Manifesting EMPATHY is the most important element of my teaching philosophy. Empathy for oneself, empathy for others, and empathy for the environment. I believe that self expression is a necessary path towards self actualization and healing. And that time and effort equals love. When you create you work on truly seeing yourself, exploring the pain, being vulnerable and unraveling the chest’s knots. Exploring creativity is exploring yourself and hopefully working to manifest self love. I think that empathy is born out of a deeper understanding of the self, therefore opening us up to more genuine human connection.

 

I am very ignited by the current social emotional learning trend in education. I grew up in the public school system that said memorize this! There is ONE right answer! Be quiet and sit still! Don’t talk back! Well dang do I disagree! I believe children should be encouraged to find more than one “answer” and be open to exploring more sensory and emotional responses to life’s questions. While also gaining the trust and confidence in themselves to effectively challenge authority when it is necessary. 

 

The definition: Social and emotional learning is the set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors involved in:

  • understanding and managing emotions

  • setting positive goals

  • feeling empathy for others

  • engaging in positive relationships

  • solving problems effectively.

 

I try to create art engagement activities that foster increased critical thinking, independence and collaboration, self reflection, and self actualization. As well as help students challenge their own perceptions about what it truly means to be “tough”. 

 

Art making can be so empowering, I believe in creating activities that encourage resilience and resourcefulness through the power of found materials. Another significant element of my teaching philosophy is accessibility. I never want to assume any student has access to materials, therefore my lessons are very free form and based around an individual's environment and collections.  By encouraging the students to work with found materials, they become more equipped to live self sustaining lives instead of always relying on others for what they need. I also think it creates more problems to solve and helps children feel accomplished and proud of themselves.