The Perils and Art of Teaching Off a Cart – An elementary teacher’s humorous perspective


Fellow teacher-friends,

Are you tired of feeling like a nomad, wandering the hallways with your trusty art cart in tow? Do you ever feel like a street vendor, hawking your wares to unsuspecting students? Well, you’re not alone.

For a sixth year in a row I’ve been assigned the task of teaching off a cart and let me tell you, it’s not as glamorous as it sounds.

First of all, there’s the constant fear of losing my balance and ending up on the floor with my papers scattered everywhere. And let’s not even get started on the bumps in the hallway that send my markers flying across the room.

But the real kicker is when I have to move from one classroom to another. It’s like a scene straight out of Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Perfect Lecture. I have to navigate through narrow doorways, dodge students, and avoid obstacles like overstuffed bookcases and rogue lunch boxes.

And don’t even get me started on the looks I get from my students or colleagues. They’re either confused or impressed that I, Ms. Hope, have mastered the art of teaching while mobile.

Teaching art off a cart is like trying to paint a masterpiece on a rollercoaster. One minute I’m explaining brush strokes, the next I’m dodging students and trying not to spill water buckets everywhere.

For the sake of pure amusement, I’ve compiled a list of the top inconveniences of teaching art off a cart. So, here it goes:

The Top Inconveniences Of Teaching Art Off A Cart:

  1. The constant threat of a “rolling blackout” – you know, when the cart gets stuck on a bump in the hallway and all your paintbrushes and water buckets go flying.
  2. The “art cart shuffle” – the awkward dance you do to navigate tight corners, backpacks and snowsuits, and crowded classrooms.
  3. The “cart-o-phobia” – the fear that you’ll forget something important and have to make a mad dash back to the art office praying the principal won’t catch you.
  4. The “cart-o-mania” – the urge to collect every single art supply known to man and fit them all on the cart just in case.
  5. The “elevator jam” – when the elevator gets stuck and you’re trapped like a sardine with your cart and mounting anxiety, secretly hoping the (hot) firemen don’t have to rescue you.
  6. The “elevator weightlifting” – when you have to carry the entire contents of your art cart up and down the stairs every hour because the elevator is out of service again.

However, let’s not forget the perks of teaching off a cart (because there really are some, I promise!):

  1. The “cart-o-mobile” – the ability to take your art class anywhere, even to the bathrooms (hey, it can happen).
  2. The “cart-o-tainment” – the endless entertainment provided by watching students try to navigate the cart and avoid running into it.
  3. The “cart-o-power” – the feeling of being in control of your own little art kingdom, even if it’s just the size of a utility cart.

Seriously though, when children see their teachers teaching off a cart, they’re learning several important lessons, such as:

  1. Organization: The importance of organization and how to keep their supplies in order, making it easier to find what they need.
  2. Adaptability: How to adapt to different learning environments and how to make the most of what’s available to them.
  3. Creativity: How to use their imagination and be creative with the supplies they have available to them.
  4. Resourcefulness: How to make the most of limited resources and how to work with what they have.
  5. Flexibility: How to be flexible and adapt to different situations and challenges.
  6. Problem-solving: How to think critically and solve problems when they have limited resources.
  7. Independence: How to be independent and take ownership of their own learning and art projects.
  8. Time management: How to manage their time effectively and prioritize their work to meet deadlines.
  9. Collaboration: How to work and collaborate with others, and share resources to make things easier.

So as you can see, teaching off a cart comes with its set of challenges, from navigating tight spaces and crowded classrooms to the fear of running out of supplies. But it also has its perks, such as the ability to bring art education to any location, and the ability to expose all students to a wide range of art forms and techniques.

At the end of the day, as an art-on-a-cart teacher, I’m conscientious of the fact that teaching art off a cart is helping teach my students valuable life skills that they can apply to other areas of their lives, such as problem-solving, adaptability, and creativity.

And despite the bumps and spills, I’ll always keep rolling along, creating masterpieces one day at a time (so long as I don’t have an art room of my own that is). I will continue to soldier on, determined to deliver the best lesson possible, even if it means doing it from a rolling cart.

So if you see me in the hallway, give me a wave and a smile, and if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even give me a push.

Thus, to conclude this rambling blog post on the perils and art of teaching off a cart, let us embrace the inconveniences and enjoy the perks of our art cart lives. After all, where would we be without our trusty mobile art stations? And who would our students be without us?

Your friend in art cart-o-mania,


PS: If you enjoyed this blog post and would love to learn more about my art cart adventures, be sure join my mailing list and stop by my TPT store where I have an entire Art-on-a-Cart Toolkit which is filled with many useful suggestions and tools!

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Hey there, Reader!

Are you a first-year art teacher? More specifically: are you new to teaching art off a cart? If you are the latter, I know exactly how you are feeling right now, teacher-friend, because I was “you” 6 years ago. But there’s good news: Elementary Art Teacher Starter Pack was made for teachers just like you because it was specifically designed to help elementary teachers navigate their very first year of teaching art off a cart.

At the heart of this bundle is my updated Art-On-A-Cart teacher guide and toolkit, which was purely created to help struggling art-on-a-cart teachers by providing them with useful tips and tricks for success. 

This bundle is for you if…

  • You’re looking for ways to stay organized this school year. 
  • You’re looking to improve classroom and time management.
  • You’re looking for ways to engage your students with out-of-the-ordinary creative tools and resources.
  • You’re looking to improve efficiency and productivity when it comes to teaching art off a cart.

This Elementary Art Teacher Starter Pack includes my:

Click on the links above to learn more about each of these resources and what they include.


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