Through the development of observation skills, divergent thinking, creative problem solving, and critical thought – the arts are a powerful tool for both understanding the world and expressing ideas. The act of engaging and experimenting with media in an artistic way builds knowledge about the material world and how it can be responsibly manipulated to communicate meaning through visual language. Themes that run throughout my teaching practice include collaboration, personal identity, engagement with nature, sustainability, empathy, and social justice.
Teaching Style and Methods
My teaching style embodies a balance of parameters and freedom. In order for students to feel ownership over their learning, lessons must be structured to provide boundaries while allowing students to construct their own understandings and express themselves uniquely.
As an artist who enjoys a variety of media, one of my goals as an art educator is to introduce students to diverse artistic processes. By exploring a vast array of media such as papermaking, painting, printmaking, clay, video production, and photography, students can discover the various vehicles for expressing their artistic voices. In this sense, both content and form are important elements of student learning.
In order for students to feel that their learning matters, they must be able to articulate the discoveries they make through art. I believe that artist statements are essential in reflecting on personal motivations, as well as communicating ideas with others. In addition to the quality of the work and the depth of the artist statement, I assess student learning formatively through sketches, games, and signs of engagement.