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My teaching philosophy is based on the idea of an equitable world, where students who have different needs, strengths, and weaknesses are given the attention and empathy needed to access a myriad of resources and opportunities for their personal growth and development. There is no such thing as an “ideal” student; rather, my approach focuses on looking at the diverse intersection of traits that make up individual student meanings of learning and identity, and centering those needs in my art classroom. As an art teacher that has worked with students from PreK-12 environments, the vast expanse of personalities and diverse needs of students I’ve had the privilege of working with have influenced my vision of an inviting and curiosity-building classroom environment for the whole child: the art classroom is the embodiment of safe and sensitive exploration, a place where students abstract their lived experiences and histories in aesthetic formats. The art classroom is a place that unifies past and present ideas in malleable and non-concrete expression, allowing students to explore their mind’s eye in their recreation of memory and imagination.

    I believe that student-centered approaches to didactic instruction are the most effective and inclusive means of not only building rapport with students, but meeting various learning needs. As an art educator, it is my responsibility to ensure that every student is receiving the scaffolding and experiences necessary to succeed in other classrooms, as well as my own—art promotes critical thinking and creative problem solving skills, which feed into their learning in other academic disciplines and beyond. When there is a mutual respect and understanding of learning goals, I am able to create new connections to material and build upon the foundation of knowledge students already have to connect those ideas to current learning. I actively seize opportunities to engage students in exposure to a plethora of new art mediums, techniques, contemporary and anachronistic artists and art histories, and approaches to problems.

    I embrace the idea that people are lifelong learners, meaning that my students are learning, but I’m also learning along with them. Radical teachers embody curiosity and enthusiasm in their practice and subject area, and actively seek to motivate students to share that same sentiment towards their work. Seeking interdisciplinary connections with colleagues, particularly in STEM subjects, and indulging in collaborative approaches to instruction promotes healthy engagement with contrasting experiences, and growth-based mindsets. A student is an ever-changing, growing mold of their environment, and as teachers, we should also strive to remain as flexible and moldable as our learners.

    As bell hooks, the author of All About Love and an educator, says, “Whether we learn how to love ourselves and others will depend on the presence of a loving environment. Self-love cannot flourish in isolation.” A supportive academic environment is one built on love and positivity in order to instate confidence to cause social change.

Student Work

A body of beautiful student work created throughout my time as a student teacher and teaching artist.

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