Only the educated are free.Epictetus
Pedagogy. The art of teaching. Literally, to lead the child. Education is the foundation of all great states, and those who wish to be educated should have that wish granted. As an educator, my job is of a serious nature. My job is to lead students to become well-rounded human beings that can deftly contribute to their communities. By creating a safe environment to take risks and setting high standards to achieve goals, students can reach beyond their limits to hone talent into skillful expression.
Expectations encourage success. In my classroom, I want to inspire my students’ creative energies through questions and not answers. The classroom is a place of challenges, of honesty, and predominantly of process. The process through which students learn is how they later apply their merit, and the classroom is the place to fully invest oneself in the process of learning. But most importantly, I do not expect products in my classroom. The art of learning is a lifetime of discoveries and I encourage students to continue questioning the world in which they live.
A school should be the pillar upon which a community is built. That community must develop from the inside out. Professors and students, administrators and families are what make a college strong. They turn outward to the surrounding population to support, to encourage, and to motivate. And the population turns toward a school to educate the people that will make their city stable, their state secure, and their country free. Colleges and Universities allow communities the chance to embrace an educational institution. And together they support each other.
I believe strongly in the Liberal Arts education. It is impossible to be a well-rounded human being without an exposure to multiple subjects, and the Liberal Arts education provides such in its complete course of study. Each subject is connected and feeds into the other. By giving students a variety of techniques, they can create their own process for approaching everyday’s challenges. I strive to give my students freedom through choice and strength through flexibility.
My greatest challenge as an educator is bringing a sense of cohesion to the classroom. There are so many hurdles that can divide a group of people, but encouraging them to think as an ensemble is how communities are built. Whether a student is Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Black, or Native American, we must all be treated as viable, intelligent, individuals. I teach to the student’s needs, and I believe in provoking them at their own level. Diversity is the bedrock of our country, and by creating a cohesive environment we can all achieve more.
I take very seriously the power that a teacher can hold over the mind of a student. I hope to shape students that are advocates of their values, yet respectful of the opinions of others. I believe that our students deserve a safe place to exchange their hopes and fears, thereby bringing them a more solid understanding of the global dynamics. In guiding our students through theatre, I hope to create a sense of life-long learning and appreciation of the arts and education. My desire and commitment to the theatre arts challenges each of my students to become bold human beings. And I believe that through theatre education, we can unlock the artist that lies deep within the human spirit.