I’ve always had a strong desire to coach and mentor young leaders. I’m sure every teacher can relate to that feeling you get upon seeing students succeed. There is something extremely satisfying about that moment; the moment they finally understand a topic, ace their next test, or win that big game. Being a teacher isn’t just about teaching a subject, it’s about helping students become independent thinkers. It’s about preparing them for their future ahead. As a teacher, I desire to be a strong mentor and coach for my students, helping them to develop their own critical thinking skills. Furthermore, students should learn how to form and communicate their own opinions or thoughts on a subject. Establishing critical thinking skills is key for a student’s success and this issue couldn’t be more crucial than today! In the art room, I can teach the best way I’m able, but this means nothing if students simply regurgitate material learned after they leave the classroom. My class will be an open room for learning where students will hunt for other methods of making art. By picking their own path, they develop a greater ownership towards their own work. I believe in the Constructivist style of teaching where students develop knowledge based on past experiences. Because of this, everyone learns at a different pace; each student’s learning is unique to them. All students bring their own unique experiences, knowledge, and beliefs to the classroom every day. Thus, each student will need differing levels of attention. In order to adapt to the individual needs of each student, I will integrate choice into art projects. These projects allow the classroom to be student-led. Choice projects can instill a sense of ownership of their work and ensure they are actively involved in their own learning. In my social constructivism classroom, I’ll create a free social environment with plenty of student collaboration, where students can work together and learn from each other. This method creates a free-flowing classroom that promotes a fun, safe and creative environment. One of the challenges facing art teachers are students who are fearful of art, or those unsure of their ability to create. To overcome these notions, teachers must develop a strong rapport with their students. I will consistently communicate and take interest in my student’s activities outside of the classroom so that over time I earn their trust and respect. By establishing proper rapport with my students, I’ll be able to encourage them to succeed in and outside of the art room. I believe students should be graded on their progress, rather than solely on the work they put forth. Students come into the art room at differing skill levels, and it simply wouldn’t be fair to grade them based purely on ability. Grading my students on progress made meets them where they are on their creative journey and encourages them to take further steps. In summary, I want to encourage students to strive for individual creativity and build up their confidence in the arts. By providing choice projects in an open classroom experience, I hope to create many successful moments for my students.