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“My mission is to help students discover and explore artistic abilities and self-expression through

developing an appreciation for art, fostering creative thinking, and providing a nonjudgmental
environment for them to express themselves freely in their own unique way.” This is what I consider to be
my mission statement as part of my own personal teaching philosophy. Art is a subject that has seemingly
little gravity nowadays and many students think it is unimportant, but art is a lot more than just making
pictures to hang on your fridge.

Teaching art I have found can be a little difficult at times. Due to the fact that art is such a
subjective topic, it is necessary to find a good medium between structured grading and creative freedoms.
Art is also a K-12 content area so as an art teacher you have the potential to teach multiple grade levels at
once. In my art classroom, regardless of grade, learning will most often be student based learning. I will
set goals for them and have a structured rubric for grading their artwork, but keep the goals flexible
enough for each student to combine them with personal goals. Specifically for elementary, I want the
students to have a basis for a project that some basic art concepts come from. A follow along instructional
demo for the necessary and conceptual things, but once that is done I want them to be able to add
whatever details and personalization’s to their project as they see fit. For example, in a previous class I
had my students do a project inspired by the book “Monsters Love Underpants” by Claire Freedman and
Ben Cort. I taught them the concepts of using organic shapes and patterns in their project by having them
follow along in a discussion and demo. After the demo, the focus was all on them and their own personal
ideas for their project. The students picked their own patterns, colors and characteristics of their monsters
to convey their own narratives through their artwork. For secondary I can be a little looser with their
assignments. I will assign a topic and medium, but other than that I want what they create to be mostly up
to them. For example we do drawn portraits. I would teach them the concepts of measuring a face,
proportions, and shading. Then they could pick who they wanted to draw for a portrait, perhaps a
celebrity or family member. Regardless of the grade, you have to let the students have some freedom with
the projects that they do, otherwise you take away a lot of their ability to make artistic choices and think
creatively.

Many students today I feel go through a process of creativity loss. In elementary school, students
are often very confident and eager to share their unique ideas and imagination with others, but somewhere
around fifth or sixth grade, they begin to lose that. Self-consciousness becomes more prominent and many
students are apprehensive about sharing their ideas out of fear of judgement. Schools also tend to put a lot
more of their focus on subjects deemed more important, such as math, English, and other core subjects.
Although creativity can be applied to all of those subjects, the way they are taught is most commonly
uniform of “do what I do” or “copy this.” Imitation is not conducive to fostering creative or innovative
ways of thinking so students are either only creative in art classes or just do not show much creativity at
all. Part of my mission statement is that I want to create a nonjudgmental environment for students to be
expressive and creative. As a teacher I want to teach in a way that fosters creativity and makes my
students think in nonconventional ways. Creativity is the basis for innovation and problem solving and if
our students continue to learn in ways that does not accentuate that, then they will always try to fall back
on conventional solutions that have been done before. With that lack of emphasis towards creativity
students today also have a lack of appreciation for artistic concepts. Since subjects like art and music are
the first to be cut from schools, it gives off the impression to students that they are not important and so
they do not put as much effort into trying to understand them.

In my art class I want students to be able to leave my class with the sense that they did their best
and that they were able to express themselves freely. Aside from that, there are certain artistic skills and
knowledge I feel that my students need to know, beginning with basic colors and shapes. This is essential
for anyone to know because you use it in other subjects and in everyday life. Students should learn basic
geometric shapes, types of lines (such as straight, curvy, dotted, etc.), and primary, secondary, and tertiary
colors. After they develop those skills it is important to teach them how to make something look real, or
three dimensional. Between upper elementary and middle school, students learn concepts of foreground
vs background, overlapping, vanishing points, and shading. This allows them to take the next step in
creating realistically developed projects. Beyond those two things, art styles and artists are important to
know. Not everyone paints, but almost everyone knows who Leonardo DaVinci and Vincent Van Gogh
are and a famous painting they did. Students should also know the types of art, such as abstract, realism,
impressionism, cubism, etc., that came about with many famous artists so that they can understand that
real people created this kind of artwork and realism is not the only way to create a piece.

