I consider myself an art educator that works to instill in my students a joy for making and
learning about art, the ability to think as artists, and the development of an artistic mindset for
seeing the world. I work to create in my students of any age or background an enthusiasm for
the visual arts by providing opportunities to develop creative confidence, an aesthetic
awareness, and a unique voice to their work. I value learning through first-hand experiences and
reflecting on those experiences.
Encountering Materials: The Hundred Languages
In my classroom, I work to provide opportunities for students to encounter art materials and to develop a relationship with the materials. I develop provocations, explorations, and challenges with a variety of artistic media. Through this process, students discover how each medium has
a unique voice and speaks a different language. Students develop a relationship with art materials and processes that enable them to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
The visual arts provide students with tools (observing, drafting, designing, interpreting,
composing) to study and research many different concepts and subject matter. I work to collaborate with other educators on integrating the visual arts with other subject matter as a way to provide multiple access points for students to understand and communicate new ideas. The visual arts provide an opportunity for students to create original responses to their findings.
Making Learning Visible: Documentation and Reflection
Documentation and reflection are essential elements of my teaching and learning strategies. I promote opportunities for students to document and reflect on their experiences. I also use documentation and reflection as ways to reflect on my teaching processes. I believe that documentation, reflection, and finding ways to make students learning visible with my colleagues are important aspects of creating a community that values the voice of students.
Developing an Artistic Mindset
As an art educator, I believe in the importance of developing within my students an artistic mindset. I work to develop the skills and attitudes that give time to look and observe the environment and different forms of artwork. Students learn to see different perspectives, to look
for visual variations, and to visually compare and contrast when studying their environment, their own artwork and others. In this process, students develop observational skills and the ability to
see the world through an artistic lens.
I believe in the importance of creating a classroom that supports the social-construction of knowledge. I believe that my role as an educator is to create a collaborative environment where
students can feel comfortable voicing their ideas, thoughts, feelings, and believes with each other as well as with myself. Students need to have opportunities to “play with ideas” and theories and to share these thoughts with each other. I encourage group brainstorming sessions, group projects, and group presentations.
I view myself as a learner alongside my students. I join them in reflecting, listening, creating connections, raising questions, and listening. My philosophy of teaching is centered on a deep respect for students’ interests and passions, creation of community, and the importance of critical thinking skills.