Philosophy of Art Teaching
Creative thinking and expression are important to me. My goal is to help students develop a sense of creativity, curiosity, and artistic play. I teach for creativity and to develop students’ capacity to think creatively, ask questions, develop ideas, and make connections. I aim for students to leave class with more confidence in who they are and what they are capable of achieving. In my experience, the biggest obstacles in art making are overcoming the fear of making mistakes and the intimidation of uncertainty. I intend to create an environment that promotes the courage to have ideas and allows for error. I want my students to see problems as exhilarating challenges, rather than giant black holes. I believe in taking risks and learning from each and every experience. I want my students to leave each class feeling excited and eager to learn more. I hope to teach students how to think like artists all the time, not just in art class. By the end of each school year, I hope my students are able to confront the unknown, analyze it, and dive into it head on. My goal is for students to develop the confidence to discover and try new things throughout the rest of their lives. Being aware of the opportunities and limitations that push students to work hard improve will enable them to appreciate challenge.
I believe in teaching a foundation of artistic skills and tools to use and expand upon. I want to create opportunities for students to gain life experience. I want students to have the chance to see and reflect on their achievements and their mistakes as a part of the process. It’s important to teach art concepts through various mediums because it encourages students to find their strengths and weaknesses and develop their artistic identity. Projects and assignments are meant to push students to think unconventionally. I do not evaluate students on how realistic or perfect their art is. I evaluate students based on the amount of work and thought evident in their processes and final products, their amount of enthusiasm and willingness to try, and on how they apply and demonstrate learned processes and skills. I strive to teach material in a way that every student is able to learn.
I promote collaboration between students throughout their processes. I aim to develop students’ communication skills through art in a way that will benefit them in all aspects of life. Art materials are tools that enable artists to communicate their thoughts, ideas, and emotions; and collaboration can expand the creative process. In working with others, students gain a sense of what makes a person who they are. Art pushes people to think from different perspectives. No one experiences the world the same. My curriculum revolves around identity and students developing their own artistic identity. In addition to the understanding that different does not mean bad or wrong, students will leave my class with the confidence to be themselves and make their own decisions. I want students to believe in themselves and in others. No one is any less of a person than anyone else. Respect and tolerance are key in my classroom. I give my students the same respect that I expect from them.
I believe that I was always meant to be an art teacher. Despite going through ten years of school without art education classes, my childhood revolved around creating. My grandfather was an art teacher, and he made sure I had every possible opportunity to create. He never turned down any of my ideas, and he always found a way to make them possible. He encouraged me to discover, to try, to play, and to create. If I made a mistake, it wasn’t the end of the world, but an opportunity to think creatively and find a way to take my mistake and turn it into something amazing. He pushed me to stay true to myself and to be confident in everything I did. Because of my grandfather, my goal is to be the kind of art teacher that lets students’ interests and ideas lead the learning. He showed me how important it is not to squash a student’s ideas; but to assist them in researching and pursuing those curiosities because it will build their sense of confidence, stimulate their thirst for knowledge, nurture their creativity, and widen their world.
Emma K. Jebe