Hi there- thanks for stopping by! In case we haven't met, my name is Naomi Aldrich and I have the privilege of teaching visual arts and drama at St. Gabriel Elementary School.
What art offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit.
I was coaxed into it. “You’d love it!”, he said. “No, I’d be terrible, the worst! I can’t.” I did it anyways. And there I was, completely self-conscious, awkward and utterly terrified in my first high school drama class. It was in that very class, with that very teacher that my love of performance and art was nurtured; where I made meaningful connections with my peers through creative explorations and, perhaps, most importantly, where I felt for the first time that there was room for me to breath. Indeed, I am certain I learned everything I’ll ever really need to know in that class; the essential stuff, the substance that shaped me as a teenager and still shapes me today as an artist and educator. For that, I am profoundly grateful; so here I am, trying to return the favour.
In contemplating my teaching philosophy I’ve discovered that it is nearly impossible to define a practice that evolves constantly, moving in synchronicity with the ebb and flow of each unique group of learners. The element of my practice that remains constant is my desire to develop meaningful relationships the my students. Fairness, compassion and authenticity are fundamental to building these relationships and subsequent learning environments.
My aim as an art educator is to not simply teach the prescribed language and skills associated with the visual arts, but to engage learners in authentic and inspired learning situations that encourage critical and creative thinking, collaboration and self-reflection. It is my duty to ensure a safe and inclusive learning environment that fosters individuality through diversity. It is my hope that each student leaves my classroom having learned as much about themselves, their peers and their communities, as they have about the practical elements of art making.
As a reflective practitioner, I see my teaching practice as a lifelong work in progress. I am consistently taking stock of my strengths and weaknesses in an effort to nurture my own learning and subsequent growth as a teacher. Each new teaching experience contributes to a personal and professional evolution; an evolution rooted in my passion and enthusiasm for teaching and the arts.