Friday, December 12, 2008

Freedom in the classroom

It’s been a long but rewarding semester, and yesterday I taught my last class of the fall season. Phew!

My favorite part of teaching is seeing my students put all the concerns of the outside world aside and allow themselves simply to create art.

An artist’s world is an inner sanctuary that represents complete freedom. Freedom to try and fail, freedom to express with honesty and without judgment, freedom to be utterly oneself. It’s a rare and unique opportunity in this day and age, when we are beseiged with financial and familial obligations, scare tactics from politicians and the media, and constant pressure to conform.

I am honored to be a teacher, a role in which I can offer this kind of freedom to my students, by creating an environment in which they can explore this inner world in safety and with joy. This is teaching art at its highest level.

The painting above was created by Lisa Rogers, who was a student in my professional development watercolor course at the Danforth Museum School in Framingham, MA.

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