I have been teaching art for past 20 years. Please review my website: https://taksalmastyan.com/
A philosopher once wrote that, in the ideal society, the best people would be teachers. Since I was 16, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. What I did not know, however, was that I would teach on three different continents (Europe, Asia, and North America), in three different countries (Armenia, Russia, and the United States), in three different languages (Armenian, Russian, and English), in diverse classroom environments, and using three different instructional methods (military, teacher-centered, and learner-centered).
Teaching is an art form, just like painting, poetry, or acting, and it allows me to fulfill what I believe to be the fundamental responsibility of each member of society: to educate an ethical and knowledgeable generation of citizens for the benefit of the individual, family, country, and world. Over the course of my 15 years as a college instructor, my approach to education shifted from a teacher-centered approach to a more learner-centered one. I finally realized, however, that the two are hemispheres of a single whole.
In my opinion, teaching and learning is an evolving process of communication between the student and the teacher, one that can last a lifetime. I have never stopped being the student of my teachers, and I always encourage my students to continue learning from me even after they have graduated. In this evolving process of communication, both the teacher and the student are the co-creators of the tangible and intangible. In this process, the teacher first imparts the knowledge, and then motivates, inspires, and helps the student to discover those tangibles and intangibles. The end result of this process is intangible joy for both.
In my view, every student is not only a person but also a world, an undiscovered world that I have the privilege and honor to discover and, hopefully, help develop into something even greater. As an instructor in a diverse environment, I constantly strive to balance the following basic classroom principles:
· Imparting knowledge and facilitating understanding of theories and applications
· Helping and challenging my students to become deeper thinkers, more creative personalities, and more thoughtful citizens
· Maintaining structure while also encouraging creativity and experimentation
· Respecting and supporting the needs of diverse students while remaining fair & balanced.
I believe that a great teacher dedicates the same energy, love, and passion to teaching all students, even if they have different skills and personalities. I enjoy being a teacher and I consider my students as an investment in society. In my view, the ultimate reward for being a teacher is when I inspire my students to be good and to do the best they can in all aspects of life. In addition, I have found that each institution and each class provides new challenges and opportunities for my own learning as an instructor and a scholar. My students once wrote the following about me in their college newspaper: “People are easily inspired by this talented teacher. His effect on the school is positive and inspirational. The best compliment Tak has ever received was when a colleague said to him, ‘Tak, your reputation precedes you – all students want to be like you.’”
As a fine artist, I am also passionate about creating art. I can use and teach almost all media available to fine artists starting from traditional mediums to modern day digital such as Adobe CC, 3D Studio, and Maya software application. Moreover, I enjoy writing about art and about art education. My dissertation “First Year Design, Applied and Fine Arts College Students’ Challenges and Successes” was on art education, and specifically about arts foundation studies. I researched the challenges faced and the successes achieved by first-year college students in design, applied art and fine art at two community colleges. I am looking forward to continuing my research on a much bigger scale.
I’ve developed various assessment strategies, tools and techniques to assess learning progress and outcomes fairly, regardless of the student’s learning styles. Above all, I treat my students with the utmost respect, creating an environment where they feel safe enough to not only learn the subject matter but also candidly discuss and seek advice on life and day-to-day topics which they might otherwise be hesitant to address.
In summary, I am deeply committed to providing a student-centered learning environment that is both exciting and challenging, one that empowers both students and teachers.
Tak was a great instructor who was very attentive to his students and extremely experienced and knowledgable.
Finding the student needs.
I am a classically traind fine artist with over 35 years of experience with a doctorate in education.