The most important element to being a great professor is the positive energy and preparation I bring when I walk into the classroom. The exchange of knowledge is a symbiotic relationship that requires me to be a catalyst to spark imaginations and learn from my students all while teaching. By exposing them to new ideas, students discover their own voices and methods for making innovative art and design. This is achieved with a syllabus that serves a menu of projects students can choose from while watching their classmates work on other assignments.
The duty of a successful art educator is to lead students in their quest to cultivate a better understanding of art and connect it to diverse cultures and historical periods. During the first class I instruct my students to list issues they would like to change about themselves, their communities, our nation, and the world. They refer to these lists for content in their projects throughout the semester. Students are also encouraged to utilize Internet technology for learning, networking, and presenting their work to a wider audience.
In addition to demonstrations and lectures, I strive to facilitate a clean, comfortable studio environment. I work diligently to become acquainted with every one of my students equally, allowing them more open to offering and receiving constructive criticism. It is important to develop both the identity of each student artist, as well as, their collaborative art making abilities. Students realize the challenges of teamwork and the benefits of shared experience through group or class projects like murals, performances, and videos. By sharing knowledge and building consensus, the competitive nature is removed, allowing for stronger community development. Students can then redirect their critiques towards bettering themselves.
I believe it is imperative to not only teach my students how to develop critical thinking skills and creatively resolve their class assignments, but how to become professionals as well. I help my students make the transition into a life in the arts by encouraging them to produce and show work outside of school, giving them exposure to the practical and technical skills they will need after graduation.
I greatly enjoy learning and sharing my art making skills and strategies. Working with students and other educators in a creative environment fulfills my highest goals as an artist.