As a child, I developed a passion for art that led me to a lifelong love of learning. My
secondary school art teachers encouraged and inspired me to further develop my interests, and in the process made school a place I wanted to be.
Making art is constructing knowledge. Through the arts, young people learn how to make
sense of the world around them. My responsibility as a teacher is to facilitate students’ development of creative and critical thinking skills. I provide students with opportunities to enhance their observational abilities, and to build artistic skills and practices for a lifetime. I set high standards of expectation for every student. I believe in building a strong classroom community in which students are respectful and supportive of each other. I appreciate that learning is a collaborative act between student and teacher, and enjoy what my students have to teach me. I think of my students not as “art students,” but as young artists applying what they learn in my classes to become better problem solvers. These young artists will learn the same strategies and processes that adult artists use.
I believe that the development of artistic skills is not an end in itself, but provides the
fundamental tools to support artists’ conceptual strategies. Artists need not just to know how to draw; they need to have a purpose for drawing. They need to be able to create artistic problems to solve, and be able to navigate the complex visual culture around them.
Students need to solve real-world problems that are meaningful to them. They also need to be exposed to ideas in contemporary and historical visual culture from a variety of artists and perspectives. I believe in providing my students with a broad base of opportunities and concepts to explore, and that this exploration is far more important than the end result.