The challenges in teaching are many, but an exciting many. How can I inspire wonder and excitement, while allowing each student to find the beauty in their mistakes and hold an openness to failure? What can I tap into that provides a compelling and strong rigor for investigation and discovery? Not only are these questions a part of my own continuous learning, they also feed my ambitions to help each individual student realize their voice, capabilities, and goals.
As a creative instructor, helping students cultivate the ability and desire for self-learning and self-motivation is my highest priority. Encouraging students to ask questions about the work they’re making, the world they live in, and the role they and their work play in the world, prepares them not only on an artistic level, but for life as well. By utilizing the knowledge each student already holds, and assisting in their discoveries, I’m able to help them build upon and grow from what’s already apart of them. It is my belief and experience that by fostering each student’s abilities to communicate and articulate their ideas, concerns, and reactions to the world around them, ambitions begin to accelerate, minds open, and students soon realize their potential to succeed.
A fundamental teaching value I hold is to provide structure while remaining flexible with each project or assignment. I find that guidance and organization prevents students from feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, while flexibility places ownership on each student to input their personal interpretations and creative ideas. Every person learns differently, and it is my job as a teacher to observe and react to what is, and what is not; resonating, engaging or enhancing student growth. I take care not to enforce a firm, generalized classroom structure, and instead adjust and revise pre-existing structures to best fit the needs of each individual student.
From my own personal experience, I know how impactful a teacher can be in a student’s life, and I do not take this lightly. Instead, I embrace my significance to every student and make it a priority to show my students the respect I hold for them. I ask for feedback, I pay attention to their responses, and I observe classroom dynamics and outcomes in effort to learn from and evolve my teaching style as often as possible.