Friday, May 18, 2007


Part III: Being a Student and Teacher

Judy reflects that what made the biggest difference in her growth as an artist and teacher was having exceptional teachers. She recalls her mother, a gifted musician and involved teacher, who recognized that each child learns differently and would strive to empower her students to reach their full potential.

Judy also remembers her freshman English professor who “was the first person who didn’t act like he knew all the answers but instead asked us questions.” It wasn’t till later that Judy realized how extraordinary and powerful it was that her professor focused on teaching her how to think critically rather than what to think.

Throughout her life, inspired teachers have illuminated the path Judy travels. Judy often reflects on how these teachers were able to connect with her interests and engage her intellectual curiosity.

Remembering what it was like to be a student is one of the key components to Judy’s teaching technique and enables her to connect to her students. Judy insists that it is critical for teachers to ‘become students’ and to ‘keep that line between teachers and students very fine’ so that learning is dynamic and collaborative.

Being both a teacher and student is part of what makes Judy’s teaching techniques so effective; she is able to create a space where teachers don’t just impart knowledge and students don’t just absorb it, but rather both students and teachers work together to produce knowledge.

Next week - Part IV: Nine Lives in the Classroom

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