Monthly Mentor

Sandra (Sandy) Cress (February)
Each month, a different member and NAEA awardee is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Cress is in her third year of teaching in public schools and is currently an art educator in a rural K-8 school in West Virginia. She has been a member of NAEA since she was a student in college and has served as treasurer on the West Virginia Art Education Association Board of Directors since 2012. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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December 01, 2018

My Space

By Shelly Breaux 

I am a jump now, think later type of person, often finding myself thinking “what did I just get myself into?” I was asked to Blog for the NAEA Monthly Mentor after I received the honor of Southeastern Secondary Art Educator. I immediately responded YES! So here I am asking myself “What did I get myself into?”  I don’t know the first thing about blogging. I don’t really read blogs. I don’t know if there is blogging etiquette. I guess I need to figure it out. So here I am embracing this new experience.  Isn’t that what we do to our students every day? Throw something new at them, have them dive in and problem solve. 

I figured I would start the month by sharing my space in which I work in every day. From that moment you walk into your classroom for the very first time, you only then can start your big plan. Your space dictates your procedures and your instruction.


I am very fortunate to have the size and space I have in my classroom. I don’t clean for guests, so I didn’t clean-up for the picture.

How we utilize our space says a lot about us as educators. Everything in my room has a purpose. Everything we do comes from a plan. If that plan doesn’t work then we reflect and make changes accordingly. Now if you are anything like me, at times my best ideas come spare of the moment and I just roll with it.

Picture2I want my students to take pride in their space. Placement of materials can make or break traffic flow and transitions.


Storage space!!! We can never have enough.


I created a space for critiques or just for students to take a step back to look at their work in progress.


Being able to work with my students is valuable in demos. I don’t know what I would do without my Elmo!


My hallway has cork walls where I can staple the students work directly to the wall to display for the year.


A huge perk I have is having this patio area right outside my classroom for students to work outside on pretty days if they choose.


It’s a mess, but it is my organized mess. Having a space where I can keep my library of books and lock up items you don’t want students to have access to is nice.

Till next time….Imagine!




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