Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy 



I have spent a great deal of my time sharing what I have learned; inside and outside the classroom. I have always believed that the more I can share, the more I will learn. I consider my students an investment. I feel strongly that a balance of nurture and tough love is necessary for success as an educator. Students come from all types of backgrounds and different levels in their development. By recognizing the needs of individual students it becomes clear who needs a push in the right direction and who needs me to hold their hand and lead them in the right direction.   Frequently students surpass their own expectations and in the process they make amazing discoveries. This new and fruitful exploration of concept, material, and process leads to a prosperous future.



 I have benefited from listening to the feedback of my peers and instructors; in turn I encourage students to be receptive to those around them and put emphasis on a communicative classroom. A good deal of my teaching style revolves around the value of asking questions. I encourage students to look into ideas and issues that are of personal interest. This investment sustains creative activity and motivates students to work toward the goal they set for themselves as well as the goal I have set for them. One particular way of doing this is to assign a sketchbook assignment in the first day of class that requires the students to gather images and articles of what is important to them and share them with the class. This helps students to open up and become more comfortable with me and the people around them, subsequently creating a learning environment that helps students answer their own questions. I don’t believe in simply giving the answers, but giving them the opportunity to answer questions for themselves.



I have worked extensively in a wide range of media including: metal fabrication, ceramics, mold making, screen printing, woodworking, as well as silver, bronze, aluminum and iron casting. In recent years I have focused my research in computer aided design such as rapid prototyping, fused deposition modeling, 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC technologies. This versatility allows my students a distinct advantage by allowing them to learn about a material or process that best fits their conceptual needs and allow their ambitious designs to come to fruition. 




The classroom is a place where anything is possible, and if I don’t have an answer I will do everything I can to provide one by the next class. I challenge my students to find new and exciting methods of conceptualizing and making work and ask them to share their findings in online classroom forums. Between this and giving them a series of art historical research assignments designed to help them seek out and view artwork, attend artist lectures and present their findings with the class a thought provoking dialog often fills the room while we work.




The shop is a place where design and technique come together harmoniously. I focus first and foremost on safety and proper use of equipment. I emphasize a reverence, not fear, of equipment. In teaching how to balance skill and ambition in effort to successfully manage time students are forced to critically evaluate what they want from their work. My projects are designed to first introduce them to the potential of the tools and equipment and then how to utilize those tools to visually represent their ideas and personal voice. In turn giving them a sense of empowerment and direction most of which never knew they had in them.




I feel strongly that as a teacher it’s my responsibility to continually pursue new concepts and techniques in order to keep students coming back. To push them to do their best, and keep them intrigued with the idea of how much more can be accomplished if they set their minds to it. To empower them with the knowledge of how to make, and the concepts required to inspire creativity and innovation. To help them understand how to conceptualize and verbally communicate those ideas through classical and contemporary technique.


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