In teaching and learning, I empower my students with skills, vocabulary, support, and critical context for their voice and opportunities for discovery. I like to facilitate embodied practices (ex corporeal perspectives on how a camera matches or doesn’t match our vision) or intentional disembodied practices (digital, non-binary, post-truth, Utopic futures). In recent assignments, as a Faculty at SAIC – I emphasized how creating work that is factual/personal and/or fictional are all relevant and powerful modes of working. When students have a base knowledge of technical proficiency, I provide assignments which encourage experimentation, new discoveries, and their follow through of concepts.
I demonstrate and show many examples of digital and tactile modes of making, communication, and output. I encourage my students to develop or redefine their own process, subject, and material recipes.
I remain mindful and open to the diversity and multitude of learning styles of the people in my classroom. My expectations are set high for my students, but I remind them it is because I believe in their ability to learn and thrive in my class. I provide extra work or prompts for reinvestigation for those students that sprint through material, and I make it a priority to circle back and check-in with students who fall behind or struggle with internal or external obstacles. If a student shows a pattern or sequence of struggles, I make opportunities to remind them of their potential options for a realistic pace or institutional policies for accommodation. For the students who desire frequent affirmation or a “right” answer, I remind them that my voice is exactly one voice, and that my particular role is in advising not qualifying their own discourse.
I tend to keep my projected energy to a level which is a little faster and a little warmer than what my students are giving off. This works to model motivation in the same way as listening to music which is slightly faster or up-tempo than a human heartbeat. It projects my enthrallment in the material and inspires their connection and engagement. To help set a tone, I plan for field trips, studio visits, or artists visits to our classroom to provide an engagement or re-engagement in the materials.
I provide exercises in-class for peer collaboration and encourage new connections which may continue beyond the classroom. I provide in class-critiques and peer constructive feedback, and welcome balance of vocal contributions to the in-class discussions. I discuss and foster their goal mapping, timelines and use of a digital and/or paper calendar.