Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little better! My name is Jessica Yekin and I am the Art teacher at Imagine Prep @ Surprise. I joined the Imagine family in September 2010 after moving from Massachusetts. I am very passionate about my job, and love what I do. Teaching art is what I feel like I was born to do. As a little girl I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I was always passionate about art. As I entered high school art became my saving grace. After high school, I attended Bristol ... read moreCommunity College and obtained an Associates degree in Elementary Education. I always knew I wanted to become a teacher, and realized when I transferred to Rhode Island College that I belonged in the Art Education program. I immediately knew that this was the place I belonged. I finally felt like I found the place where I could make the biggest impact. It was my art teachers in high school that made the biggest impact in my life and now I want to help students the way they helped me.
My philosophical approach to Art Education is both art focused and student centered. I want my students to be able to use the information and problem solving skills learned from my class, to help them in other classes and in everyday life. Art should be meaningful and be able to apply to things in the outside world. Creating a learning environment where students experience a broad range of general knowledge that reflects an understanding of the communities and world in which we live in is important to me. Lessons I develop focus on the importance of being involved with the community and understanding what is happening in the world around us. A teaching goal of mine is to expose students to as much art as possible in a variety of different ways. I believe that teaching art is a way to broaden the scope of student thinking. It is important to teach students about the history of art, including analyzing and critiquing works of art.
All students are different in the way they learn. It is important to know your students and their abilities, and set consistent expectations for them all. Teaching involves explaining or demonstrating the same process in a variety of ways. I always apply differentiated instruction to reach all of my students. Modifying teaching strategies and assessments are based on the individual students needs and abilities. Using a variety of formative and summative assessment with students individually or in groups helps students talk about their work, and that of their peers. It provides valuable feedback for future use of the lesson, or extensions to the lesson. Setting consistent expectations for students to refer to can be done with classroom management plans and rubrics for grading. Students also fill out self-evaluation worksheets that ask open-ended questions about the lesson, which will give valuable feedback for future planning.
As a life long learner, I will continue taking classes and attending workshop and conferences that will help me grow as an art educator. I actively seek advice from my collaborating teachers, peers, and students to help me grow as an educator, and regularly reflect on my teaching by keeping a journal/sketchbook. I plan on traveling around the United States and to different parts of the world to visit different museum and historical architectural landmarks. The knowledge that I have obtained and will continue to acquire, combined with the determination to succeed will be the key elements in inspiring my life journey.