The role of education must be grounded in fostering and nurturing people who will become active participants in the world and can successfully navigate the complexities of life, cultivating people who appreciate diversity and believe in equality for all, and nurturing the desire in children to pursue their own happiness.  Art education, more than many other disciplines helps students develop these skills.  

When experiencing the arts, students practice higher order thinking skills such as problem solving, decision making, and the investigation of new concepts and materials.  Art offers the freedom to explore without judgement and often without rules, allowing students to develop the understanding that personal success it is ultimately the individual’s responsibility.

I believe that all children can learn.  Along with an education of fundamental knowledge and skills, I believe it is the teacher’s obligation to help instill values of social interdependence, equality, and respect the diversity of others.  Through the universal construct of  learning about, discussing and creating art, children necessarily discover about themselves and others.  Because art education can be connected to nearly all disciplines, students learn the concept that there are connections and relationships apparent in all of life. They also learn tolerance and appreciation, how to take risks and have the confidence to try new things and learn to recognize the difference between criticism and constructive criticism. All learners will engage in respectful behavior towards others. While pursuing high standards for academic and personal integrity, learners will model honesty, character development, and right action in the absence of authority.

As an educator I strive to include various viewpoints, cultures and types of people in my teaching methods and lessons.  It is essential for students to appreciate differences and value the underlying similarities between us all.  I will help lead students to knowledge through relating the material to the student’s lives, helping them to identify and make meaningful connections.  It is these connections that guide students to higher levels of thinking and turn their education into a positive and powerful resource in the creation of themselves.  Finally, I will give students the freedom to make mistakes, learn from their efforts and explore the possibilities this world has to offer.  In an inclusive and welcoming environment, all learners will demonstrate behavior that respects differences and similarities within the school and community. Learners will practice collaborating and cooperating with others in a variety of settings and will be supported in exploring opportunities which advance learning and innovation.

In the discipline of arts, I define successful learning or mastery of learning as cultivating student creativity, problem solving, and inquiry.  Art educators must help students by designing sustained, process-oriented art projects that support learning across curriculum and everyday life. All learners will acquire knowledge which leads to the development of critical, analytical, and creative thinking skills. These skills will be applied to handling novel situations and understanding complex problems. Learning will be grounded in discovery, creation, application, and mastery.

My values, beliefs, and aspirations as a teacher is to encourage children to be happy, curious, lifelong learners that follow their lives purpose, whatever that may be. I want my students to become successful individuals in whatever their lives path choose and this means helping them to develop skills that will be useful on their journeys.  My teaching style is to encourage students to question, to have fun, invoke humor and love of art. I choose to deliver lessons with lecture, hands on exploration, and mentorship. Art teaches that there isn’t always a right or a wrong answer.  Instead it is through experimentation and investigation that students look deeper into themselves and the world around them.  In this way, students learn to interpret, define and most importantly they learn to ask questions. 

The methods I will use to reach these goals and objectives include Imagining, experimentation, flexibility, resource recognition, connection of ends and aims, and self reflection. As a teacher I want to use multiple approaches, seeing mistakes as opportunities, following curiosity, and making deliberate choices.  Taking action steps and following through with ideas is one of the most important steps as an artist. I wish to encourage students to tackle their fears and persevere.