Film Teaching Philosophy

As a teacher, I believe my role is to expose students to see, feel, hear, and be more open to their surroundings. A teacher needs to guide students to find their own language. While it is necessary to study the “masters”, my philosophy is to encourage students to go beyond them by relying on their own creativity.

Planned exercises and screenings expose students to what they cannot or do not yet see or understand. Personal experience has convinced me that to learn how to make films/videos, you need to view a lot of them and discuss them afterwards.

A film/video course needs to be fourfold:

  1. Screenings + discussion = To see
  2. Historical perspective = To know
  3. Critical perspective = To broaden
  4. Production (including planned exercises) = To make

By providing the technical tools to help students express what they do see, teachers serve as guides to develop and encourage their talents and help them recognize their own goals. That is why my teaching philosophy emphasizes dialogue in the classroom. The interchange between student and teacher is where real learning and critical thinking takes place, both by teacher and student.

In all the classes I have taught, participation, questioning, and active involvement in this learning process are encouraged and expected. One of my goals is that aside from helping students acquire skills (knowledge of technology, technique, and a historical/critical perspective), I want to impart my passion and enthusiasm to them.

One of my strengths as a teacher is that I am flexible and have many cross-disciplinary skills, which enable me to address wide audiences. My first-hand working knowledge of all phases of film/video production helps me identify with student problems and concerns. The combination of my European and American experience in the field, gives me a unique perspective on critical, historical, and technical production. A great deal of my satisfaction in this job is helping students learn irrespective of their background or age.

But the true reward in teaching for me is in knowing that I have been a catalyst in helping students achieve self-discovery. T.S. Eliot said it best:

     “We shall not cease from exploration
     And the end of all our exploring
     Will be to arrive where we started
     And to know the place for the first time.”