Teaching Philosophy

︎TJ Bergeron

Education should lead students into the world by helping them forge their own strong, unique paths forward. In order to do this, we must see the student as a whole person, including their resilience and social-emotional well-being. Furthermore, any great educator recognizes that they are always being educated. They must accept and appreciate that for everything they teach and give to their students, their students give even more back. As a K-12 art teacher, I believe that my responsibility is to guide young adults into the world around them within an inclusive classroom that can adapt to the wealth of diversity among the students. My role is to pass down knowledge that I have gained (and continue to learn as a teacher and artist) and to create the conditions for them to make their own discoveries. This process should include how to handle mistakes and difficulties (loss, stress, sadness, and the unpredictable moments that are natural to life); however, it should also reveal sources of JOY. The art classroom, specifically, offers the opportunity to open students up to the wonder, excitement, and the possibilities of youth while helping them learn the language of the world and translate whatever it speaks to them in a way that is personally significant. While we create lessons that culminate in projects that require intense investigation into both the art world and the student’s self, the real focus of our class should be the long term learning of larger life lessons. With skills, habits, and a knowledge of art, our students will develop an ability to not only see but change their world as they excel through times of struggle using a toolkit of abstract thinking which only the arts can provide. We are at the first steps of our student’s lives as they emerge into a larger, greater world, so let’s get them there through teaching these skills, habits, and knowledge while also modeling care and optimism along the way. ︎