I was once told as an art student that every creative act is an act of bravery. Every mark is a decision that encompasses risk and reward, process and product, exploration and reflection. As an educator I challenge my students to explore, learn and create fearlessly so that they may become better artists, people, and members of society. As a teacher, my guiding principles are openness and connectedness. I share my passion for art, as an artist, by motivating my students to discover a new interest or develop an existing one within the arts that focuses on creativity rather than solely on technical achievements. I encourage them to bring their own perspectives to the classroom and interpret their personal stories and opinions in a visual way. I design coursework that is relevant and relatable to students’ lives and promote creativity by asking them to reinvent familiar ideas and themes in innovative and authentic ways. The overarching objectives for my students are as follows:
Students will have a well understood knowledge of art history and its effect on contemporary art and social and cultural practices.
Students will study the principles of art and design so they may utilize as many different media to effectively express themselves.
Students will adapt traditional art methods in a way that reflects their personal interests and curiosity. They will learn to tell stories visually in addition to creating images and objects.
Students will use critical thinking skills to answer the big questions: what is art, why do I create and what role do I want it to play in my life personal and professional life?
To complete these objectives I utilize a variety of teaching strategies: visual aids, demonstrations, and reading and verbal instruction, acknowledging that students retain information differently and respond better to certain types of instruction. I value individualization within equity and acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of all students so they may excel at their own pace instead of being compared to a student that may have begun at a higher level or has more experience. Differentiation and accommodations for English language learners and students with special needs are always included in my instructional planning. Fairness and consistency guide my classroom management. I establish a behavioral plan and enforce it when there is any violation, minor or major, to maintain an organized, and safe learning environment for my students. The art classroom must be a safe space for all students to have a verbal and visual dialogue with one another and myself. An organized space with clear behavior expectations is critical to achieve this. Within this structure I encourage questioning, reward participation, and discuss concerns openly with my students while being sensitive and attuned to those students who struggle to be engaged outwardly. I promote self-motivation and aim to set the example for my students that creating and learning are processes that combine inspiration, determination, collaboration and reflection.