Ever since I have learned to teach and become a teacher, I have made it my goal to teach art with passion—knowing how powerful a tool it can be in self-discovery and in gaining a feeling of self-worth. I believe that art is learned best when the focus is balanced between the mastery of technique and the fearless discovery of what materials can do through experimentation in an environment that supports the child’s own interests and creative ideas.

In today’s society art has often gotten the reputation of being a “fun” but not necessarily useful, subject in schools. Many people remember their own art experiences in school being either a “crafts” type class where they made holiday decorations or vases for their parents, or a class where success was directly related to how well they copied a teacher’s example. In my opinion, this type of art class is outdated and can only harm a student’s understanding of what art can be.

In my opinion, art is essentially a form of communication, which can take the form of a visual representation of an artist’s experience of an event, an idea, or of a deep emotional state. As a person learns to understand how to communicate through artistic means, such as color, line, texture, shape, value, and space, they learn to express themselves on a universal level—one that can more or less be understood by people across cultures.

Learning to be well-versed in visual communication has only become more important in recent times, as globalization has become a reality. Visual media, such as the internet, television, animation, and movies have become primary ways that people learn about each other—and to better understand how to communicate via these means can only allow a person to become more effective, whether or not they become an “artist” in the visual sense. As a teacher, I try to instill in my students an understanding of what art can do for them and how it can have practical applications in the real world, but not at the expense of experiencing its personal implications.

As a teacher, I hope to bring young people an experience of art that will touch them personally. By giving them the skills to use materials effectively, my students can gain the confidence they need to use these skills to express something about their deeper self.