Why do I teach?

I love to teach art and have made it a priority in all the classes I have taught over my 30 years teaching Primary students including K-10 workshops, inservices for teachers and university students, parents in schools, universities and galleries.

  

I have taught teachers and university students how to effectively teach art. To value art as a key learning area and a tool to consolidate another subject’s concepts and enhance students creative thinking and problem-solving skills. I love to plan their experiences just as I would for my younger artists and give them hands on experiences. 

I love to come up with an idea and plan the learning activities and watch the randomness of each artists interpretation of the media and subject’s representation. I enjoy watching their faces as they look back at their work after their ‘pondering moment’ and see the surprise, satisfaction or thoughtful consideration of what is needed to reach their stopping point in their creation. It is an incredible feeling to watch their growth in knowledge and skills and to see that not only their artistic skills improve but also their self esteem and confidence in how to problem solve, plan or create a composition that makes them proud. 

 

The smile I have when I consider and plan an art experience is often reflected back to me from my students. They match my enthusiasm because they know ultimately that we are going to have fun, maybe get a bit messy but produce some form of 2D or 3D art that is going to be self-satisfying in its exploration and growth using different “stuff” and finally make them feel good about themselves and what they create. They find their happy place and the exhibition of their work and appreciation is the ultimate reward. This allows for reflection and encouragement of each other and themselves and is an important component to every artist’s learning process.  

A highlight of my career and life was to be acknowledge for this love of art and teaching it by being the inaugural recipient of the 2015 Operation Art Outstanding Teaching and Student Achievement Award. This award is for an outstanding teacher who shows a genuine understanding of the ideals of Operation Art. They have consistently explored visual arts opportunities which have enriched their artistic achievement and fostered a strong belief in the value of contributing to the community through art.

Artfully Yours by Deborah Joy

Grafton, New South Wales, Australia 

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