Aug 28, 2012

Teacher Tips

How we learn
Sharon Teal Coray

Recently I was asked about my teaching methods and why some students understood what the teacher was trying to teach them and would run with it, while others struggled for years, sometimes never making much progress.
I came to the following conclusions many years ago after studying this because I had these problems in my classes and wanted to know how to help my students.

First I had to face the fact that I cannot teach everyone to be great artists, I can teach them the basics and the knowledge that I have, and then they have to do something with that.
Sometimes a student is just not willing to put in the hard work, patience, loads of discipline and a lot of rejection to get there.
Some students are in class just for the social part of it and to have fun, they will not be as fussy about their work or learning more. A good teacher has to know the difference!
You need to push the student who wants to improve and let the ones that are there for the enjoyment of it just enjoy it! Let them learn as much as they want and forget turning them into prize winning artists, that is not what they are there for.
The students who are serious will be very easy to identify. They will soak up all you have to offer!

I have found that each student will learn at a different rate
and will see the same things differently. So let them do this at thier own speed. Let them see things differently if they are being creative but if they are not seeing the basics in the right light then you need to educate them. There is a big difference!

We all have a personal perception of ourselves and it can either help us grow or hold us back. If we think we can learn how to paint we can, if we tell ourselves that we really won’t be any good as an artist then that will be true! As a teacher I have had all sorts of personalities in my classes. Some are so negative that no matter how well they did, they never thought it was good, then I had some that thought it was good when what they were doing looked awful. So here is another observation, we all have different judgments of what is good and what is bad art!
If the student decides that she is better than she really is, which happens often, she automatically stops hearing what I say.
Getting constant admiration from our close family members and friends tends to tell us that we really are great artists, when in reality we need much more time and learning. It is nice for the support but the student must listen to her inner voice about their work.
Students who paint and draw at home move ahead much faster than a student who only paints in class. These are the serious students who mover faster and learn easier.

An interesting fact: It takes 8-10 years to fully develop your artistic skill level to become a professional and that is painting every day!

I loved teaching and found that no matter the students ability it was exciting to watch them grow as artists. I just had to remember that I could not make them great....that was thier job!

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