I believe that there is power in the arts. I believe that there is art can change the way someone’s mind works, the way one problem solves, the way one looks at the world. Now more than ever, I believe what the world needs most is more artists, in every sector of the world. My teaching philosophy starts there. I believe that art changes the way people think. It forces the brain to problem solve, think creatively, and overcome challenges. By training, or retraining, young minds in this way, I believe that they can excel in any field, from art to science to business to mechanics. The stretching of the brain that art requires is beneficial for all aspects of the mind.
I also believe that all students are capable of creating art. Many students believe that because they aren’t naturally talented at painting, or drawing, they can’t make art. In reality, most students have little to no education in the arts, so they are limited in their skill level. Students have ben discouraged and disappointed by their previous art education, or lack thereof. By providing students with encouraging art education, with room to make mistakes and discoveries, they are able to rediscover the love of arts found in most young children. The art room should be the room to play. Students should be able to make choices about their education, and when combined with practical, simple, easy-to-follow skill building instruction, students are able to reinvest in art and their education.
As much as we might like to think of high school students as adults, they are nothing but big kids. Just like their younger counterparts, they just want to play, and have fun, and experiment. The art classroom is the ideal playground for high school students to make mistakes, push boundaries, and experiment. All I can hope for, as an educator, is that my classroom could be that space.