May 18, 2024

Interested in becoming a certified art teacher? This is what you need to know.

Art teachers guide K-12 students in developing a foundation in visual arts while helping them discover and develop innate talents and artistic abilities. They prepare lesson plans, teach art techniques and theories, and evaluate student progress. In addition to sharing their love of the arts, certified art teachers play an important role in developing creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, and self-expression in their students.

The path to becoming a certified art teacher varies by state or region. Generally, it involves earning a bachelor’s degree in art education or a related field, completing student teaching, and passing a certification exam. Some states may require additional coursework or experience.Most states require art teachers to hold a teaching license. To obtain a license, you must complete an approved teacher preparation program and pass a state certification exam. The requirements for teacher preparation programs vary by state, but they typically include coursework in art education, general education, and pedagogy. Student teaching is also a common requirement.Once you have completed your teacher preparation program and passed the certification exam, you will be eligible to apply for a teaching license. The specific requirements for obtaining a teaching license vary by state. Once you have obtained your teaching license, you will be able to teach art in public schools.

How to Become a Certified Art Teacher

Becoming a certified art teacher involves meeting specific requirements, including education, training, and certification. Here are eight key aspects to consider:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in art education or related field
  • Student Teaching: Supervised teaching experience in a school setting
  • Certification Exam: Pass a state-approved certification exam
  • Teaching License: Obtain a state-issued teaching license
  • Art Skills: Proficiency in various art forms and techniques
  • Lesson Planning: Ability to develop and implement effective lesson plans
  • Classroom Management: Skills to manage a classroom and promote a positive learning environment
  • Student Assessment: Knowledge of assessment techniques to evaluate student progress

These aspects are interconnected and essential for becoming a successful certified art teacher. A strong foundation in art skills, combined with effective lesson planning and classroom management, enables teachers to engage students and foster their artistic development. Certification and licensing ensure that teachers meet the state’s standards and are qualified to teach art in public schools.


A Bachelor’s degree in art education or related field is a crucial foundation for becoming a certified art teacher. It provides aspiring educators with the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience necessary to effectively teach visual arts in K-12 schools. The curriculum typically encompasses a comprehensive understanding of art history, theory, and techniques, along with pedagogical approaches tailored to art education. Student teaching, a supervised practicum experience, allows prospective teachers to apply their learning in real-world classroom settings, honing their instructional abilities and classroom management strategies.

The importance of a Bachelor’s degree in art education or related field cannot be overstated. It equips aspiring art teachers with the specialized knowledge and skills required to engage students, foster their creativity, and nurture their artistic development. Graduates of such programs are well-prepared to create and implement effective lesson plans, assess student progress, and maintain a positive and stimulating learning environment.

In conclusion, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in art education or related field is an essential step on the path to becoming a certified art teacher. It provides the necessary foundation for effective teaching practices, ensuring that future art educators possess the expertise and pedagogical skills to inspire and empower their students.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is an integral part of the journey to becoming a certified art teacher. It provides aspiring educators with an invaluable opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world classroom setting under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher.

  • Practical Application of Teaching Methods: Student teaching allows aspiring art teachers to implement pedagogical strategies learned in their coursework, gaining hands-on experience in lesson planning, classroom management, and student assessment.
  • Feedback and Refinement: During student teaching, aspiring teachers receive regular feedback from their mentor teachers, enabling them to refine their teaching practices, improve their communication skills, and develop effective strategies for engaging students.
  • Classroom Management Skills: Student teaching provides a platform for aspiring art teachers to develop essential classroom management skills, such as establishing clear expectations, maintaining a positive learning environment, and fostering respectful interactions among students.
  • Collaboration and Networking: Student teaching offers opportunities for aspiring art teachers to collaborate with other educators, administrators, and parents, building valuable connections and gaining insights into the broader school community.

In conclusion, student teaching is an indispensable component of the certification process for art teachers. It provides a unique blend of practical experience, feedback, and professional development opportunities, equipping aspiring educators with the skills and confidence to effectively teach visual arts in K-12 schools.

Certification Exam

Passing a state-approved certification exam is a critical milestone in the journey to becoming a certified art teacher. This exam serves as a comprehensive assessment of an aspiring educator’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in art education. By successfully passing the certification exam, candidates demonstrate their readiness to teach visual arts effectively in K-12 schools.

The certification exam typically covers a wide range of subject areas, including art history, theory, techniques, lesson planning, assessment strategies, and classroom management. Candidates are expected to demonstrate a deep understanding of these concepts and their practical applications in the field of art education. Passing the certification exam signifies that the candidate has met the state’s standards for teaching art and is qualified to receive their teaching license.

