We all feel the need to create. We create friendships, families, homes, communities, gardens, journals, blogs, photo albums, videos, and artwork. We create these things to connect ourselves to the world around us. It is especially important for children to create and build these connections to feel significant in their own lives.
A quality Art Education program is an important component to providing a comprehensive education for public school students. In a society where may students spend their time outside of school sitting in front of television and computer screens, the art class provides an opportunity to physically manipulate materials and think outside of the box. The art classroom is a place to reflect and express the inner self while building bridges to other subjects of study. A quality art program integrates observation, verbal communication, creation, and connections to the world outside of art, which strengthens students’ problem solving and critical thinking skills.
I am working to create a quality art program.
In my teaching, the students are artists and my core concern is that they have real art experiences. Through art making, the students are using their imagination to express, explore, and communicate their thoughts, opinions, and feelings. My lessons are process-oriented and focus on humanistic elements, interdisciplinary studies, and improving visual literacy. It is imperative that these concepts are discussed –not lectured– in every unit. Discussion allows for codependent learning and a connection of students’ ideas and lives.
I prefer to use an array of artists and artworks in my lessons in opposition of the art world cannon works because it allows students to understand that art moves beyond history and fame. I feel that art and the experience of creating can be utilized to teach tough abstract concepts.
I expect my students to put forth effort and to aid in creating a mutually respectful environment. When I’m teaching, I rarely sit down or stay stationary in the classroom. Students need to feel that a teacher is accessible and willing to meet them halfway to support investigative learning. I often use formative assessment because I want to talk to my students about their ideas and reactions while it is happening. That’s when I am able to tell if the lesson has been meaningful. I evaluate a finished student work on the risks the student took in making it and whether or not they used the materials to the full extent of his or her knowledge. To me, it is more important that their experience is greater than the finished product. The work may disappear or be given away in the future, but an experience can last forever.
As an educator, my overarching goal is to help students understand that they are individuals whose potential can only be limited by themselves. I don’t aim to push their boundaries, but to show them that those boundaries are much farther than initially anticipated. We all need to create something that connects us to the world. I feel the need to create the platform in which students can investigate those connections through art making. I am an Art Educator for one simple reason; children need art in their lives and I am capable of providing it.