Graduate Student at the University of Florida.
Master of Arts in Art Education program.
Works for the University of Florida can be found here. Works for UF.
Teaching Philosophy and Artist’s Statement
Art is a key to opening the hidden doors inside of us. Grow with art; it is lifelong learning.
I’m from Okinawa, Japan.
I worked as an education technician at the Children, Youth, and Teen program on a Marine Corps base located in Okinawa, Japan, for a total of 8 years. My job was to make a safe and fun educational environment for children, including making lesson plans, field trip plans, and training new teachers.
While my job was to contribute to whole-child education, I specifically focused on art projects, including an exchange with local schools.
I had students from a variety of countries and backgrounds with various family structures. Japan was a foreign country to most American military families, and it was challenging for many children to adjust to the new environment. Learning about diversity and accepting differences was a necessity for our program. Integrating art into cultural learning allowed us to learn about various cultures naturally with fun. Having exchange events allowed us to feel the local culture and gave children the opportunity to make local friends. I believed that it was important for children to learn about the culture they live in to help adjust to the new environment.
Often, the military parents had to deploy from the stationed country, and children had to say goodbye to family members (for deployment) or friends who are leaving the base. I wanted to create a safe space for children to freely express themselves and their emotions without any judgment. I believe art allows us to express feelings that are hard to explain in words. We created art to send them to deployed parents, and children created art to express their feelings. Art is lifelong learning and can be cherished in many ways, such as personal enrichment, healing element, self-acceptance and self-expression, connection, flourishing your life, and more.
My meaning of teaching art is not all about teaching technical art skills. Instead of teaching students step-by-step how to create a certain object, I rather emphasize thinking together with children about the ways to utilize art in a meaningful way, whether it is for their own fulfillment or impacting others. I believe that it is important for students themselves to find their own meaning, reasonings, and purpose. Technical skills children need for their own expression may vary, and I would do my best to be resourceful to accommodate each child’s needs. I would love to learn with children, assist them in finding their answers, and be there for them.
My personal, current passion for art is to express ocean pollution and the ecosystem through art. I am from a small island and grew up surrounded by water, and ocean pollution was obvious and was in front of me. I may be one small person, but if any, even one person in this world receives the message and consider the ocean pollution and precious life of all living organisms, it means a lot to me.