Teaching besides making art myself and with others is my newfound passion. I was reluctant for many years to teach because I didn’t want to be ‘that’ teacher who crushed instead of helped my creative self confidence soar. Teachers have so much power, especially to kids and those traumas are carried all the way to our graves if we don’t recognize and nurse and parent our inner Artist Child back to trust and joy. I also hate being told what to do, so I thought, why would I be a good teacher when I am not a good student?
The answer it turned out is that it lies in remembering both the good teachers and the good times I had as a student and to recreate successful moments for each of my students. It is a creative challenge to define the learning objectives, and pare it down to the essentials in small chunks that can be taught and practiced. To Learn, See, Do and thus build up one’s own toolbox of skills and tools to use to create and solve your own problems and make your own dreams.
I got to teach a few weeks at the Kaneohe Senior Center before COVD19 shut us down. It was too bad, because I was learning how to deal with a large group and with one that had painted for many years together and with another teacher’s style. So it presented a new set of creative problem solving to get to my goal of instilling joy of watercolor and confidence to continue on their own.
I prefer one on one or small groups, but I enjoyed the challenge of how to set up the room, get my voice heard, prepare lessons that 30 people could follow and find some success on their own. With the shutdown of senior centers all over the state and nation, I worry that the kupuna will get isolated and demotivated stuck at home.