When I teach in my classroom, both elementary and secondary, I want it to be student driven as I
stated above. How they learn should be mainly focused on them so I like to use discussion. Instead of
lecturing at them, I want them to share their opinions on the topic and ask their own questions. This way
they are thinking more about the topic I give them rather than just accepting the information I give them.
Discussion also allows for different viewpoints and opinions which is something crucial in art because
everyone can perceive art differently. Aside from discussion, demoing is an effective way to show the
students what you want them to accomplish in their projects. Elementary students would do step by step
demos so they get the concepts they need to, then go off on their own and add their own personal touches.
Demo is just as effective in the secondary level, but instead of step-by-step show them a quick example of
their project so they can better understand the process and then work off of it on their own. An important
aspect of art is critiquing, so depending on the grade level I would have my students wrap up a project in
one of two ways. For elementary they would do a reflection on their piece. This would be them writing
down a sentence or two of what they like about it, what they would change, and what their piece is to
them in their own words. For secondary a more traditional critique would be used. Students would share
their piece and their thoughts on it and then other students would tell them things that they liked, what
they would have done differently, and what they do not understand. This allows students to learn how to
properly give opinions on something without just saying “I like it” or “I hate it” which works towards a
less judgmental classroom environment.

Something I always enjoyed about art classrooms is how relaxed I felt when I walked in. This is
something I believe to be crucial to the environment of an art classroom. The atmosphere must feel calm
and open so students can be away from some of the stress that can come from other classes. This helps
students realize that in the classroom they have freedom to turn the goals and projects I give them into
their own goals and projects. Another key aspect to the environment of an art classroom is to make it
accepting. As stated above many students have unique ideas, but often try to make their projects more
generic or conventional to avoid judgement for their own personal tastes, especially secondary level
students. As a teacher I want to encourage those individual ideas and make the environment as open-
minded as possible because art is very subjective to everyone’s individual interpretation. The physical
spacing of an art classroom is also something I have found to be very important. You need lots of table
space for students to spread materials out and work without interfering with someone else’s project.
Students and the teacher also need space to walk around to view others’ work and get supplies without
bumping into other tables. Open pathways and lots of work space is a necessity in an art room.

As much as I love teaching and creating art, that’s not all school is for. School has many
important purposes; one of them is teaching you important topics. Concepts form math, science, reading,
writing, art, music, history and many other subjects are things that follow you into college and throughout
your life. Part of a school’s job is to make sure you can understand these topics for future problem
solving. Although that is the most prominent purpose of school it is also meant to help prepare you for the
real world, not just with teaching you knowledge, but socially. In school you find friends and others who
you might not get along with as well. You learn to communicate with other peers, teachers, and
administrators as you will all throughout life. School also is the place where most students learn a lot of
societal norms, dos and don’ts. You learn what is acceptable in society, what is expected of you, and what
is not so acceptable. Beyond even those two purposes perhaps, what you learn most from school is who
you are as an individual. School introduces you to new topics, hobbies, people, and situations that you’ve
never experienced until then. It helps you realize many things that you like or dislike that define you as an
individual person. It is part of a teacher’s job to not only teach their content, but also help facilitate this
process.

While it is the job of a teacher to teach students knowledge from their content area, a teacher job
encompasses so much more than just that. Teachers need to facilitate a desire and drive in their students
to learn. A teacher needs to be helpful, encouraging, and push their students to do their best. It is also a
teacher’s job to embrace a broad spectrum of diversity in their students’ backgrounds, interests, and
leaning abilities. These difference need to be encouraged and the teacher must help to understand a
student’s ideas and ways of thinking, instead of just their own. A teacher is a source of knowledge, but
also a source of support.

Lesson Plan Paragraph

All students have the right to learn and all students have the ability to be creative. This is why I
want to teach students not only artistic concepts, but to be creative and expressive without fear of
judgement. No one has all the ideas you have so it is important to be able to share them in all aspects of
life, not just art. That is why my mission as a teacher is to help students discover and explore artistic
abilities and self-expression through developing a love for art, fostering creative thinking, and providing a
nonjudgmental environment for them to express themselves freely in their own unique way.