Maddog’s Statement!

It’s 5:30 a.m.  I’ve been working on my teaching philosophy and letter of application for the past three hours.  I can no longer see the computer screen.  It keeps getting blurry.

So I’m going to bed.

Here’s my philosophy statement.  It’s supposed to be kept to one page.  I’m open to suggestions.  So feel free to suggest.

I have been a designer for over 20 years.  In that time I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of talented people.  I’ve learned a great deal from all of them, but I value most, the mentoring that I received at the _____________.   My professor, Mr. Smith, provided me the guidance and confidence to realize that I was not only a capable designer but also a talented one.  He allowed me to make mistakes he could have easily corrected, and then used those mistakes as teaching moments.  He encouraged me to take my ideas farther than I thought possible and to know that I’m only limited by my imagination.

I’ve been given many opportunities to act as a teacher and mentor.  Each time I’ve tried to show the patience and care that I was shown.  A student’s talent can only be nurtured when it’s given positive support and guidance. Education is about exploration and growth as person.  I encourage my students to find their own voices.  To walk away from my classes knowing the basics but also having developed their own views about theater as an art form.

As a teacher I’ve always tried to emulate those teachers that I admire most.  They all shared very valuable characteristics:

  1. They all brought an excitement to the classroom.
  2. They all had a great respect for theater.
  3. They created safe learning environments.
  4. They all provided hands on approaches to teaching in and out of the classroom.

My teaching experience tells me that if I’m excited in my classroom my students will be in return.  I want my students to know that theater is very hard work but that it also rewarding, and sometimes, even fun.  I have seen again and again that students can develop as artists if they are given healthy environments to do so.

As a teacher I challenge my students to look at a situation from every angle forcing them to defend their choices as a way to grow as designers.   In return I expect them force me to do the same.  I give them rules and then expect them to break them.  I use this environment as a way to push their boundaries and make them question everything.

Mentoring is a huge part of my approach to teaching.  As a teacher whether working on a department show, or a design for an outside project I have always asked students to work with me. I give them the opportunity to help create the design from the beginning and see it through to its completion.  I encourage them not to be note takers but to become part of the process.

Not all of my students will be great actors or designers.  Some of them will not even pursue careers in theater.  I want those that do want to work in theater to walk away with the skills they need to either transfer to a four year program or to find professional work.   I need a sentence here about those that don’t want to work in theater.

And some sort of closing statement.  Ugh.

So someone out there finish writing this for me, and then send it back to me so that I can get it all uploaded over the weekend.

I must sleep now!!!


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2 thoughts on “Maddog’s Statement!

  1. Lemuel January 15, 2010 / 06:14

    Perhaps for those who will not work in the theater, you can speak to how your course/teaching style will increase their appreciation for the theater, expand their understanding of what is going on when they attend a theater event, and, in general, enrich their experiences of life.

  2. javabear January 15, 2010 / 08:15

    Yeah, what Lemuel said. Also, they can take what they learned from theater and apply it to other areas of their lives. Being creative, exploring different approaches to their work in business or whatever other area they choose. Anyway, something along those lines.

    In closing, perhaps something about how your wide range of experience in theater and other venues in life has given you a broad base of knowledge, an understanding of people. From this experience you have learned how to communicate with a variety of people / personalities.

    That’s what I’ve got so early in my morning. Good luck!

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