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TEACHING PHILOSOPHY Learning about art and personal expression is one of the most important types of experiences for children and young people to have. In regard to teaching, I believe in creating and building a contemporary community of thoughtful learners and a studio of reflective, deep-thinking, post-modern young artists. Art education should be authentic, relevant, and meaningful for students to have the most positive and sincere experiences possible. Unit curriculum, planning, and teaching should consistently be based around students creating conceptual frameworks, developing ideation, and synthesizing and expressing their feelings, theories, and beliefs. Art is cross-curricular and applies to students in all areas of their lives. As a diverse visual representation of culture, history, and personal and societal views across time and space, art is the key to understanding our world. To be a high functioning member of an increasingly visually saturated society where humans are constantly bombarded with images, students need to be able to construct, deconstruct, and interpret images. Art classes should help students learn to critically interpret the world around them while promoting the importance of deep noticing and visual literacy. Art helps develop students’ complex problem solving skills, higher-level thinking and synthesis, and identity, beliefs, and self-awareness within their world and culture. Art classes should entail experimental investigation and playing where students are introduced to diverse media and methods used by contemporary artists where there is no one institutional, standardized, right answer. Teaching art is a marriage of students learning to develop meaningful content and helping students learn how to visually express their ideas. To be an effective art teacher, I not only need to have indispensable technical skills reflected in a strong portfolio, but an essential understanding of holistic and conceptual thinking. I not only need to be familiar and passionate about art history and contemporary art, but be able to build strong, meaningful relationships with my students, be in touch with my students’ interests and needs, and create a safe and fun artist community within my school. I not only need to create exciting curriculum and projects, but also become a lifelong learner, not set in one way of doing things, who is malleable and always developing new ideas, learning new techniques, and looking at new art so that I can share my experiences with my students as we create successful and meaningful work. To demonstrate my ability to teach I will need a strong and diverse portfolio, which is always being updated. To demonstrate my ability to teach my enthusiasm must always be present, my interest in students’ learning and development must always be made apparent, and my innate passion about art and teaching must be obvious and heartfelt.