Here are perhaps the 4 most important things I have learned about teaching
(art and other topics having been in private as well as public schools),
over the past 34 years.
Students need to be able to develop their ability to think and perform
creatively. We as teachers can help them to foster that or we can also keep
those talents bottled up depending upon how we approach the work we do in
All students want to do well at some level. Art can be quite intimidating
when approached for the first time or when the student has not had much
success with it in the past. The environment that the art class creates
then, needs to be seen as both safe and nurturing in order for them to be
able to feel that they are successful.
Art is vital for the complete development of all students so that they can
lead enriching and meaningful lives. This includes all of the arts and not
simply visual art. If it were up to me, all of the arts would be mandated
throughout the K-12 experience. Time and resources continue to be an issue
that blocks that from being a reality in most places, though. If, however,
we were able to turn students on to all of those experiences in music,
dance, theater, creative writing, media arts and dance, there would be no
time for the negative behaviors and violence that way too many young people
get drawn into.
The teacher can be often be the biggest and most powerful motivator for a
student to be able to develop their abilities and be successful. That is
one awesome responsibility and, perhaps, why being a teacher is one of the
most important things that you can do.