Throughout my life, I have approached everything I do with hard work and organization because I believe that it always pays off in the end, especially as a teacher. A great teacher, however, not only works hard and stays organized to keep an orderly classroom, but also gives their students the freedom to create work that promotes self-expression. Throughout my schooling, I always loved attending art class because it gave me the opportunity to be hands-on and accomplish something on my own. I learned so much about life from my art teachers, and I too hope to use art to teach my students lessons that will apply to other aspects of their lives. To accomplish this, I will implement values of self-discovery, social awareness, and structure in my classroom. Self-discovery allows students to be authentic;social awareness opens their minds to different perspectives; and structure provides a disciplined and encouraging environment in which their authenticity and awareness can thrive.
Creating art allows for endless opportunities of self-discovery, and I will make sure my students can experience this in my classroom. Students will be able to be authentic in my classroom so that they can explore who they are and who they want to be. I will design lesson plans that encourage my students to express their personal thoughts and feelings. I will ask open-ended and thought-provoking questions for students to answer through artmaking. Art lessons that inspire self-discovery will ultimately help students figure out who they are meant to be and show them the personal benefits associated with making art.
It is important to me that my students have social awareness. I want to open their eyes to the rest of the world. Through art, I hope they will become more familiar with people, places, and cultures they have not yet encountered. It is necessary for students to be aware of the rest of the world so that they understand multiple perspectives and discover new interests. I will make sure this is part of my curriculum by introducing new, diverse topics in every lesson. If there is a topic that students find interesting, I will encourage them to pursue that topic further through their art.
I will establish structure in my classroom by discussing and setting clear expectations – both what I expect from the students and what they expect from me – from the beginning. I will hold my students to certain standards to maintain an orderly classroom, which will include respecting everyone in class and understanding how they should behave at the beginning, middle, and end of the class. Classroom structure will manifest through the development of the routines and procedures that I will implement every day. Repetition will accustom students to the way the class runs. To model good behavior, I will personally follow all the rules, routines, and procedures as well. I believe setting these expectations will allow students to thrive in a well-ordered environment.
I want my classroom to be a place where students can explore, experiment, and grow as individuals through art making, and I believe that valuing self-discovery, social awareness, and structure will encourage that. I want every student to leave my classroom feeling like they have learned about themselves and the world around them. I would feel so privileged to make that impact in students’ lives, just as my art teachers did for me. I will work hard, stay organized, and nurture self-expression in order to be the best teacher I can be for my students.