Susan Rudy


Teaching Philosophy

As a high school visual arts educator, it is my belief that all students are capable of creating art. I feel that it is my responsibility to not only teach students how to make art, but to guide them in their personal growth and discovery through the art-making process. It is the student that becomes engaged in the process and applies it who can actually transcend the step-by-step rules to become an artist, and is able to construct personal meaning through art.

I teach 9th through 12th grade visual arts majors and I have most of those students every year of their high school career. I believe that a sequential and standards-based art curriculum is essential in supporting students’ personal growth. In 9th and 10th grade classes, students predominately work on technique and skill-building, while creating art that they feel is successful. By the 11th and 12th grade years, my students have made a shift to a more conceptual and expressive basis of art making.

For all of this to happen, students must feel that they can take risks and be challenged at the same time. Trust and community are two very important aspects that I promote in my classroom. Students must trust each other and be comfortable enough to put themselves and their innermost expressions out there to be questioned, analyzed and appreciated.

With this, I teach students how to see connections and search for what is unsaid. I strive to foster an awareness and appreciation for the arts, and to help develop creative individuals who are open-minded and disciplined problem solvers, communicators and critical thinkers. I believe that these intangibles, inherently instilled in students through a quality arts education, are what build potential for success in the art studio and beyond.

For additional information about my work in the Fellows Program, please see my action research report, Hands-On and Minds-On Art.