My Student Teacher Professional Growth Plan

The Falcon for a Lady, 2011

My Personal Vision of Teaching and Learning:

As I teacher, I hope to also continue in my role as learner.  I do not believe that learning ever stops. Instead I believe that the world and our students have a great deal to teach us, perhaps more than we have to teach to them.  As a teacher, I hope to inspire students around me to think outside of the box.  To use the creativity that is innate in each of them to explore the problems faced by the world today.  As an artist I believe in hands-on, engaging, inquiry based exploration.  However, the arts tend to focus quite heavily on technique, and while I do believe that technique is valuable, I believe that the quality of mind that an artist brings to their work is equally important. I hope to inspire a generation of artists who are highly critical of their increasingly saturated visual world.  Much of my philosophy points to high levels of visual literacies in the classroom.  We must ask our students to read images as texts, to read between the lines, to think about what is being presented to them.  Otherwise they will not have the skills that they need to mitigate some of the media saturation that they experience in their day to day lives.  I believe that every student genuinely wants to learn, and that their attitude towards school is reflective of the things they experience there, and not necessarily their dislike of learning.

I believe that while I am accountable to my profession, my principal, the school district and the parents of the students that I teach – I am mostly accountable to myself and my students.  I hold myself to an incredibly high standard, and it is through my students engagement and passion for creativity and expression that I can truly measure my effectiveness as a teacher.  My students are my guide, rather than the other way around.  I can help by posing them questions, asking them to delve deeper into the things they are learning, and providing support when they struggle.

My Professional Development Needs:

As a future art teacher, I have a great deal of knowledge about printmaking and drawing, which were my specialization in my undergraduate degree.  I am less comfortable with painting, sculpting, digital media and photography.  Because of this, I feel as though I need to explore the development of some of those skills, as my students will benefit from the knowledge based on the support that I can provide them in their endeavours.  I have a passion for critical thinking and critical theory, but I have taken a great deal of time learning in these areas, and I feel as though refining my technique and confidence in a number of different mediums is important to my future learning and teaching practice.

My Community of Learners:

The goal that I wish to explore in-depth at this point in time is a greater familiarity with both oil and acrylic painting.  I hope to gain a broad view of technique, colour mixing, the use of brush and to push myself outside of my comfort zone (which is primarily based in line and drawing) and into something new.  This will enhance both my artistic practice and my teaching practice.

Professional Development Model:

I hope to explore workshops, and spend time with painters who are willing to show me techniques and create art along side of me.  I hope to document the process visually and through my artwork, and bring those artefacts into the classroom to show my students the importance of the learning journey.  I would like to present to my students a vision of teacher as a work in progress.  I am still working to learn and explore, and hopefully they will follow my example. Funds permitting, I would also like to take a few Continuing Education classes at ACAD to explore some of these media in a variety of ways.


At the end of the year, I hope to have produced a body of work in a new media that I can share with my students and other teachers.  I will bring a new set of skills back to my classroom and to the school, and a new confidence in expression and technique.


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