WASHK Teacher Evelyn Chin: Learning Arts with a growth mindset
Evelyn is the Art and design teacher in WASHK. With a degree in Media and advertising from England, PGCE and visual art education certificate. She believes that a play-based and hand-on approach when teaching art allows children to become more curious about the world, independent and problem solvers. Evelyn has also been studying art therapy to help children express themselves and build confidence and trust. Besides creating arts, Evelyn also enjoys participating in musicals and promote sustainable living to her students.
Evelyn Chin - Art & Design Teacher
How did you fall in love with Art when you were a student? In your opinion, if a child would like to learn Art very well, what kind of qualities or skills do they often have in common?
Growing up, I was never the top 5 students in my class. However, I always do well in specialist subjects such as music, performing arts and arts. I have always loved Art because this is a subject that is all about creativity, problem-solving and hands-on experimenting. Art is a subject where you can apply the skills you learn to your daily life. For example, by knowing how to sew in Art, you will know how to repair clothes by yourself, by knowing how to plan and attach objects, you can build furniture or even buildings in the future.
If a child wants to learn Arts, all you need is a growth mindset. Be a risk-taker, be open-minded, and do not worry about making mistakes because many great arts come from "happy little accidents"- Bob Ross.
How would you define the significance of Art Education in children's growth and why?
'Every child is an artist.' - Picasso
Since there's no right or wrong in Art, we welcome students to be different, odd, fun, and everything they want here in the art room. In a world that is so full of technology. Robots might replace most of the jobs in the future. What makes us different compared to robots? It's our mindset, creativity and compassion.
Through arts, we use our imagination to create new things. We understand that nothing is impossible if you spend enough time and effort on what you want.
In Art, we welcome mistakes and happy accidents. These mistakes and accidents are to help us learn and make us resilient. By looking at arts from different artists and different countries. We learn to understand the history and be open-minded to things that are different to us. The more we know about the world, the more we can create a peaceful world.
What are the distinctive characteristics or features of WASHK Art teaching? Could you please give us some examples?
I have been enjoying teaching in WASHK. The freedom and resources we have, I can see that it helps the children to thrive. The more tools we have, the more skills we can learn. The more resources and materials we have, the more possibilities and ideas we can explore.
And the best part about Art and design in WASHK is… we have a big garden. The children can be close to nature, and they can observe birds, insects and different seasons in WASHK. With the space we have, we can do splash arts, still life drawing and who knows… build a 2-storage high cardboard birdhouse?
Have you ever encountered any interesting or impressive stories of a child transforming a lot after he/she participated in Art learning?
A boy from my last school joined the school halfway through the school year. He was transferred from a local school to an international school. Teachers' teaching styles are different compared to local and international schools. We could see that the child was shy and scared, and he had trouble making friends and adapting to the new school environment. In arts, I noticed that he enjoys drawing and can produce imaginative artwork. When I tried to get to know him and introduce myself to him. He would respond in 2-3 words. But whenever I asked him to explain his creation to me, he would talk and talk and talk. I took this opportunity to invite him to explain his work to the others in the class.
And since he is good at using his imagination in his creation. When we had our unit based on surrealism, he was the teacher's helper in the class, and I can see that he gained so much confidence through arts, and he also started building relationships with his classmates and trust with me.
This is the most rewarding part of being a teacher; Meeting a child, understanding their needs, and planning your teaching around to help cater to different children and see them thrive independently.
The world is changing every day. Education is so different compared to when we were a child. Technology plays a big part of our teaching these days. In WASHK, we have smart TVs, iPads, 3D printers, laser cutters etc. The children get to learn something new every day in WASHK. Teachers also get to know so much and help us keep up with the world and the new generation in WASHK.
We are also so lucky that the world we live in now cares about mental health and everyone's wellbeing. In WASHK, we have a great student support team who is always here to help and support different children. In WASHK, all children can build confidence for life.