TeachingBeing a teacher means entering into a position of trust with the student. Creative arts involve risk taking and the expansion of potential as well as self development. In order for a transformation to occur the student and teacher need a high level of mutual respect. Sometimes this relationship comes easily and at other times it is hard won. I teach in incremental steps as the beginning student needs a clear foundation of technique and vocabulary on which to build knowledge. The more advanced student benefits from this approach as well but can put the learning to use more quickly and with more depth than the beginner. It is the teacher's job to be aware of each student's needs and to recognize and acknowledge their level. A teacher mirrors the student, guiding or nudging where needed. Teachers can wound if they are insensitive to the student's pace and boundaries. As a teacher I try to help the student to find purpose and make critical decisions as they will require this discipline if they are to continue in the arts.I stumbled into teaching some years after graduate school giving classes at a community center in Cincinnati. I was asked to teach figure drawing and batik. I knew nothing about batik but being in front of a class is a great motivator to learn a subject. Every year I teach new information and this keeps the learning fresh. Students offer huge amounts of knowledge themselves and they have taught me as much as I have them. The most important ingredient in good teaching is to treat the student as an equal and a co-creator in their artistic development. A saying I try to honor: "A Master is someone who started before you did."