Teaching

WTeache all learn in different ways and art is a subjective topic to teach.  It is rare to have all students are operating at the same level.  I like to switch things up to keep the students thinking conceptually about their projects and mold my instruction to work best for their needs.  I use classroom discussion, open critiques, guest speakers and Improv exercises to get the students interacting, sharing and discussing the work.

I encourage communication among the students and the sharing of ideas.  Animation is a collaborative art form, and I think students should get used to sharing with their peers.

My primary goal as a teacher is to foster critical thinking, facilitate creative thought and prepare students to function effectively as a filmmaker and artist in addition to learning the fundamentals of animation and gain technical skills with the tools.  I strive to create well-rounded artists that have mastered the technical and artistic aspects of filmmaking, storytelling, and animation.  I do all of this with an optimistic, positive atmosphere that becomes a safe place to share and grow.  My classroom atmosphere allows for students to feel safe making mistakes.  I believe more is learned from failures, than successes.

Nothing feels better than when you explain a complex concept and see a light go off. It is a reward in of itself.  This is the only reason to become a teacher, in my mind.  I am at a time in my life now where I want to give back.  I have a genuine interest in making solid artists who, one day, win awards for their films.

I mentor artists towards innovative thinking.  Each student’s demo reel is different and I encourage their unique and creative voice.  I value narrative, character, and empathy when it comes to animation and storytelling.  I view my instructor role as a signpost; steering my students towards original, creative solutions.  I believe my role as an instructor is submissive to the student’s growth.

My favorite quote regarding the learning experience is, “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”  This old Chinese proverb means you can only understand something by trying it yourself. I spend much time lecturing and explaining, then showing through demos and finally… I have my students do it for themselves because only then will they truly understand.

 不聞不若聞之,聞之不若見之,見之不若知之,知之不若行之;學至於行之而止矣Confucian philosopher Xunzi

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