has to challenge
each teacher that faces this approach to art. Does this influence their curriculum, classroom
management, and instruction? What is it like to teach a lesson without a creative
environment? Is this affecting the students? Do the national and local level educators
comprehend the effects of this long-term practice? What will this do for the development
to the students?

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Chapter I: Art On A Cart From The View Point Of Teachers In The Field:

When the cart becomes the physical space that will be your art classroom, art

on a cart can challenge new and veteran teachers alike. This paper explores how three
teachers view their work using art from a cart.
Patty Palmer:
The website Deep space SPARKLE posted Teaching Art From a Cart on October 2,
2014. There are no more terrifying words to hear from any Art Teacher out there than,
You will be teaching from a cart. Patty Palmer talks about her early days in Deep Space
SPARKLE what its like to be an art teacher. She said, that when you are a visitor or a guest
in a classroom, you dont have much control over your teaching environment. She talks
about ways that can help us be organized and different ways to prepare before the class;
one is to know your space in each class. That way you can plan around each of the
teachers that you visit and get their viewpoint and their classroom set-up.
She talks about her planning and that its a big part of her day, taking the time to
make lists and find materials. What supplies does she need for each classroom? She has to
think of the lessons, each grade level, and doing this takes time and planning. This might
have to be done on her time and not get paid for it.
Keeping the lines of communication open with each teacher. If you dont your job
will not be easy. I also think that you need to communicate with different people within the
school. This can help make moving from classroom to classroom easier. Within the school
there are teachers, employees, and students that you do not interact with, but these people
can be a great place to find answers. She talks about making sure your projects are perfect
and that you feel 100% confident about each step in the process. I see how this will make

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it more comfortable for you and the students to understand and to get the work done. She
tells us there is so much that is out of your control, regardless, you have to be on top of
your game. One thing, that might help, is keeping your supplies in a storage area. That way
you might keep things organized in a pre-project and classroom ways. I would also label
with a color code, this can help so that your cart does not have everything on it at once. She
suggests that talking to the janitor to see if, you might get a small storage spot in the
school. This way you would not have to load up your cart everyday. I also think this
could help out in the long run with having your supplies out of the way. I find that there are
other organizing ways that can help and would be different for each grade. One might be
having their own bin in different sizes and having an inventory list on what you have on
hand and what you need.
Mrs. C:
Mrs. C: AOE LIVE Art Teacher With Attitude, Tips for Teaching Art on a Cart From a
Seasoned Pro interview with Mrs. C, from Rainbow Skies and Dragonflies Blog.
Dont you just love that title? What a great way to keep play in your classroom. Mrs.
C has been a teacher that has been teaching art from a cart for 27 years. She talks about,
like most art teachers, she also took her art rooms for granted just like most teachers do.
There are numerous art teachers out there that have been teaching art from a cart just
like nomadic peoples of the past and run from class to class. One comment that Mrs. C said
was, to befriend the custodians; youre going to need their help and support. Mrs. C also
talks about how organization is the only way that you keep your sanity in the big world of
teaching art on a cart. She said, that creative minds are rarely tidy. Make sure you stay
on top of ways to keep your supplies organized. All the teacher talk about being organized

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is the most important thing to do. So here is a small list to help out there: make lists, use
post-its, or some kind of labels. Just use whatever will help you stay organized. Mrs. C says,
your cart is your rolling room, the top is her desk area where she has her lesson plans with
all her handouts. The next shelf down is her project for each class with first-aid items, and
some of her supplies. The bottom shelf is for more supplies that she changes out for each
project that she will be doing that day. Mrs. C also talks about teaching art from a cart
will be no picnic for you and if she was given a choice, she would be in her own classroom
in a heartbeat. She is there to educate her students no matter what is going on, so she
teaches from a cart. One of the things she talks about in the interview was that, she felt like
she became the eyes and ears of the school. Walking from room to room, she had the
opportunity to meet students that were not in her art classes and gave her a different view
of the school.