The importance of passing the certification exam cannot be overstated. It is a gatekeeper to the teaching profession, ensuring that only those who have demonstrated the necessary knowledge and skills are entrusted with the responsibility of educating young minds. Moreover, the certification exam serves as a benchmark for professional development, encouraging aspiring art teachers to continuously enhance their knowledge and stay abreast of best practices in art education.

Teaching License

Obtaining a state-issued teaching license is a crucial step in becoming a certified art teacher. It serves as a legal authorization granted by the state’s education agency, certifying that the individual has met the necessary requirements to teach art in public schools within that jurisdiction. The teaching license is a testament to the teacher’s qualifications, including their knowledge, skills, and commitment to the profession.

The process of obtaining a teaching license typically involves completing an approved teacher preparation program, passing a state-approved certification exam, and meeting any additional requirements set by the state. These requirements may include background checks, fingerprinting, and evidence of continuing professional development. Once all requirements are met, the candidate is issued a teaching license, which must be renewed periodically to maintain its validity.

Teaching licenses are essential for art teachers as they provide legal protection and demonstrate their professional standing. Holding a valid teaching license ensures that art teachers have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively instruct students in the visual arts, fostering their creativity, artistic abilities, and overall development. Moreover, it signifies the teacher’s commitment to maintaining high standards of teaching and ethical conduct, contributing to the quality of education and the well-being of students.

Art Skills

Art skills form the cornerstone of effective art teaching. Certified art teachers must possess a deep understanding and proficiency in various art forms and techniques to effectively convey knowledge and inspire their students.

  • Drawing and sketching: Foundational skills that allow teachers to demonstrate and guide students in capturing forms, perspectives, and compositions.
  • Painting: Expertise in different painting media, such as watercolors, acrylics, and oils, enables teachers to demonstrate techniques, color theory, and composition.
  • Sculpture: Knowledge of sculpting techniques, including modeling, carving, and casting, empowers teachers to guide students in creating three-dimensional artworks.
  • Digital art: Proficiency in digital art tools and software allows teachers to integrate technology into their lessons, expanding students’ artistic capabilities.

These art skills are not only essential for demonstrating techniques but also for fostering creativity, problem-solving, and self-expression in students. Certified art teachers serve as role models, showcasing their artistic abilities and igniting a passion for the arts in their students.

Lesson Planning

Effective lesson planning is a cornerstone of successful art instruction and a pivotal component in the journey to becoming a certified art teacher. It involves the systematic organization and sequencing of learning objectives, activities, and assessments to create a cohesive and engaging learning experience for students.

Certified art teachers must possess the ability to develop and implement lesson plans that align with curriculum standards, cater to diverse learning styles, and foster a dynamic and stimulating learning environment. These lesson plans serve as blueprints for art lessons, guiding teachers in their delivery of instruction and facilitating student progress.

Effective lesson plans typically include clear learning objectives, engaging activities, and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learners. They incorporate a variety of teaching strategies, resources, and assessments to cater to different learning styles and ensure that students are actively involved in the learning process. By implementing well-crafted lesson plans, art teachers create a structured and supportive environment that promotes student engagement, critical thinking, and artistic expression.

Classroom Management

In the realm of education, classroom management is an indispensable skill, especially for certified art teachers. It encompasses the strategies and techniques used to create and maintain a conducive learning environment that fosters student engagement, minimizes disruptions, and promotes a positive and respectful atmosphere.

  • Establishing Clear Rules and Expectations: Certified art teachers set clear rules and expectations at the beginning of the school year, outlining acceptable behaviors, consequences for misbehavior, and procedures for various activities. This provides students with a framework for understanding what is expected of them, promoting self-discipline and reducing confusion.
  • Creating a Welcoming and Inclusive Environment: Certified art teachers strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where all students feel valued and respected. They use positive reinforcement, praise student effort, and encourage collaboration among students, fostering a sense of community and belonging.
  • Managing Transitions and Activities: Certified art teachers effectively manage transitions between activities and ensure a smooth flow of instruction. They provide clear instructions, give students ample time to complete tasks, and use visual cues or signals to minimize distractions and maintain a focused learning environment.
  • Addressing Misbehavior and Conflict: Certified art teachers have strategies in place for addressing misbehavior and conflict in a fair and consistent manner. They use positive discipline techniques, such as redirection, time-outs, and restorative practices, to address inappropriate behavior while maintaining a positive relationship with students.

