One of the most important things I do is not doing
Another excerpt from my interview for the Arts & Humanities website at Teachers College Columbia University:
In what ways does making art let children experiment and investigate the visual/spatial world? Are there certain methods you use to activate or target their imaginations at this age?
One of the most important things I do as a studio teacher is to step back and let children explore and discover on their own. I put much thought and effort into encouraging free exploration by providing my students with a variety of materials that allows them to have rich and diverse experiences. Although I often offer my ideas or insights about things that, as an adult-artist, I know work will work better for specific things (for example, wood glue might work better for wood), I also respect the children’s ideas and the choices they make in their explorations.
More than pre-established methods, I try to offer a studio space that is safe, interesting, and welcoming to the children and their ideas, along with my best attention, support, and respect. As I mentioned before, the materials I provide and the approach to artistic experiences as explorations of materials are important elements in my practice as a studio teacher.