So many opportunities for reflection has led me to yet another, “A Teacher’s Teachable Moment”.
I’ve had to the opportunity to be surrounded by artists that have somehow stumbled across teaching. I’m realizing all the reasons “teaching artists” are so dope, and it’s because they often share 3 common characteristics.
#1 They Come Equipped With Tools for Engagement
Students learn better when things are interesting, no one quite understands that fact like teaching artists. Every creation is different and yet still very personal assisting with the engagement of the learning process. Artists come presenting something fresh and often can create a voice that engages art enthusiasts, consumers, and pupils alike. Art, much like life, is open to interpretation and taking your own creative liberties. That’s a level of autonomy all learners want.
#2 Memorable Artifacts
Their uninhibited willingness to create something that leaves a lasting impression shines through their work with students. Engaging in “making” is an art, and allows learners the freedom to maximize their skill to create something never seen before. Making every design process used in each work a very personal evolutionary process that leaves a mark on both the artists and the world.
#3 Relentlessness and Commitment
Their dedication to their craft shines through as they share that passion in creative ways with learners. Techniques being used in the class can be unfamiliar to learners; and, teaching artists offer a spirit of restlessness that commit early to utilizing a solid toolkit of artistic techniques to breathe life and a voice into their work. An artists connection and passion sets a presidence for the classroom, and inspires perseverance to spread from teaching artist to learner, like paint on the best brush to the most perfectly prepped surface.
#4 Safe Space for Expression
Art inspires invention. It’s a drawing, sketch, or blueprint that models our solutions and desired outcomes, or latest architectural design. Every time you work within a space with a teaching artists, it offers a level of liberty typically not available in your traditional classrooms. Teaching artists convey “every creation is valuable, even if no one understands it.” Having a safe space for that kind of growth and freedom of expression is necessary for the growing brains of learners everywhere.
The best part is with the help of teaching artists we can reveal just how quickly something we design can be used to help us offer a need when there’s one that needs to be filled. “See a need, fill a need.“