The most important element to being a great professor is the positive energy and preparation I bring when I walk into the classroom. The exchange of knowledge is a symbiotic relationship that requires me to be a catalyst to spark imaginations and be willing to learn from my students while teaching. I strike a balance through lectures, demonstrations, and facilitating projects while helping students find their own voice and methods for making innovative art and design. I work diligently to become acquainted with all students equally, making them more open to offering and receiving constructive criticism. I achieve this with a syllabus that serves a menu of projects that students can choose from while watching their classmates work on other assignments.
A mark of a successful art educator is to lead students in their quest to cultivate a better understanding of art and connect it to diverse cultures and historical periods. During the first class I instruct my students to list issues they would like to change about themselves, their communities, our nation, and the world. They revisit these lists for content in their projects throughout the semester.
I believe it is imperative to not only teach my students how to develop critical thinking skills and creatively solve their class assignments, but how to become professional artists and designers. Students are encouraged to use Internet technology for learning, networking, and presenting their work to a much larger audience. I aid my student’s transition into a life in the arts by encouraging them to produce and show work outside of school; giving them exposure to the practical and technical skills that artists need.
Teaching and learning are two of my passions. Working with students and other educators in a creative environment fulfills my highest goals as an artist. I enjoy sharing my art making skills and creative strategies with students both individually and through class demonstration. It is important to develop both the identity of each student artist, as well as, their collaborative art making abilities. Students learn the challenges and value of shared experience through group or class projects like murals, performances, and videos. The academic institution is the perfect venue for realizing the benefits and challenges of teamwork. By sharing knowledge and building consensus, the competitive nature is removed, allowing for stronger community development, and students can then redirect their critique towards bettering themselves. Through art education my students learn how to unleash their creative voice into the greater conversation.