Category Archives: Teaching

The art of writing a dream version of everything

I’m working on writing a teaching philosophy for academic teaching job applications, and it’s been a struggle to capture my ideas and passions for teaching in a quaint little job application package. There are lots of things that I love about teaching, but to sound professional and feel confident while doing it makes the blank page glaring at me on the computer screen not as welcoming as I would like it to be.

I remember a drawing project we did in 3rd grade where we created imaginary dream houses. There were no rules, and the teacher encouraged us to think beyond the impossible. This was my favorite thing to do in the world.

I don’t remember exactly what my house looked like, but I remember it having

A flying car:

A rope swing into the abyss:

A cloud bed:

And a swimming pool with mermaids:

What I loved so much about the dream house was that it had endless possibilities. Anything I felt passionate about could be crafted visually together into one fantastic drawing that I hung up on the wall and felt proud of. The most fabulous thing about it was is that I truly believed that my imaginary dream house could come to reality.

In my dream teaching philosophy it doesn’t matter if I get the job or not, if they’ll call me in for an interview or not, if they’ll include benefits and relocation fees or not…. My dream teaching philosophy is an imaginary wonderland of fantastic learning and growth. Here are a few of the parts that are essential:

Lots of laughing:

Phenomenal artistic creation:

A few tear-jerking moments:

Collaborative thinking and group inspiration:

And a learning experience that makes everyone hungry to come back for more:

Sometimes writing the fantastical, DREAM version of serious writing requirements can help free the burden of HAVING to write something, and make it more FUN. I hope that this blog post will motivate me to have more fun with my academic writings and job applications. I hope it will motivate you, too!!!

Image Sources:

http://hackedgadgets.com/2007/07/27/moller-flying-car-enters-production/ (Hacked gadgets forum)

http://caroundtheworld.com/2010/01/17/island-windjammers-rope-swing/ (Island Windjammers: the rope ship swing)

http://everfree.ponibooru.org/post/view/50406 (Ponibooru)

http://merbooksblog.blogspot.com/2011_07_01_archive.html (Mermaid Sightings: Are They Real?)

http://workinprogresspinay.wordpress.com/tag/filipino/ (Unconditional acceptance at the Ateneo’s socio-anthro department)

http://www.bittbox.com/freebies/free-texture-tuesday-paint-splatters (Free Texture Tuesday: Paint Splatters)

http://fowlerartsbrooklyn.org/gallery.html (Year One)

http://www.skinnysushi.com/2010/08/hungry-monster/ (Hungry Monster)

http://dockjumping.wordpress.com/ (Concrete Jumping in Duluth)

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The Art of Teaching Yoga

Besides being an artist, I’m also a yoga teacher. I practiced yoga for 10 years before training to become a teacher. I’ve now been teaching for four years. What I love about teaching yoga is that within the average class time of an hour and fifteen minutes, I can leave the room knowing that I’ve really affected someone. I teach yoga not to say “hey, look at me, I’m beautiful and perfect and amazing and talented”, but to provide the space and opportunity for the self discovery of my students.

I am, in a sense, still ‘performing’ when teaching yoga. I have for the most part memorized my lines and the sequences that I lead the class through, thrown in with spontaneity and improvisation based on the moment and feedback I receive from those in the class. Each sequence has a beginning, middle and end. I often provide music or sound to accentuate the mood.

So what’s the difference between teaching yoga and doing a regular performance (as in theater or performance art)? Aren’t both aimed at giving their ‘audience’ an ‘experience’? My first thought is that performance is more self-infatuated. While a performance is still aimed at giving its audience an experience, it’s usually more concerned with the appearance of its performers and the talent and artistic genius of those who created it. This probably explains why I’m so much more aware of myself and at times full of self doubt when I perform. Because I’m thinking too much about myself, and not enough about my audience. When I teach yoga, I’m not concerned about how I look. Because it’s not about me. It’s about them.

When performing and not teaching, I’d like to take more inspiration from my experience in the yoga studio. I don’t want anything I create to be just about making myself look good, as much as that can be tempting at times. I also don’t want to always see other artwork that is only concerned with itself and its own progress in the art world. As an audience member, I’d love to go see a performance that massaged my back, that taught me how to breathe and relax; that made me look at things differently without forcing me to compare myself to its greatness. I want to see something that doesn’t just showcase how amazing it is, but also moves me to feel something great within myself.