I believe that excellence in teaching begins with having a profound respect for the integrity and honest intent of every student. Each must find his or her own voice. Each must feel secure enough in the classroom to take risks, make mistakes, feel encouraged by successes and derive energy from a supportive, cooperative classroom environment. The instructor is responsible for setting this tone. A student centered approach in the classroom is the only effective way I know to enable the student to strive for personal excellence. Along with the necessary studio courses, future artists should be broadly educated in the humanities. Students need to develop a sincere appreciation for the liberal arts. Philosophy, history and language arts provide a firm foundation for and reason to be an artist. Art that is taught as a technical subject only does not equip students to become thoughtful, articulate and agile in their ability to solve visual problems or have artistic insight. Training in the arts needs to be balanced by a curriculum which exposes each student to the important ideas and texts the past as well as contemporary life.
In my teaching, I strive to be technically expert, but patient and open-minded enough to enable each of my students to work from his own center, to find her own voice.