A bright spot in a crazy day...

Today was hectic, chaotic and a wee bit stressful. Details, you ask? Let me just say that clean-up went awry and somehow my students thought that pouring the trays of liquid watercolor paints down the drain was helpful. ¬†Hmmm. You all would’ve been proud that I managed to hold back on cursing a blue streak.

I suppose the kids meant well, but clean-up in my art room is pretty straight forward. Nothing goes into the sink unless I put it there. Thing is, they didn’t listen. At all. Not one class today went the way they usually do, so guess what that means?

Yup. It was me.

I’ll have to think about the energy I was projecting today or how I delivered my instructions or why most kids thought they were in art recess and not art class.

So much to think about.

I have a headache.

But I do have a bright spot to share with you….a bright, shiny, glittery something…

Craft tape!


A soon as I saw these shimmering beauties at Michael’s Craft store, I knew they would be perfect for my mosaic heart project that my third graders were doing. And I was right. Despite kid’s stealing strips from each other, the tape looked beautiful on their projects. We’ll work on the sharing part next week, but for now, I will chalk up the craft tape as the best thing that happened today.

How was your day?


  1. I gasped when I read the line, “pouring the trays of liquid watercolor paints down the drain…” I really did!
    Poor you. Some days just go down the drain.
    Tomorrow can only improve, right? And that craft tape looks rad!

  2. Mary says:

    Thanks for always keeping it real Patty! There is not a day of teaching (on a Much smaller scale than you) that goes by that I don’t learn something by making a mistake (which just so happened to be the topic of discussion among my students today). Cheers to craft tape and a fresh start tomorrow! :)

  3. Charmaine says:

    Oh, wow! I totally feel your pain. It seems that over Christmas break the students took several steps backwards when it comes to listening in my classroom, too. Nothing as dramatic as you experienced, but definitely needing some behavior intervention!

  4. Elena says:

    I feel for you as well. I hate those days when everything goes wrong and the kids don’t behave the way you would like. But you are correct. They do somehow react to your energy and if you are not feeling great and despite trying to conceal it they can still detect your vibes. Hopefully you can start tomorrow with some positive energy and they will react accordingly!

  5. Mrs.C says:

    Oh Patty! When you said poured the liquid watercolors down the drain I wanted to cry for you! All my students were out of sorts before Christmas break ! It was as if all my students had been replaced with alien pod people who had no idea what any of the art room rules/procedures were! Hang in there! :)

    • Linda says:

      Wow that sounded rough and yet so funny. Days like this you have to laugh and keep going. Tomorrow will be better. That tape is amazing.

  6. Deb T. says:

    Yikes!! Iwould not have reacted well to the watercolors down the drain…and speaking of them, has anyone besides me had trouble with the bottles being leaky and drippy? I have the Sax brand, and they drive me crazy when they dribble, and leave rings everywhere :(

    • Mrs.C says:

      I have the Sax brand also and mine drip too if I am not careful. I wrap a piece of paper towel around the bottles before I pour them to catch any drips and dribbles so they are not spilling all over. :)

    • Patty Palmer says:

      Watercolor bottles are horrible. They always leak, leaving stains and rings. We should all jointly complain!

      • Deb T. says:

        I did call Sax Patty, and they said they would take note, but no one else had complained! I just feel like I am wasting the watercolors :(

    • Leah says:

      I have the Sax brand, too, and while I love the quality of the watercolors, the leaking is a disaster. I solved this by buying smaller squirt bottles (2 oz.) which I put the slightly diluted watercolors in and put out in the work area. While it is an extra step, it has minimized spills and increased the life of my supplies. The kids can refill their palettes themselves, too. (I only start with a tsp of each color in a 6-well tray for each child.)

  7. Emily says:

    Thanks for sharing both the highs and the lows of teaching art. It makes me feel like we’re all in the same boat!

  8. Meri Lee says:

    AAAHHH, yes! I remember those days well!! Makes me real glad that I am retired!! :) I always found that the 2 hardest weeks of the year were the first couple of weeks back after Christmas. It would still be dark going to work so early in the morning and usually dark when I left late. Hang in there!!

  9. Janet says:

    EEEK!!!! Sorry about your rough day!!! I hate to see things get wasted in my class as well. All of those liquid watercolors down the drain, that would bring a frown to my face!!! Then along comes a little glitter tape to go and make our day all better again. I once had a group of students stick their Sharpies right into paint. It happened so fast and broke my heart. :-(

  10. Vanessa says:

    This is the place I always come to when I have a few minutes during the day. As we all know “a few minutes” is rare. I’m so grateful to find a platform that I can come to and vent, find motivation and recharge. Thank you Patty for keeping it genuine. There are days that I feel like a jingle bell in a box and nothing seems to go the way I’d like it to and it would be unfair for to blame my students each time that happens. Checking in with self always helps for making a better tomorrow. BTW hate the Sax bottles! Wish that their packaging would change. Love the glitter tape. Can you share some more on how your using it and with what grade?

  11. Jennifer says:

    Wow, I completely feel your pain and frustration. This week has been nothing but drama because no one has been listening. Somehow everyone left their ears at home and I had 7th graders leaving brushes fulled loaded sitting by the sink. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper!

  12. Ms. A says:

    I bought the liquid watercolors for myself from Dick Blick recently and they leaked inside the shipping box. So evidently no brand offers a leakproof bottle. At those prices they should. At any price they should.

    As to non-listening kids, yes, very, very much. Destructive, too. (I don’t have a sink at either of the two schools I cover each day but there is the used water dump bucket..) I haven’t pulled out my brand-new a-treat-for-me liquid watercolors to use yet as the daily horror of what students do to the regular paint supplies (and everything else) makes me pause. I was going to try using the new paints with the kids but after their escalating behaviors lately…. (Lots of rain and dark, lots of testing at schools make for unhappy kids – and teachers!)

    Glitter tape – oooooooohhh!!!!

  13. Potterygirl says:

    Oh geez I just had that kind of day as well. Paint, that I had I spent my planning period (that is only 15 minutes, btw) mixing to the perfect shade, went down my sink earlier today. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t so low on supplies AND budget. It was enough for 4 more classes.

    The liquid water colors are worth EVERY penny. So much better than the nasty results from the pan watercolors and NO sugar or sticky residue!!!!

  14. Shanna Piatt says:

    This has happened to me as well. I wanted to cry.

  15. Julie Galea says:

    Well, I’m starting a new school year tomorrow (as I’m a teacher in Australia) and boy I’ve had many days like yours Patty. Let’s hope this year, now the children have had me for four years they will remember all the routines and expectations when in Art class. Well I can dream lol. I definitely feel more confident since finding your website. Thankyouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

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About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

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