Philosophy of Teaching
It is my belief that teaching is the process of constructing a framework under which students have access to pools of information and diverse voices informing their critical thinking. I ask them to give the assignments full consideration, challenging assumptions about content, material usage and tool application. Students are encouraged to be fully engaged in the learning process as evidenced by attendance, participation, hard work and honesty about their successes and failures during the critique process. In return, I strive to empower students to reach beyond previously considered goals, preparing them for success in fine art, advertising, and motion film. To accomplish these objectives, I invite students to saturate themselves in the history and methodology of art, develop a unique vision, refine skills, expand experiential repertoire, and intentionally integrate their individuality and values into the creative process. I strongly advocate the risk of personal comfort through the exploration of that which is unknown, be it cultural chasms, new media or cross-disciplinary materials. Finally, I encourage students to apply for internships, exhibitions, and grants to facilitate constructive feedback as they develop their professional practice.
I have found that many students in the visual arts have challenges to learning within traditional educational paradigms. I consider my classroom a safe haven for those with unconventional learning styles, personal histories, and life experiences. I seek to foster a positive art making milieu in the lab and classroom, building a respectful community that supports collaboration and productive creativity.
Ultimately, as a photographer and teacher, I wish to convey to students that photography must reveal something of the maker or the subject that diminishes the viewer’s awareness of the medium. The photographic media is not merely a record of objects and events in front of the lens but rather transforms and heightens the viewer’s experience. This critical concept transforms students from ordinary photographers to extraordinary image-makers.
“A photograph is always invisible; it is not it that we see.” – Roland Barthes