Friday, 23 January 2015

Modern Teacher/Artist Profiles


Saw this blog post appear on my twitter feed from John Michael Mikton @jmikton, discussing a graphic from Reid Wilson @wayfaringpath  (-I'll be reading both their blogs from now on) and noticing the image first, I was reminded that it was promoting similar attitudes that are also promoted among the artist community, to which I belong, too.

Graphic from Reid Wilson 

It's obvious of course, but replace the words teacher, students and colleagues with artist, audience and friends and you have all the same principles as The Profile of a Modern Artist. 

Starting my career as a theatre maker, specifically one who devises, I learned to enjoy delving into the unknown. I love making new connections by throwing unlikely material together and seeing what happens. 

Then immediately after my studies, jumping into some lecturing jobs forced me to be in another new situation, one where I had the extra responsibility of facilitating student's learning as well as my own. So I had to improvise. It wasn't enough to use the exercises I myself had been taught, those were either used up in the first couple of weeks or were not useful for the specific module I was teaching. I had to research new ones from books and DVDs of other artists, but more importantly I had to invent new ones.

And when I started improvising, in a very similar way to making theatre, I realized that I was alright, that nothing bad happened. In fact some of my improvisations have now become exercises that I call upon frequently in my teaching. If I didn't try to be an all knowing expert on theatre, but just someone with an experience that could be useful to others and a flexible and creative attitude towards problem solving, I felt liberated and I think that the students were able to connect with me easier as well. 

So I'm coming to the end of this quick blog post, and now I'm also thinking, if you replace co-learners with co-livers, their students with strangers, then you have The Profile of a (an ideal) Modern Human. These principles can guide you in so many aspects of your life.

It's something to strive for...


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