My mission as an art teacher is, through positive reinforcement, help students gain a greater understanding of art, themselves, and their world, and to aid students in finding and pursuing their goals and interests.
The first thing needed to accomplish my goals is to set up a positive environment that fosters their growth. This goal is based on Carl Rogers’ idea that education should be placed in an environment “ in which innovation is not at all frightening, in which creative capacities of all concerned are nourished and expressed rather than stifled.” Once students have this environment then my other goals can begin to take place.
I believe that through creating art, critiquing art, and by learning about art history students can have a broader perspective of art and its meanings. Students can begin to understand how art plays an important role in their life and how they can use art to convey messages both on a personal and collective level.
I think an important role of a teacher is to guide students to find and pursue their goals and interests. I am basing this on Joseph Campbell’s general formula for students. He says to them to “Follow your Bliss. Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.” As a teacher I am the students’ aid and encouragement in their exploration of their interests of art and other subjects through the medium of creating art and art history. I feel that I am there to provide an environment so that the students feel that they can pursue their interests and not be afraid to try.
I feel that through setting up an environment where students creativity is “nourished and expressed,” by giving students a basic understanding of art, and by helping the students find their goals and interests, the students will be learning how to pursue lifelong learning. To me, education is not as much about the subject of art but more about how to learn and enjoy life; and art is just my medium to help them see and explore their world.
(Written in 1999 before I even enter a classroom to teach.)