My philosophy as an Art teacher is to create an environment where youth can gain awareness of themselves as human beings as well as the world in which they live through the power of art. Through my teaching, I hope to allow students to incorporate their own lives into their art, whether it’s expressing their interests or their identity. This can help a student get in touch with something that they have been feeling and haven’t been able to identify; this can be an outlet for a student who has been struggling with something at home and doesn’t know how to talk about it. Outside of the Art Classroom, no other subject in a student’s school day gives students this kind of opportunity to express themselves. This is why I strongly believe in exploring social issues and current events in my classroom while allowing students to share their personal beliefs for the space to become a healing comfort zone.
Through artistic creating processes, students are able to have options, develop their own ideas, and make their own equation that they are going to solve. Through learning about the fundamentals of art and its different mediums, I hope to allow students to learn about the world around them while also making the material relatable to their own lives. One is also able to build self esteem while learning art because of the individualized and personalized nature of the projects. Teamwork is also built upon with the possibility of collaboration. The times I felt like I was growing most as an artist was when confidence was instilled in me by a mentor. My teacher had faith in me and said the sky was the limit, and I could create anything I put my mind to. This is a mindset I instill in my teaching today by encouraging alternatives and modifications to projects based on the student’s desire.
I have found in my teaching that this stimulates more engagement and pride in their work. I hope to create this healthy environment in my classroom while enjoying the fun and challenging possibilities of art. The environment that I create for my students is one of respect for each other, the room/materials and ourselves while also feeling ownership of their work and room. I want them to feel proud of the space we have built together and know how to live/work in. A sense of pride is something I encourage in my teaching/learning environment because it’s important for students to know that they can be proud of themselves and their work.
I hope that my students will take away inspiration and confidence to create from my class. I say these two things because I hope for the environment in which they learned to be one that is memorable and comfortable. Inspiration can be from the surroundings such as a picture in the room that always provided happiness or a sense of calm. Confidence can be instilled by subtle comments given throughout a class or a welcoming environment. With all of these things, I hope for my students to not only understand the world around them better, but also themselves.