There are three things I want my students to learn from my class: hard skills;, historical context and personal expression.
Art reaches into many parts of history, science, industry and politics. It helps people communicate and innovate and the honing of personal expression can enable an artist to reach communities in new ways.
I believe that students who learn the basics of visual expression: drawing, color theory and the principles of design can utilize those hard skills in any of the media industries. Students who understand perspective, rendering and visual ideation can illustrate with the computer or their hands. Students who learn about color theory can apply this theory to technical lighting, theater, communication media or interior design. Any student who knows about the principles of design can transfer this knowledge to all printed and animation media.
A student who has a basic grasp of art throughout history understands why visual artists create the way that they do and can use that history to draw inspiration. A learner who understands art history is a great innovator.
When a student has a grasp of the hard skills and history needed to create and orchestrate a visual event then their personal expression reaches new levels of sophistication. The student no longer simple recreates the imagery s/he sees, but is able to delve deeper and create greater innovation within his or her own visual canon.
Additionally, I believe citizenship- appropriate and respectful behavior in the classroom is crucial to the working art class micro-community. Learning this citizenship in the nurturing environment of the classroom can help prepare a student be self reliant, responsible and successful in his or her career in industry or the university.
I believe it is important for a teacher to understand the personal history and context of each of his or her students and to understand their different learning styles. I relate to each of my students on a personal level and encourage them to connect an exercise or project to themselves- to pour themselves into their work and find the connection between the art they find interesting and the skills they want to acquire.
Lastly, I feel teaching is a form of community and spiritual service. I have served with several different government organizations as a volunteer and educator and believe that service is a way to create a better and stronger community. As an artist I believe art is the message but education is the methodology.