Through the arts students and educators gain skills and understandings that open insight into the human condition. As educators our learning continues along with our students. We observe, discuss and create just as our students do. We work side by side as a means of instruction, motivation and validation. When a student has a better understanding of their teacher as an artist and a person outside of the classroom, the student becomes more aware of their teacher's own intrinsic motivation and what it means to teach what you know. It brings equality into the classroom that is exemplified through studio practice and dialog. Students become more in-tune with their teacher and feed off their motivation, passion and enthusiasm for the arts
An art educator should have the skills of drawing, painting, sculpting in various mediums but they should also have the skills of observing, discussing, and problem solving, along with the knowledge of art history and the contemporary art world. We are here to motivate and inspire our students. We do this, in part, by observing them as individuals and presenting them with opportunities that will provoke creativity. When students are presented with the opportunities to observe other artists, historical and contemporary, the teacher must guide students' experiences to help them engage and relate to the art world. These encounters allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the artwork, the contexts surrounding it, and their connection to it. Through these connections students will become more immersed in their own art. This causes intrinsic motivation, creating greater awareness of more opportunities for observing, problem solving, and discussing that foster their artistic growth. As their teachers, we must be aware of these teachable moments that engage students more deeply in the art world.
Critique and dialog is a critical continuing element for all artists but is an exceptionally important experience for students' growth as artists and as learners. These processes lead students to a better understanding of visual arts and themselves. It is safe environments where students come together and have conversation about art, life, society, and where they fit in. Critique and dialog also give the teacher an opportunity to oversee their students art and understand their goals and motivations.
By gaining these skills, attitudes and disciplines within the arts, students then apply these behaviors to other aspects of their education and life. They look at the world through new lenses and have an open and critical mind, which is so important as a citizen in our democracy. Students use the knowledge gained in the art classroom to progress, survive, and excel in contemporary society regardless what educational, career, and life path they decide to take.