Prospective teachers often walk into my course, Arts in the Elementary Classroom, carrying a guarded consciousness that constrains unencumbered artistic exploration. My responsibility as their instructor is to question mantras that reflect insecurity in process and make pedagogical use of their fears. Through studying the nature of these fears throughout the course, I find growing awareness of how students’ fears can lead to more embodied understandings of what it means to learn and teach with the arts, recovering a more complex process of reflection and a holistic understanding of what it means to be an artist and teacher.

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