Visual Arts Educator
I believe in approaches which create rich learning environments where students can grow to become active critical consumers of our world. I strive to inspire and motivate every student through poignant and exciting concepts and content. I am proud to work collaboratively with my fellow teachers to provide inspired educational leadership to all students whom I teach and are responsible for. I believe that a balanced approach to inquiry and directed knowledge allows all stakeholders the opportunity to take ownership of the vision and direction in the work they create. I strive to inspire and motivate every student through finding their personal voice and passion to grow their artistic skills and appreciation of visual expression.
Mindfulness within a classroom has shown great results for me in both the welfare and the attitudes to learning. I actively promote the use of these valuable activities to assist students in accessing their creative minds-eye and gaining clarity in their future actions within a creative cycle. The regular use of these skills reduces judgemental and reductive thinking to keep creative opportunities open and divergent thinking active.
I am passionate about my responsibility to prepare our students for global citizenship, as well as to imbue them with shared humanistic values. I base my learning experiences on fulfilling the student’s present needs, but also to give agency and lead them through transformational growth. I challenge them to better themselves through goal setting and reflective practices. I believe a diverse range of teaching skills and approaches play a significant role in delivering a well-rounded yet diverse educational experience for my students − one that neither begins nor ends in the classroom alone. I focus on concept-based approaches that persist and build, balanced with content and skill-based learning. This prepares them for an ever-changing world where life-long learning is essential. The exposure to culturally rich experiences in the form of camps and in/excursions offers the students a personal and critical context to respond to. These experiences play a key role in developing the deep learning, personal engagement and appreciation of the Visual Arts. At AIS, I led the annual camps for cultural emersion through an arts rich environment. By allowing students to access contemporary as well and traditional approaches they find their connection and perspective in the world easier.
I endeavour to inspire and motivate every student through finding and tapping into their passion. I shape this to grow their artistic skills and appreciation for the Visual Arts. My Diploma student's work is noted by many to be highly individualised to reveal the talents and aspects of each student. Numerous artworks from the department have also been recognised as outstanding many times in the Asia-Pacific region.
Workplace cohesion has been a focus for me. I moved from schools to work with positive psychology approaches in the workplace and with career-focused individuals. My studies of contemporary leadership developed a greater awareness of my strengths as a leader and improved my metacognitive awareness when working with colleagues and the students. I believe that I have the proven professional aptitude, leadership ability, and vision to add significant value to any educational program of Visual Arts and to the school as a whole.
I actively seek new educational technologies to revolutionise the classroom experience for the students. I believe that the emergent postmodern philosophy of a third social space within social media has also played a huge role in the immediacy of visual forms. This, in turn, creates a growing intercultural, intra-cultural and transcultural language in art expression. The development of a framework to embrace postmodern ideals of education is vital to address the shifts in contemporary visual culture. A shift from narrow skills-based approaches to education to open processes of creativity and critical enquiry is required. Embracing popular cultural tools such as smartphones and mobile devices engages students in an authentic form of contemporary medium. I have used the AR-based Aurasma platform to add augmented content to artworks during exhibitions. I use a ‘flipped classroom’ via a school virtual learning platform that facilitates richer understanding in class rather than lecture styled content driven lessons. I utilise task differentiation to allow students to access materials at their highest capabilities for success experiences. These practices have produced outcomes which were previously inaccessible without the innovative ways of thinking about these tools. I use the most contemporary tools in order to promote a highly rigorous academic environment and personal growth. I allow students to investigate the range of visual culture with guidance so they can actively discover complex meanings, multiple connections and enriched possibilities for creation and critique.
In the Arts, we are given the enormous benefit that the learning process can begin so abstractly yet manifests as a visual and tangible representation of the learning cycle. When I engage students, I first identify the relevance of the topic within their context through gaining multiple perspectives and interpretations. They must have relevance and connection to build an authentic and significant personal response. Challenging these beliefs and reflecting upon established conditioning creates ownership and autonomy in their responses.
A mindset that I promote is that there are no mistakes, only new discoveries, and opportunities for learning. I believe this empowers students to be greater risk-takers and explorers of the media they work with. When students work individually, they become better self-managers, but when they work collaboratively, they learn about new perspectives, and this is essential as twentieth-century communicators. When we learn about others' cultural forms of expression, we also learn about ourselves and our position within our own culture. Exposing students to a diverse range of artworks gives my students the breadth of knowledge to construct their own authentic connections and responses. Combining all these elements within the classroom frees students from their own expectations and builds trust that they will grow in taking the opportunities given. This in turn develops proactive behaviours and reinforces the habits of the student as a life-long learner.