Some parents are interested to hear a teacher’s philosophy on their chosen subject, so here is how I have always looked at teaching art.
The most important thing to me has always been that my students experience the joy of creating. To this end, I try to create lessons that are well thought out, with streamlined steps to make the experience enjoyable, not fussy or frustrating.
Next, providing a basic understanding of art principles and concepts, so that as they go through life, whether they continue to create or not, they have some vocabulary and ideas with which to express an appreciation of art. Of course, art history itself is also fascinating, and melds so beautifully with history lessons. An art lesson can be created on almost any subject, so I often like to be inspired by the historical time period we are studying, and create a lesson that ties in to that and includes some historical artwork from the time.
Finally, through practice, and learning the ways of each different material, I hope my students will develop skills and confidence in using color and composition, so that they are able to create a piece of art that pleases them. Practice, practice, practice! I cannot emphasize it enough!
A word on “copying”:
I try to always provide my students with a visual reference to use to “copy” while they draw or paint. Even professional artists use photos to look at when creating to aid in getting the form and details correct. This is in no way a problem, and children will always put their own stamp on whatever it is they are drawing.