First things first, I really should not have read an article called The Dreaded Teaching Statement days before actually writing my own teaching statement. That was not a good idea at all. Also, for anyone else out there who plans to write or revise their own teaching statements, don’t do what I did unless you want to end up like me, panic-writing one just to have something for feedback and feeling deeply insecure about it.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s what I’ve got so far:
Creative Technologies lies at the nexus of music and visual art, engineering and design, high art and technology. As such, the students in my field are also in a liminal space between these fields, which makes the formation of an identity more difficult. My role as their teacher is to facilitate their growth as both students and artists, designers, technologists, engineers, or whatever they choose to become in the future. Whether they enter my classroom with a concrete vision of their future role in the arts or sciences or not, my job is to ensure that they have the confidence, the portfolio, and the tools they need to realize that vision whenever it comes.
In the classroom, facilitating looks like the act of paying close attention to each and every student, how they speak or remain silent, how they process the material covered in class, how they create art, what that art means—both in their own eyes and in the eyes of others, and the evolution of their artwork from the beginning of the semester to the end. It also looks like ensuring that each student leaves my class with whatever technical skills they need to continue down the path to their degree, and the confidence that comes with the solid acquisition of those skills.
In research contexts, facilitating looks like collaboration. Becoming part of a larger whole is one of the most rewarding aspects of my research. As a sound designer, a visual artist, or a designer, the part I play in a large-scale project is often unique and gives my colleagues a new way of perceiving their research. Faculty and students who may not have considered the importance of sound or design in their research are often the source of rich conversations in which we both gain knowledge and a wider view of our fields. It is this exchange of ideas that motivates me to remain in the liminal space between disciplines, forging valuable connections and being exposed—and exposing others—to new ways of thinking and being in the world.
I’d love to know what you think. Feedback is a great thing!