My philosophy of teaching

I’m passionate about art education, and over the years, I’ve developed a philosophy of teaching that’s at the heart of everything I bring to the classroom.

1. Open-ended Projects.

No handprint Thanksgiving turkeys around here!  My projects always leave room for kids to put their own twist on them.  And if a student gets creatively inspired to do their own thing, I try to support them in their vision.

2.  Positive reinforcement.

If kids feel that they ‘can’t draw’, they can give up on trying.  If a kid stops drawing young, they probably won’t draw as adults.  I let kids progress at their own pace.
(That doesn’t mean I won’t encourage them to do more, explore more and stay engaged with their work.  When they’re ready to learn realistic drawing, and asking for honest feedback, then I can gently offer corrections.)

3.  Environment

I encourage kids to care of their tools, to use materials thoughtfully and to be involved in keeping the classroom tidy.  It’s part of being an artist and a member of our classroom community.  I use a lot of recycled materials, and tend to avoid googly eyes and craft foam shapes.

4.  Fun.

There’s plenty of time to be a tortured artist later.  Right now, kids can have fun with art making.

5.  Problem Solving

When you teach someone, you take away their chance to figure out something for themselves.  I’m here to help, but I let kids have a chance to try things first and see what they come up with.
Sometimes my students have better ideas than me!

6.  Drawing Fundamentals

Self expression is important, but students need tools to be able to express themselves clearly.  I think every artist needs a solid foundation of drawing skills.

7.  Developmentally appropriate.

Every child moves through the stages of artistic development at their own pace.  My job is to read where they are and introduce skills that are just ahead of their current level.

8. Storytelling

Cartooning and animation are narrative mediums.  We’ll create our own characters and draw our own comic books- learning art and creative writing at the same time!