Linda Papanicolaou:

Linda talks about the differences in having your own classroom and teaching from
a cart is like surviving, developing, being collaborative, and having a relationship with each
teacher. She said, that if you approach it positively it can be a very rewarding
experience. You have to rethink your materials because the lesson for transporting
teacher or art on the cart teacher is different. You will need to consider what kinds of
lessons can be done with the space you have. She talks about teaching art from a cart was
liberating for her because she had to down size what she did. She also learned what a good
lesson consisted of. Teaching from a cart, is more of a challenge, and not having everything
that goes with a classroom. She also talks about becoming friends with each teacher and

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finding funds outside of the school system. That teachers take on new suggestions that will
help them out.
These interviews were very illuminating and seeing what its like for teachers that
are in the field using art supplies that barely fit on a cart. Each of these teachers have to
have a great discipline to keep the art flowing. Their advice can change the way new
teachers see and what can be done for teaching art on the cart. I do think if they can
accept their limitations in being part of an art on a cart teacher, they can find enjoyment
in their job.

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Chapter II: Effect: What causes them not to have a classroom:

There are several common reasons why teachers find themselves without a classroom. This
can be due to: sudden over-population in a school, overcrowding in other classrooms, budget cuts,
and increased instructional time for other subjects. The proposition that conflicts of interests and
values are cultivated by structural arrangements within organizations is neither novel nor new
Dahrendorf has suggested that models of social structure must include the recognition of endemic
dissonance generated by essential authority structures in organizations. This article offers
information for teachers who have to share classrooms.
Due to budget cuts and the current economic climate, it is very rare for art teachers to have
a room. It reports that while some tenured teachers may be accepting of new teachers who use
their space, others are not. To deal with this, it advises communicating effectively with them,
keeping one's space clean, and being organized about one's paperwork to handle different
classes. Whatever the reasons are, art education has to keep going on. You might find yourself in
the classroom one week and then the next you are without a classroom. Money is a big factor in
every students education. Art is not one of the common core subjects. I feel that most people feel
that art is generally an afterthought, but without the arts, students would lose so much of their
education. What will this do for the development to the students?
Education/Curriculum: The Show Must Go On:
When the show must go on and you are in a bind, resources like Mrs. OHanley pinterest
page are great websites that can help a traveling teacher. Finding resources and people through
her website can help. Here is her blog page where she also asks all teachers to share what they
have found.

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This practice of moving art and art materials from room to room, class to class, and
sometimes from a school to school is a heavy responsibility for an art teacher. This has to
challenge each teacher that faces this approach to art. Does this influence their curriculum,
classroom management, and instruction? Yes it does, but there are always ways to re-organize
your curriculum so that it can fit into a traveling teacher plan. You just have to rethink, retry, and
National Core Art Standards:
The Department of Educations Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) report, Arts
Education In Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1999-2000 and 2009-10, affirmed
that there is a real and robust infrastructure of arts education in American schools.
However, it also revealed extreme inequalities in a students access to an art education.
This is an indicator that an art education is not universally available and too often limited
to music and art. It is also inconsistent across grade levels. 1

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Chapter III: Conclusion: Surviving Art On A Cart
Curriculum on the go, just because some visual art teachers find themselves without
a designated classroom, the show must still go on. These teachers have to adapt if its
teaching from a cart, closet or a box. The students are waiting for us. This will affect the
curriculum. As I shared in chapter 1, with teachers Patty Palmer, Mrs. C., and Linda
Papanicolaou, there is a way to teach art if its from a box or a cart. It just needs to have
planning. We need to remember that there are some factors that need to be considered
when teaching art from a cart: the design of your cart, the activities planned in the
classroom, the frequency of your lessons from class to class, accessibility of equipment,
travel patterns from classroom to classroom or school to school, time management,
location for storing all your materials, a sink or a cleanup area, space to prepare supplies,
technology that you can use, and where will you display the finished artwork.
Take the time to understand what you have been placed in and embrace it to the
fullest. Find new ways to bring art education to your students and if its something that has
to be adjusted, then just do it.

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Citation sources:

"Art on a Cart." TeacherArtExchange (Education at the Getty) -. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
"Creating." Home. Web. 14 Mar. 2015. <>.

"Teaching Art From a Cart." Deep Space Sparkle. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.

"Tips for Teaching Art on a Cart From a Seasoned Pro." The Art of Ed RSS. Web. 14
Mar. 2015. <

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Chapter IV