This conversation is the first of a series titled “Hard Lessons: Trauma, Teaching, Art History.” Crafted in a moment of extraordinary collective trauma, the series acknowledges and examines the myriad ways we encounter trauma within our varied teaching practices. In our classrooms, we regularly confront horrifying histories of racialized and gendered violence, oppression, imperialism, colonialism, and other abuses of power. Often, we engage with artworks whose beauty obfuscates violent pasts and presents; other objects deliberately evoke affective responses from viewers by means of their formal elements. Students and instructors alike bring diverse and unknown backgrounds and experiences to the study of arts practice and discourse. But our classrooms are also rhizomatic networks of collaboration, of community, and of imagination. “Hard Lessons” takes seriously the crucial significance and transformative power of pedagogy, particularly as it intersects with the teaching of visual culture.Through a series of contributions from art historians, practicing artists, and museum educators, “Hard Lessons” explores the multivalent ways in which arts educators make space for learning through varied, and often intersecting, experiences of personal and collective traumas. In content ranging from interviews and roundtables to critical essays and toolkits, we aim to bridge the gap between theory and praxis for arts educators. We hope that the space “Hard Lessons” carves out for critical reflection, coupled with the tools and actionable advice offered by our contributors, will provide support for educators not just during this period of collective trauma, but beyond: we aim to foster an extended conversation, one that continues to build trauma-informed pedagogies explicitly tied to the teaching of visual materials as we return to in-person teaching and open museum doors.—Jenevieve DeLosSantos and Kathleen Pierce, Series Guest Editors