Teaching Philosophy

Over the last six years of teaching, I have observed that visual literacy can benefit all students and develop more thoughtful, critical individuals. Being able to look at and communicate about art can impact the way they see the world around them, how they look at their work in the future, and their ability to problem solve. Learning how to create in two or three dimensional form can impact a student’s ability to not only create art but find meaning in uncommon places.

My passion for teaching started while observing in the Eau Claire public school district in Wisconsin. I helped co-teach many classes by working with elementary, middle, high school, and special education students. The way I create my pedagogy has stemmed from the experience of valuing students’ ideas and engaging them in the arts. As an Instructor of Record for Washington State University for two years, I taught core 3D foundation art courses and advanced sculpture courses. In my foundation courses, I developed my curriculum to challenge my students by providing a base understanding of art in three and two dimensional forms.

While teaching for Tulsa Girls Art School, a non-profit program benefiting underserved girls in the Tulsa Community, I saw how art can have a more profound impact than just teaching the elements and principles of design. The students received the tools to communicate about themselves and learn important skills for their future. Our curriculum included art history and fundamentals in addition to skills like how to appropriately price their work, install, and network at gallery openings.

Previously, as the Lecturer of Sculpture and Spatial Studies at Auburn University of Montgomery, I developed a curriculum around sculpture for students of all levels. My curriculum developed students’ technical skills with a variety of tools and technology, while also building upon their ability to communicate about contemporary art. I emphasize critical thinking in my assignments and students using their unique voices to create their work. Through reading discussions and group critiques I engage my students in conversations about their art and other contemporary artists to inform their understanding of what they are making and draw inspiration from history.

I want my students to have the confidence that they will not only succeed academically but are armed with concepts that will benefit them beyond my classroom. In addition to the technical skills in art—which are essential building blocks for artists—teaching art in any form can be more about communication, problem solving, and personal development. Through my experiences teaching traditional and non-traditional students, I have learned the value and importance of embracing diversity within my curriculum, creating opportunities for students to find representation in the arts and a greater understanding of experiences outside of their own.

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