Teaching Statement

As an artist and an educator, I aim to make contemporary art accessible and relevant to young people.

By practicing critical engagement with making and meaning in the classroom, I work to empower my students as agents of visual culture. I design curricula that responds to my students' diverse personal experiences while locating them in the global context of human history. I approach the classroom as a multidimensional laboratory of materials, techniques, and ideas where young creatives are encouraged to take risks and embrace imperfection. I challenge my students’ ability to think critically, compassionately, and creatively as they develop their individual perspectives.

I am transparent with my students and colleagues that I am a young teacher because as a society we do not sufficiently value young people. I refuse to preserve archaic hierarchies of power. I earn my authority by demonstrating proficiency of my subject, and I earn their respect by cultivating an environment where my students are given the support and resources to grow while being accepted for who they are. My students describe me as kind, enthusiastic, patient, honest, relatable—a reputation I’ve earned by having the courage to be myself. Authenticity is the heart of why and how I teach, and that is what I model for my students to lead their own lives.

In a time when information has been made ubiquitous it is comfortable remaining solidified in what we know, so what we ask and what we make is now of greatest urgency. The value of an education is the ability to choose an informed perspective, and this is a dynamic process that both student and teacher must engage in to work toward inclusive communities of power and purpose.

Follow: ms.taek
Contact: ktae@cps.edu