My History and Philosophy
I often share with students that as an elementary student, I loved to create art, but wasn't very good at it. I didn't feel like I had "the talent" that I thought was needed to create art.
In high school, I took some art classes for fun---drawing, photography, ceramics, digital art--- but never really saw myself as an artist or even an art student. I actually was much more involved in our school's business department, which housed the "Desktop Publishing" courses that I grew to love, as well as being involved in dance and clubs.
When I tell the kids about my experience with art, I share that I didn't intend to become an art teacher and that, when I left for college, I had my heart set on becoming a History Teacher with a minor in Photography - the art that I felt strongest in.
After taking one two-dimensional design class, I started to change my tone about art. I started to realize that the ability to create art isn't something your just born with...not the "talent" that I had considered it. I realized that anyone can make art-abstract or realistic- and that learning to do so was more like learning dance, math, or an instrument: it required a lot of practice.
While I still held a strong passion for becoming a teacher, I decided to shift from history to Art Education. I wanted to share my experience with art and make all students who entered my room feel that they could create art too.
I am a firm believer in art being something that is individual to each student. My favorite kinds of lessons are the ones in which students make projects in which no two are alike. I encourage students with the idea of being inspired by something rather than copying it. I challenge my students and teach them things that some may argue are too advanced for their age level. My students continually prove this argument wrong; continually rising to the occasion and surprising me with their amazing abilities. Of course we make mistakes, and when we do, we problem solve, using my favorite phrase "fix it, flip it or live with it and most importantly learn from it," which encourages students to fix their mistakes, flip their paper, or "live with it" by making their mistake work within their composition. I actively teach students with demonstrations and presentations, rather than just giving them a topic, paper and a pencil. My classroom serves as a welcoming environment where students explore and try new things all the time. We adventure together, grow, learn and develop along the way.