Amanda J. Schwartz
I have a very eclectic life history that fills me with many great memories. I was born in Iowa, and my parents moved my brother, sister and me from Iowa to Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and finally Waynesville, North Carolina, where I graduated High School. After graduation, I attended Art College in Philadelphia, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and also played the French Horn in the Philadelphia Sinfonia Orchestra which toured Russia and Finland. I've worked as a horse and carriage driver/history guide in Independence National Historical Park, and also for the Russian United Benevolent Association After living the artist's life, I joined the Marine Corps as a combat correspondant (a journalist), married a fellow Marine, and now we are both attending Old Dominion University on the G.I. Bill where I am majoring in Art History and minoring in International Studies. My life today revolves around my family, my research, and my hobbies. I love running, cooking, reading, painting, printmaking, crochetting, knitting, and playing music. I also enjoy community involvement and volunteer researching.
My Teaching Philosophy
As a teacher, I will have an enormous responsibility to my students. I hope to honor that obligation by keeping myself and my teaching up-to-date, inspirational, entertaining, accurate, and motivational. As a teacher of art, I will have the privilege of mentoring students' creativity and helping them create their own ideas about self-expression. For many students, the arts are a much needed respite in their daily schedules, where they can hash out the ideas and philosophies they have learned in their academic courses--and perhaps, just have some fun. I aim to marry the academic knowledge rooted in art history, materials, and techniques, to the revitalizing and creative properties of art creation.
If I were to teach at the high school level or beyond today, this would be my approach:
For intermediate level art classes, segments will be initiated by art history lessons (from ancient to present-day)which will be closely linked to a follow-up materials and technique training, and will be followed by art project assignments. Students will spend an equal amount of time enjoying the creative aspect of art where grading will be very lenient, as they will the academic portion of the teaching, where they will be expected to know (tested on) the history and methodologies taught prior to project assignments. I believe writing is also an intregal part of the process of expression, and one of the better ways to really understand the level of students' understanding of a topic. Therefore, I will also integrate reflective writing assignments into the coursework. Beginner's classes will be more focused on elements of color, composition, and design; and advanced classes will consist of portfolio preparation, advanced techniques, and writing artist statements.