Preparing students to meet real world challenges is a rewarding experience and is a goal that is met everyday in my classroom. I provide a learner-centered, safe environment where students express themselves while developing confidence in their growing abilities. Serving as a facilitator of learning I can become a resource built on a foundation of direction and content. As their teacher, I encourage students to accept responsibility for their decision-making. Through a variety of teaching techniques, my students develop enthusiasm for art as a subject and a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Building character in my classroom means that students learn to problem solve and cooperate with one another. One of the biggest challenges in life is learning to work with and around those whom you do not necessarily agree with. I believe my classroom environment and climate allow students to learn from their individual and collaborative experiences. As children learn more about themselves through their art making, they can begin to also learn and view the world and society from multiple and diverse perspectives.
A kinesthetic experience is important when learning in the art room. Utilizing materials and media is truly hands on experience that, when taught appropriately, students are able to learn a great deal from their success as well as their mistakes. I consider the subject of art to be inherently interdisciplinary and multicultural. These interdisciplinary and real world connections are met on a daily basis in my classroom. In my experience, students show most interest and seem to become more inspired when they have the opportunity to study topics that are relevant and meaningful to their lives. Introspective research is often the mirror image of an artwork. Art allows our students to represent themselves and how they feel about a range of topics such as, but not limited to, expression, sociopolitical issues, environmental status, health, and emotion. I encourage my students to express their views of the world and display these views within their artwork.
I believe students show excellence when they are provided with as many possibilities and resources as the teacher can make available. As an educator, I strive to be resourceful for my students and offer them options and activities they may have otherwise never encountered. I believe this increases their comprehension of the world around them and assists them with growth beyond the realm of their local community lives. I strive for my students to learn on a global level by incorporating song, linguistics, technology and books as tools in learning.
Students are evaluated through a series of assessments based on their process, progress and product. Process refers to “how” they created. Did the student step outside of the presented material and what knowledge was gained from this decision-making? Progress refers to their behavior and ability to stay on task. Finally, product refers to the success of the student meeting or exceeding required goals and objectives. I believe this system of assessment allows for all children to be successful in the art room by evaluating multiple layers of the art making process. I truly believe that all age levels can achieve above and beyond what is typically expected of them and I motivate my students to obtain higher goals than they themselves have set. This is when true learning occurs - when we accomplish something we never thought we would even attempt.
Being a teacher means remaining a life-long learner. My experiences in the classroom are invaluable to my success. To stay abreast in my field, I participate in ongoing self-assessment. This allows evaluation of what methods work and which do not. I gain experience from interacting with those around me, including other professionals and community members in the art education field. I believe this improves my pedagogy and my teaching skills. I also remain active in my professional memberships and participate in statewide and national educational events. Reflection is the most important tool at my disposal because it allows me to learn from my own experiences and holds me accountable to my students while they develop and grow as young artists.
At one time, these were
considered new technologies too! :)