My experiences as an art educator are mostly concerning younger students, and my philosophy is generally centered towards the lower grades. When teaching art to the little ones, I believe that it is important to focus more on the art making experience, rather than assessing students based on their artistic abilities. My primary goal as a teacher is to inspire and motivate students to discover their full potential, and create lifelong learners who will strive to continue to develop their skills, no matter where the future takes them.
As a teacher, control and accuracy may be difficult to be flexible with. However, as an art teacher, it is necessary. The little artists in the art room like to break the rules and make statements with their artwork, just like the professionals do. If a kindergartener really wants to draw a smiley face on their sun, they will, no matter how many times they may be reminded that the sun can't talk. In my classroom, I think it's important to give students that freedom to express themselves in ways that they don't have the chance to in other subjects. In my lessons, I set clear objectives, so that students know what is expected of them within the lesson. After the objective is met, and the student has learned the skill or idea that was expected of them, they have the chance to make their own artistic choices.
I believe that the arts are crucial to any school curriculum. The arts are an important means for students to gain an understanding and awareness of themselves and allow them to be expressive in ways that other subjects cannot. The visual arts give students the ability to learn from their mistakes, make decisions, problem solve, and focus. I also encourage my students to work collaboratively. It is so rewarding to watch students help and give each other ideas in positive ways that encourage them to work harder.
As an art teacher, I use many different teaching styles to incorporate art making, art history and critiques, and aesthetics. With art making, students have access to a wide range of mediums to use. By introducing new materials, students get the chance to think critically and solve the problem of figuring out how each material can be used to gain the desired effect. Students gain more experience when working with new mediums, and will grow to use it to focus on the idea of a piece, instead of mainly the construction.