Authentic Experiences
First and foremost in my philosophy of art education, I believe that students should be provided with an authentic curriculum that gives them the chance to work with materials that real artists would use. In my class, we spend as much time as we can painting, drawing, working with clay, collaging, printmaking, and weaving. I do not just want to teach my students art, I want to teach them how to be artists. I want to bestow upon them the techniques, knowledge, and skills they need to create on their own outside my classroom. This requires constant and repeated exposure to the above mediums. I do not do one painting lesson with my classes and then move on. Learning to be a great artist requires practice, practice, practice.

An Artful Mess
To continue, art is supposed to be messy!!! I’m not afraid for my students to get messy and I want their hands to get dirty. I believe that an art teacher who continuously limits their students to crayons and markers is cheating his/her students out of an authentic experience. I’m not worried about my students getting out of their seats to clean up after themselves because I strive to teach them how to be responsible artists. I create specific procedures for painting that have made it quite easy, even for kindergarteners! Any mess can be cleaned up with proper planning, procedures, and time-management.

My Curriculum
When it comes to my program, I believe in a discipline-based curriculum that incorporates art production, art history and culture, criticism, and aesthetics. There is so much more to art than just making it. Every project or unit I teach focuses on a combination of the elements of art, principles of design, art history and culture, and/or criticism. I like to provide my students with the background behind our project and give them purpose and direction. For instance, one of my favorite lessons to teach is based on Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” Throughout this project, students learn about Van Gogh, Impressionism, how to paint in the impressionistic style, and about the design principles of movement and emphasis. It is also a very engaging lesson because students experiment with color mixing by overlapping different strokes of paint like Van Gogh did. I particularly love to teach multicultural lessons on Japanese, Hispanic, African American, and Native American art.

Future Goal
As I reflect upon my first year as a teacher, I have discovered a particular goal that I really would like to work towards. In terms of my curriculum and lessons, I hope to incorporate more TAB (Teaching Artistic Behavior) lessons into my curriculum. With a TAB classroom, students develop their own projects and figure out how to execute them with my guidance. I am very interested in this because it is student-centered and would give students total control over their artwork, just like a real artist.