As an educator I am a guardian and nurturer of the power of the human spirit. I have learned how to listen to the words spoken and unspoken. I am aware of the impact I have on my students, also known as partners in learning. In my presence I am their protector, cheerleader and healer. In my presence they are reminded that they are golden, wise, unique and of value. Most all they are magical and capable. I have a rare moment everyday to be an agent of change in my village called school.
As an artist and educator I am entrusted with nurturing the powerful creative spirit, magic. Art Education is a rare opportunity to discuss life in all its complexities. Art makes our thoughts visual thereby making the artist visible. To be seen is a revolutionary act and restores ones humanity. Art guides us to healing, empowerment, and advocacy. It is my goal is to foster students who have the ability to TLC, teach, learn, change, create and/or challenge, their communities. This goal is urgent as we stand witness, sometimes victims, to the trauma produced from social injustice and inequity.
As I grow as an educator I am most proud of my ability to foster a classroom that is a collaborative learning environment filled with opportunities for students to develop to the curiosity, self-determination and confidence needed to successfully problem solve independently. Such a learning environment encourages students to assert themselves as proactive and owners of their learning through the experience of succeeding and accomplishing a goal in my classroom. Such an experience is transformative and translates in other areas of a student’s life.
A key strategy I have employed to maintain this very important accomplishment and goal is: engage students in curriculum & skill development that is culturally relevant, current, thought-provoking, and approachable. When planning my yearly curriculum, I take into consideration current topics/issues, progressive art mediums, as well as cultural developments that interest the student body. I consider what students enter the Art classroom know, want to know, care about and are eager to discuss. This is the spark needed for magic to occur within the four walls of our classroom, our sacred space.