Art is essential.
I believe that art education teaches essential life skills to all students. Through ideation, play, and making things that didn’t exist before, students can develop creative confidence and a grounded sense of self and identity. An art education not only nurtures artistic growth, but also develops critical thinking skills, social-emotional learning, and capacity for creative collaborations. A comprehensive understanding of art worlds enables students to thrive in the art room and to be life-long learners and creative problem-solvers who can successfully engage with the visual culture and designed world that surrounds us.
Art is practice.
My role as an art educator is to facilitate a safe and respectful environment where all students can feel comfortable expressing themselves. It is important to me that students are supported and challenged as creative people at every stage of their artistic development, and that projects and skills are scaffolded so that all students can build confidence and develop artistic craft at their own pace. I believe that every student can recognize and embrace their potential through the physical practice of art, in concert with the intellectualization of the artistic process, and I am prepared to support them, whether their goals are in the representative, conceptual, or folk art realms. Aptitude and willingness play a large part in the growth of the artist-philosopher-scientist student, and my lessons are student-centered for a choose-your-own-adventure entry into the joy of visual expression of ideas.
Art can happen anywhere.
I use choice-based art assignments so that students have agency in the art room and learn to treat it as their own studio where they are respected as artists. By introducing students to local artists and creatives and collaborating with and visiting local businesses and organizations, I can help students envision how art and design is and can be part of the world beyond the art studio. Encouraging students as they develop unique voices and studio habits prepares them to take their creative skills beyond the classroom, using them in other disciplines as they make meaning, solve problems, and grapple with the rapidly changing world.
Art is diverse.
I am committed to centering social justice teaching standards in my lessons to promote an anti-racist, inclusive classroom that centers respect, diversity, and community-centered pedagogy. My strategies include introducing students to historic and contemporary artists and designers from a diverse range of backgrounds, including age, religion, gender, sexuality, class, race, nationality, and physical abilities. Discussing the too-narrow scope of the traditional canon of Western Art History is a crucial step toward fostering artistic and self-confidence in all students. The art room can and should be a brave space where all students are capable of respecting diverse backgrounds and therein create a culture of equity and justice.