My teaching philosophy is be passionate and compassionate in what you do and how you treat others. I am passionate about learning and teaching relevant and meaningful subject matter and I am committed to teaching art projects that resonate with diverse learners. When educators teach meaningful subject matter, their students become engaged and invested in their learning. I believe when my students enter my classroom, regardless of their backgrounds, that they are all capable of making art and of being a person with integrity. I define integrity as acting with honesty and being responsible for your actions. I believe, as an educator, that having high expectations for your students, means having high expectations for yourself. My integrity as a teacher rests on my ability to lead by example.
My role as a teacher is to clearly define the classroom expectations for my students. From day one of entering my classroom, integrity will be our guiding principle. I expect my students to demonstrate a willingness to try a project and put forth their best effort, no matter the outcome. But in order for this to happen, the classroom needs to be a safe place. I believe it is my job to ensure emotional and physical safety for everyone so that students feel safe to take risks and try new creative processes without unnecessary fear of failure and judgement. Additionally, I strive to create projects that are challenging, yet manageable so that students experience success and gain self-confidence through their accomplishment. Lastly, student voice and input on classroom expectations is also important in building a safe learning community, and I will ask them what they expect from me? What are they interested in learning? From the first to the last day of a class, I will consistently hold my students and myself to these expectations as an integral part of my classroom culture.
The flow and the function of my classroom begins and ends with me. In order to facilitate and manage the best possible learning environment for my students, I must establish routines around distributing supplies, work time, and clean up time. An established flow of daily processes is crucial in creating a classroom where making is at the center. Every-day, I strive to enter my art room in a present state of mind and well prepared for the day. By being well prepared for my lessons, I am capable of managing all the curve balls that will come my way on any typical day of teaching. Being prepared also means being flexible when a class does not go as planned. The day to day process of making art and the learning involved in that, are just as significant as a completed project, so the quality of that process is of utmost importance to me.
Students will find that I am compassionate and approachable yet firm when it comes to my expectations around behavior and learning. I always strive to be fair and consistent. When students are apart of a positive classroom environment of learning and caring, they begin holding themselves and one another accountable which in turn creates a thriving and healthy classroom culture.
The art room is a place of inspiration, creativity, play, acceptance and hard work. The walls should have informational posters that reinforce curriculum, posted group expectations, and a place for student work to be hung. Tools and supplies will be well cared for and organized in order to teach respect for resources and for students to do their best work. All of these factors will make the art room a place where every student can be successful!