Monthly Mentor

Jaimee Taborda (February)
Each month, a different member and NAEA awardee is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Jaimee serves as a Department Head, Mentor Coordinator, Adjunct Professor, and Secretary for the Massachusetts Arts Education Association. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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June 24, 2019

Starting Strong

By Sarah Krajewski

No matter how long you’ve been teaching, you know that feeling of a new school year approaching. Each school year is a brand new fresh start. I always love the beginning of the school year. I’m refreshed, the kids are excited, and I’m full of new ideas! Starting strong can change the entire course of your school year. I always tell my students “Each new day is a chance to start over. If your class had some trouble focusing last art time, we can try again from a clean slate next class!” The same goes for the beginning of the year.

Ask yourself a few questions before you sit yourself back down into the same routine.

What wasn’t working?

I can always think of a few classroom routines that I want to edit each school year. Summer is the perfect time to sit back and reflect and take advantage of some much-needed research time. With the help of blogs and social media, there is an entire resource of teachers that have suggestions and solutions for your exact issues. As teachers, we are constantly striving to be the best for our students. With that, comes a responsibility to give them the best resources we can get our hands on!

What makes you proud?

Take a moment to celebrate what you have accomplished! Let’s be honest, the work never ends. So, it’s important to take a moment and see the successes of you and your students. What do you want to keep consistent that really makes you proud of your art program?


What do your students need?

Really think about what it is that your students need. It may not be as simple as adding a new classroom management tool or buying a new set of watercolors. Maybe you want to focus more on their mental health or their ability to reflect and talk about their art. What do you feel is lacking for them as artists and people? Keep your goals simple and manageable.

I can’t wait to start strong this next year! I always get excited to add new things and see my students again with fresh faces. They deserve the best art experience possible and as art teachers, we are going to give it to them!

Thanks for reading and keep being your best you!

Follow along with my daily art adventures @artroomglitterfairy on Instagram or check out more at



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