Hi, I'm Alexandra!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. My love for the arts began at a young age and has become an integral part of my life. It is with this passion that I hope to inspire and encourage the creative minds of children, no matter how young. I was involved in a Continuing Studies program in college and met many young artists that would spend their Saturdays at the University. Their eagerness to learn about art inspired me to continue to teach as I graduated college.
What is your philosophy and approach to behavioral management? My philosophy is that a mutual respect is required for a classroom to function at its optimal level. One of the things I used to do for the Continuing Studies program would be to sit with children who were pulled out of class for behavioral problems. We would often sit together quietly as the child would reflect. Sometimes the child would draw in their sketchbook. Often, after about 5 minutes or so the child would be allowed to return to class. I found this to be an effective way of isolating a problem in a constructive and fair way. I also believe that talking with the child in a respectful tone could help build trust and mitigate behavioral problems.
Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite teacher was Mr. Sansone. He was my AP Art teacher in High School and the reason I decided to go to art school for college. He created an environment that was one in which self expression was possible (which can be terrifying in high school when everyone is just trying to fit in). He brought the school an art program that helped high school students prepare portfolios fit for the top art colleges (including life drawing which was not often offered in high school). The thought of his uniform of a black cuffed t-shirt and jeans still makes me laugh. Now my youngest sister is in his class and he is still encouraging students to, as Neil Gaiman so eloquently said, "make good art". Some will go on to be artists, some bankers, lawyers...but whatever they go onto do, they will have had the privilege of having a good teacher. That can sometimes make all the difference.
What is your approach to behavioral management? I believe my style is very approachable and I think a strong presence from parents is important to encourage the children to not only create in the classroom, but be able to share and bring home what they have learned. Creating art can be a very private and personal experience, but sharing that work in a comfortable and supportive environment builds confidence that is crucial to the future and success of every child.
Do you have experience working with children with special needs? I taught at a pottery studio in which I worked with some students with special needs.