Teaching Philosophy

Art is a hidden ability in each of our souls. We all enter a classroom with different potential, different perceptions, and different talents-some known and some mysterious. As an art instructor, my primary desire and obligation in each class is to facilitate a learning process that uncovers and discovers a student's hidden capabilities. I use evaluation, analysis, and encouragement to connect a student's personal discoveries with a thorough understanding of art history, context, and practice. The most significant part of my teaching plan is crafting and customizing an absorbing art learning strategy. I do not subscribe to any one particular pedagogical approach; I attempt to create an area where both the technical principles of art and the student's inner feelings and personal visions can connect in a way that manifests a pleasant piece of visual art.

My general educational goal is to empower my students. At the conclusion of a course, my students should have the courage and confidence to establish themselves as a hobbyist, professional artist, developer, art educator, art administrator, or curator.

My teaching method is straightforward: I believe in providing an accessible learning environment and collaborating with each institution's particular mission statement to offer specialized curriculum for different classroom cultures and demographics. My teaching philosophy is student-centered. I feel comfortable walking into any level classroom-introductory to advanced, and starting with what the student knows, to open a pathway for what the student can discover. Regardless of educational level, I start every class by evaluating a student's practical skills and their latest knowledge related to the particular course's subject matter. This entry points help me categorize the learning capability and capacity of each student and synchronize it with a useful teaching strategy.

The largest part of any visual art class is the actual artistic practice. I am a hands-on, dynamic instructor. As my students do the exercise, I regularly observe their progress, check their work, guide and instruct them, and offer critique suggestions and inquiries through verbal feedback and physical demonstration. I am a flexible lesson planner; if something is not working for a student, I look for a better way to make it more understandable. For example: in drawing class, when working to find the correct proportion of objects located in the distance, there are some different rules and regulations. If one standard is not working for my students, I will try the next. Discussion is another important part of my class. I always try to engage the students in conversation about art as it relates to our greater world, our individual assignments, or our inner selves; it connects and improves the technical, historic and fundamental knowledge of the student in promising way.

I aim to prepare my students for future steps in critique and jury contests. In order to keep my students engaged in the practice and conversation of art outside technical assignments, I also assign readings, descriptive writing assignments, and audio and video projects. Doing these sorts of activities helps students hone their observation skills. I always try to organize artistic field trips to visit art exhibitions and galleries. These real world interactions help my students with useful information about the varieties of art, artists, and their styles. Curating student art shows also provides excellent opportunities to learn from each other's successes and mistakes. Healthy competition is also important in preparing students for future steps.

I know that every student is different. I try to learn each individual's unique set of skills, perspective, personality, and curiosity so that I can teach to that individual student. The United States is a country burgeoning with cultural diversity, so students are coming from different communities with different cultural values and backgrounds. Coming from an eastern culture, I can relate to the challenges and celebrations of multiculturalism; I am in a unique position to understand and consider these qualities to build a respectful classroom atmosphere. In my class, the equal treatment of all my students is a must. My general method for leading a class and creating a safe and positive classroom environment is based on a foundation of caring and accessible behavior; I value the idea and opinion of each student and give importance to affirmations of their talent, work ethic, and confidence. Promoting self-confidence helps my students to believe in their abilities and achieve their goals in a better way; it encourages their dignity and perseverance to overcome any hidden fears they might have. In my open-minded classrooms, students learn and practice more courage, stronger work ethic, and greater artistic commitment.

Most students consider the instructor as their role model and a reliable consultant in their discipline. Therefore, I create a learning atmosphere where students can trust me and become the satisfied beneficiaries of my proficiency and capabilities.

In this age of technology, I believe that technical and electronic devices, in addition to savvy media skills can play a big role in the teaching process-especially in visual arts. I welcome the use of classroom technology as a teaching aid that provides excellent opportunities for student engagement and improvement.

My teaching process considers and welcomes modern methods of artistic creativity. I also take great pride and joy in connecting our contemporary approaches with the timeless classics of our art masters. My own education and artistic practice have been about finding my own voice in relation to classic art's heritage and values. I feel comfortable flowing between old and new methods as an instructor, in order to encourage the same in my students.

My art career, expertise, and knowledge have been enriched by opportunities to teach art classes to different levels of students at different academic and community programs, educational centers, community centers and in my private art center here in the states and overseas. During my 25 year artistic and teaching career, I have taught numerous students living all around the world. I benefit from the knowledge that they learned with me, and that most of them are involved in a variety of artistic activities, businesses, or social causes. I enjoy maintaining relationships with past students; I am deeply fulfilled that most of them find me through social media and warm my soul with their sincere love and attributions. It is an honor when students remember me as their best instructor.

Additionally, I am a woman, artist, and instructor who has faced the hardship of disastrous wars and experienced the displacement of refugee life. My commitment to art and arts education never faltered during these tough times. I have taken solace and found refuge in a life committed to artistic practice, despite numerous empathetic challenges. It has made me a stronger and nurturing instructor.

From 1995-2000, while I was living a refugee life, I established Maimanagi Art Center. I opened a door of hope for those talented refugees of Afghanistan who had lost their ambition to learn art. Despite numerous boundaries faced mostly by refugee women, I started calling for student enrollment in the art center. Soon, students of all ages and genders from all around the refugee and the host communities enrolled in my art classes. Under my instruction and supervision, Maimanagi Art Center provided classes in painting, drawing and other visual arts.

My artistic expertise, portfolio, and teaching philosophy enable me to teach drawing, portraiture, oil painting, and watercolor classes to the youngest learner through the most advanced student and adults. It is my pride and passion to serve communities through my artistic abilities.

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