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As an artist, designer, and educator reflecting upon her teaching practice, I focus on the following core values:

• Promoting positive and informed learning;
• Encouraging thoughtful communication of ideas;
• Providing a strong foundation for lifelong learning;
• Inciting curiosity and exploration of materials and form.

Art and Design can be critical fields, but also realms of vast possibilities for learning.  I seek to provide students a platform to learn the core methods of Art and Design without judgment.  I encourage open discussion with the hope of creating a safe environment where questions can be asked and knowledge gained.  No question is too simple, no idea too small.  My goal is to provide the necessary information in whatever form best helps my students – visual, verbal, textual, or otherwise.

I adapt my teaching style to fit the dynamic student body that I teach.  As Creative people, we must be forward-thinkers.  We need to be constructive with our advice, helpful with our feedback, and generous with our knowledge.  My goal as an educator is to bring students’ ideas to fruition rather than dismiss their thoughts.  Incredible potential can come from a seedling of an idea if nurtured properly.

Thoughtful communication of ideas is an integral element of the learning process.  The ability to communicate one’s thoughts and ideas both visually and verbally is paramount  to the success of a product or work of art.  As a teacher, I encourage students to think about why they are creating something from the get-go.  I am constantly challenging them to think about what inspired their design.  I press them to think critically about why they believe it is important for this work to exist and be put out there for the world to see. 

My students are not only encouraged to reflect upon their ideas, but to also place them in context to our past, present, and future histories.  Being able to position oneself within the vast and ever-changing world we live in leads to a better-rounded understanding of where we have been and where we are going.  Once students are taught the foundation methods, I beg the question, “What’s next?” I seek to incite excitement to continue to explore what has been done and how one can still push the boundaries of a contemporary creative practice. 

Art and Design are not static fields.  They are constantly evolving and we must evolve with them, both as educators and students.  Change is inevitable and our methods of educating must account for this.  Stagnant teaching will only lead to stagnant ideas.  This is a lesson I hope to teach my students as they continue to live, work, and learn. 

Both Art and Design are essential to a well-rounded education.  Each field cultivates critical thinking, challenges our methods of communicating effectively, and enhances our appreciation for craft and process-based works.  My students are taught the value of seeing, thinking, and feeling as they learn the language of visual form.   I encourage them to appreciate process, in addition to product, and to think critically and constructively about their colleagues’ work as well as their own.

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