During my alternative certification program, there were many activities that asked participants to reflect on their educational experiences, review their most influential teachers and reflect on why these teachers stood out the most. What I found is that although there were quite a few teachers who were extremely successful in engaging their students and making content relevant, the teachers who stood out to me the most were the teachers who made their class challenging. The classes that challenged me the most where the ones where I truly learned. What I learned in theses classes was relevant to the subject and to my career as an art educator, but more importantly, applicable to my future beyond the academic classroom. As important as it was to learn skills relevant to my career teaching art, the courses that strengthened my life-skills such as problem solving, adapt my thought process, allowing for flexibility and developing essential interpersonal communication skills, were the classes that benefited me the most for life. As a teacher, my goal is to incorporate both, developing my students’ artistic skills as well as their life-skills. By developing both, students’ will be better equipped to meet life’s challenges in both their education and their future careers.
I have high, positive expectations for my students. I believe that all students are capable of learning; in doing so I predispose students towards realizing their fullest potential. If I believe that students are capable of achieving high levels of success, they will. I believe that each student, when challenged, will produce thought provoking works of art, well informed opinions and critical thinking skills. By challenging my students to meet and even surpass these expectations, I build students’ self-confidence both in and outside of the classroom.
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