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Teaching Philosophy

The person who most influenced my teaching philosophy was my father, a public school
science teacher for more than thirty-five years. He instilled in me the idea that of all things in
life, one's success relies on the achievement of their education. I learned that the teacher's
role is to offer students a supportive atmosphere which includes everything necessary for
each student's success. Fulfilling this role requires a great concern for the entire
interactive, organic process of teaching and learning.

Teaching, even at introductory levels, is more than demonstrating and explaining how to
manipulate tools and media. As a teacher, I want to help guide and encourage students to use
the tools for creative problem solving and critical thinking. I don't expect students, after four
years, to master their tools but I encourage their aspirations to work at a professional level.
With practice a student's confidence builds and he or she is ultimately able to apply their
knowledge and creative energy toward becoming an emerging professional.

Furthermore, teaching is about awakening and channeling student's inspiration toward asking deeper questions about the process and product of art. As students matures, they gain insight and awareness about themselves and their relationship to the world. Part of the learning journey is about reaching out beyond a sense of personal isolation to discover innovative ways of communicating and developing as a human being. All of these
stages are ripe for active learning and skillful teaching.

A skillful teacher, I believe, has the ability to adapt the methods of their teaching style to
each individual's style of learning. This has been the greatest challenge in all my years of
teaching. Sometimes I'm able to facilitate learning experiences for a whole class of students. Other times there are so many obstacles to teaching/learning that throughout the whole semester I am challenged to help students understand, learn, and integrate the material. This challenge to 
meet the needs of my students pushes me out of my habits, to strive to improve my own teaching.

I want every student to succeed by being able to meet the demands of a rapidly changing
technological world. My primary goal is to help students achieve their goals. I want to
cultivate students who are prepared to thrive beyond college. To facilitate this process I do my best to call upon all of my resources. The teaching process is also about working as a team with colleagues, creating opportunities, introducing students to successful professionals or anyone with expertise in the field.

A lesson I learned from my father is that a team of teachers can accomplish a goal which no
single teacher can, to fully prepare each student for reaching their greatest potential. By
integrating our pedagogical goals into a strong curriculum, students benefit by gaining a wholistic, multi-perspective approach to learning their realm of study. I enjoy being part of a team of educators that prepares students to succeed. Over and over I have shared successes with students who left their formal education with a focused energetic momentum. If I have done my job as part of the team, I have contributed to helping students take full advantage of that momentum, using their education as a launch point for an enriching life as life long learners.

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