Why Do I Teach?
The Education of Art
Art is an essential part of who we are and the world around us. We express thought, ideas, and understanding through the senses; communicating through written or spoken word, movement and image. Going back to school after homeschooling my children gave me a broader and greater sense of the importance of the arts for all disciplines, and all students. The opportunities of growth as individuals through the arts leads to more empathetic and critical thinkers in the larger community. Similarly, the combination of skills acquired, history understood, and studio habits gained, give confidence in the communication of contemporary world needs and issues.
The Role of the Art Teacher
I can’t stop teaching. Every day is filled with teachable moments and circumstances. I am more concerned with artistic process than final product. There are so many lessons learned from thinking, planning, persisting, collaborating, evaluating your own process, and reflecting on the outcome. My teaching style focuses on helping students understand how artistic process is integrated into other disciplines and everyday life: social, mental, physical and spiritual. By incorporating choice into the curriculum, I hope to spark student’s curiosity of the connections through art. My methods include a comprehensive blend of formal principles, art history that includes contemporary practices and culture, encouraging growing studio habits and the value of constructive critique and collaboration. My goal is to help students to explore and experiment with new mediums, as well as develop better problem-solving skills and higher order thinking by continued practice of technique and reevaluation of process. I have continually seen the importance of the arts for attaining understanding of the self, fostering greater critical thinking, and growing awareness of current issues.
Helping them understand the “why” behind learning is invaluable to making connections to their communities, and how they can be a part of a larger picture. Long-term and multi-step projects, research, hands-on tinkering, cross-disciplinary studies, and choice-based mediums will lead to more meaningful expression and connections as they move on to adulthood. Formal technique and practice married with greater observation and awareness of the needs of the community, locally and globally. Assessments should be a balance of self-reflection of the student’s process, coupled with collaborative critique and student/teacher meetings for evaluation of more than just skill growth. My goal is for the students to have a broad range of developing creative habits and thinking which will benefit all of their interests for the present and future.
We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture.