Statement of Teaching Philosophy
I use an intermodal approach through the arts to teaching. I believe the best way to learn is experiential. I work as a client-centered therapist and support worker. I believe in experiential education as the basis of integrated knowledge that can give all students practical tools. The intermodal curriculum foundations are focused on addressing a multiplicity of learning styles through the different methods and techniques used in the experiences. I will metaphorically throw seeds in each different modality of teaching, the same seeds so that each student has a few different deliveries that may be the one that can flourish in their particular soil. For example, I may start with some nature-based meditational experience, a brain mapping exercise, clay, free-writing, poetry, and a play and group discussion. There may be a lecture on a particular topic that each experience will enhance the depth of study of this concept. I allow the understanding to come after the experience. This way, the experience can serve as phenomenological research for the student to further deepen their knowledge of who they are and the subject or concept.
I rely on the arts in my teaching philosophy to hold the students in their self- reflection and self-inquiry. The art serves as a “third” in the relationship between student and teacher and is often the guiding voice in the learning. This practice promotes self- referencing students and guides the maturing practitioner from judgment to discernment when working on others and themselves. I teach from a heart-centred perspective. Fundamental is my belief in the equality of all that lives. I keep myself focused on my work’s intention and impact, changing course if the alignment is off. All my teaching directs the students towards a greater level of awareness in all aspects of being. I cultivate tools for all my students’ capacity to master the ability to shift at any time perceptually. To “see” from a different perspective, quickly and gracefully, to conceptualize and embody a perception that is other to their own value system and experience in the world.
My first job as a teacher is to establish as safe a container as possible and to inspire courage and bravery into space. The courage to be wrong, be vulnerable, be powerful, change your mind, fall and get back up, respect each other in those times, and keep the learning environment’s confidentiality. I often teach from depth to steps, meaning with the experiential learning, it can be like a dive into the deep end as opposed to starting in the kids wading zone of the pool. The concept starts as a whole, and then the sum of the parts gets illuminated. This way of seeing promotes sourcing from wholeness in oneself so that the narrative of contraction and fragmentation can be reframed and redirected. The psychopathology becomes a symptom of the soul that is a gift to work within, remembering wholeness as the essence. It is poetic. Couple this concept with the arts and the appropriate experiential learning techniques, and the student or client has lived experience in work that is life-affirming and produces resources to integrate a change.
I use nature, voice, embodiment techniques, poetry, creative writing, mixed media, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, ritual, and play. If it works, it wins is my philosophy! I love the big questions, and I love the details of the art and lived experiences. I genuinely love to learn and teach. I teach to whoever is my student and where we find ourselves at the moment.
My teaching philosophy with the new technology culture that is here remains that of experiential intermodal learning. I find myself in a farther-reaching global community teaching experiential curriculum online. It is exciting in its capacity for breadth and depth and the exchange of information. Through technology, community art is exquisite and can reach so many viewers through different platforms and social media. The grassroots are on the same playing field in this technological way in aspects that were not possible before. I am excited by the online platform for experiential learning.
My goal for students remains to open their perspectives and cultivate tools and resources to serve humanity’s heart and create a just world. My teaching intention is to contribute to a world and society that is inclusive and just for all so all beings can experience the joy that lies beyond suffering.