My Teaching Philosophy as an Art Educator
The brain is a remarkable organ that never ceases to identify information, process knowledge, analyze, and synthesize our thoughts as we execute our actions in conjunction with our fine motor skills. Teaching art, specifically, is an extraordinary way to develop a student’s mind to absorb new skills and information in a unique and creative manner. In my art room, teaching a student of any age, level or ability will continuously be a learning experience on a cognitive level, for both the student and I equally, once that student’s diverse learning style has been identified. Throughout my teaching experience, I will collaboratively develop a path of concepts, fundamentals and any necessary assistive tools or technique that will drive my students to think, create and most importantly take them on a journey of self-discovery so they will never stop wanting to ask questions and learn. Witnessing a student express themselves artistically as they articulate their own thoughts while learning is like experiencing true magic, without any smoke or mirrors.
With an entire classroom full of unique individuals, I believe they all have the same capabilities to learn, process and comprehend the given information in multiple ways. Some students will process information quickly and others may need to be taught with a complete different tactic in mind. As a patient, understanding and creative teacher, I keep my classroom organized, full of positive energy and I’m constantly ready to pull out any trick from my sleeve to get my students soaring and excelling. As Howard Gardner stated, “Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences.”
I highly believe that positive reinforcement in any classroom is crucial to a student’s self-esteem and self-worth, especially if they are not getting that in their other classes or at home. Because of my lengthy background as an artist in my afterschool program, I’ve become a great motivator for my students. I was also a college student for quite a while, so I can relate to how they feel as student coming to my afterschool program at the end of a long day. However, my motivational tactics are always the same for all my students. I have to get them comfortable, relaxed, focused and motivated to work in order to allow positive self-expression when it is time for art. Fortunately, I have good communications with all of my students’ parents. I learn all about their background, and this is the key to understanding each and every student individually.
My art room may seem like a dreamy, magical world, separate from academic subjects; however, my curriculum, approach and lessons will aid and guide my students in all aspects of their schooling and throughout their lives. As I fill each student’s day with exciting new materials and concepts, they are constantly learning and growing through teacher and student interactions. My students are taught to use positive art criticism and aesthetics so they can develop this amazing visual language of art. I am a teacher who is prepared at all times to get their minds motivated, have them answer my questions with even more questions, problem solve and stir up communication through the arts. My students will also learn about math, science, history, multiculturalism, music and a vast array of linguistic skills without them even knowing they are learning. My students communicate effectively as their questions force me to research answers and continue my never-ending circle of learning along with them.