Effective classroom management is crucial for certified art teachers as it directly impacts the quality of instruction and student outcomes. By creating a positive and structured learning environment, art teachers can foster student engagement, promote artistic expression, and nurture a lifelong love for the arts.

Student Assessment

In the field of art education, student assessment plays a crucial role in the journey to becoming a certified art teacher. It involves the use of various techniques to evaluate student learning, monitor their progress, and provide feedback to enhance their artistic development.

  • Formative Assessment: Certified art teachers employ formative assessment techniques, such as observations, critiques, and self-reflections, to provide ongoing feedback to students throughout the learning process. This allows them to identify areas for improvement, adjust their teaching strategies, and support student growth.
  • Summative Assessment: Summative assessments, such as portfolios, exhibitions, and projects, are used to evaluate student learning at the end of a unit or course. They provide a comprehensive view of student achievement and demonstrate the extent to which students have mastered the learning objectives.
  • Authentic Assessment: Certified art teachers incorporate authentic assessment methods that involve students in real-world art experiences. This can include creating artwork for a community project, participating in art competitions, or collaborating with professional artists. Authentic assessment allows students to apply their skills and knowledge in meaningful contexts.
  • Differentiated Assessment: To cater to diverse learning styles and abilities, certified art teachers use differentiated assessment techniques. This involves modifying assessment methods to ensure that all students have an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and progress.

Effective student assessment is essential for certified art teachers as it helps them tailor their instruction to meet the individual needs of students, track their progress over time, and provide meaningful feedback to promote artistic growth and development.

FAQs about becoming a certified art teacher

Becoming a certified art teacher involves meeting certain requirements and qualifications. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Question 1: What are the general steps to become a certified art teacher?

Typically, you need a bachelor’s degree in art education or a related field, complete student teaching, and pass a certification exam. Additional coursework or experience may be required depending on the state.

Question 2: What is the role of a certified art teacher?

Art teachers guide students in developing their artistic abilities and critical thinking skills. They prepare lesson plans, teach art techniques and theories, and evaluate student progress.

Question 3: What are the benefits of becoming a certified art teacher?

Certified art teachers have the opportunity to inspire students, share their passion for art, and make a positive impact on their lives. They also enjoy job stability and opportunities for professional development.

Question 4: What are the challenges of being a certified art teacher?

Art teachers may face challenges such as large class sizes, limited resources, and the need to adapt to diverse learning styles. They must also stay up-to-date with art education best practices.

Question 5: What are the qualities of an effective certified art teacher?

Effective art teachers are passionate about art, possess strong communication and interpersonal skills, and have a deep understanding of child development and art education methods.

Question 6: What is the job outlook for certified art teachers?

The job outlook for art teachers is expected to grow in the coming years as the demand for arts education increases. Certified art teachers have the opportunity to work in various settings, including public schools, private schools, and community centers.

Tips on Becoming a Certified Art Teacher

Obtaining certification as an art teacher requires dedication, preparation, and a passion for teaching art. Here are some tips to guide you on this journey:

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education or a Related Field:

A bachelor’s degree in art education provides a comprehensive foundation in art history, theory, and teaching methodologies. It also includes supervised student teaching experience.

2. Complete Student Teaching:

Student teaching offers practical experience in a real classroom setting. It allows you to apply your knowledge and skills under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher.

3. Pass the Certification Exam:

Most states require art teachers to pass a certification exam. This exam assesses your knowledge of art education, pedagogy, and art-making techniques.

4. Develop Strong Art Skills:

Certified art teachers should possess proficient skills in various art forms, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital art. These skills enable you to effectively demonstrate techniques and inspire your students.

5. Focus on Lesson Planning:

Well-crafted lesson plans are essential for successful art instruction. They should align with curriculum standards, engage students, and cater to diverse learning styles.


Becoming a certified art teacher is a rewarding career path that requires dedication, preparation, and a passion for teaching art. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success in this fulfilling profession.


Becoming a certified art teacher is a multifaceted journey that requires a combination of education, skills, and dedication. It involves earning a bachelor’s degree in art education or a related field, completing student teaching, passing a certification exam, and continuously developing one’s artistic and pedagogical abilities. Certified art teachers play a vital role in nurturing the creative potential of students, fostering their artistic growth, and inspiring a lifelong appreciation for the arts.

The path to becoming a certified art teacher is not without its challenges, but it is an incredibly rewarding profession that offers the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of young learners. By embracing the principles of effective art education and staying abreast of best practices, certified art teachers can empower students to unlock their creativity, develop their artistic skills, and find joy in the transformative power of art.

Unveiling the Path to Certified Art Teaching: A Journey of Discovery