My experiences as a teacher, which is build on twenty-seven years of photography work, have been among the most meaningful and rewarding of my professional life. Watching children find their artistic voice and self- assurance in the art classes that I have taught has been truly inspiring.
For three years I have been teaching photography, film making and animation in New York public schools. I work for Marquis Studios, a non-profit that brings arts education to under-resourced schools. Since last October I have been participating in the Community-Word Project’s Teaching Artist Training program, which emphasizes critical thinking and social justice-based pedagogy. I also taught children in Quito, Ecuador, and in after-school programs at Castle Bridge Elementary School (P.S. 513) in Manhattan and Hillside Elementary School in Hastings-on-Hudson. In November 2016 I ran a children’s art workshop at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.
My experience as a photographer includes shooting fine arts, architecture, fashion and still life, as well as concerts, corporate meetings, political fundraisers, parades and celebrity parties. I have photographed Colin Powell, Bill Clinton, Pope Benedict and other notables. My work has appeared in major magazines in my native Brazil and I have had photos and artwork in individual and group exhibitions.
In the mid 90’s I worked as a printer in a New York lab, in the black-and- white fiber division. My clients included Robert Frank and Martine Barrat. In the 2000’s, for seven years I was senior photographer at Group Photos, Inc., an office with several networked computers and professional ink jet photo printers, where I created a fail-proof backup system and was responsible for the company’s editing, color correction and printing. In 2010, I founded a company that photographs weddings, bat and bar mitzvahs and other celebrations.
“When I started attending TAP I was already working as a teaching artist for a few years. Even though I always got good feedback about my classes I thought I could improve my practice with TAP training. Now, I’m almost at the end of my training and I can see already how TAP helped me to improve as a teacher and as a person. Before my students liked my classes, after TAP they LOVE my classes. Every day I get cards from the kids telling me how much they missed me and what a great teacher I am and how they wish I could teach them every day.
Working with Amy was a nice way to learn how I could combine two different styles in one lesson plan and make it harmonious and engaging.
Because of this partnership I realize how important, it’s working with a partner. Besides this partnership, I was on the penguin care team and my fellow teammates were very supportive. I enjoyed the idea of care team and I’m using it in my teaching practice.”
Most Memorable TAP Moment:
“My most memorable moment was the game of cowboy, bear and Ninja. For me it broke the ice and I started to feel comfortable being silly with my colleagues.”
Find out more about Alexandra here:
Alexandra’s Teaching Philosophy:
“My most important teaching objective is to build the students’ self-esteem and to create a culturally aware community in the classroom. I accomplish this by encouraging self-reflection through hands-on activities. I use independent individual and small-group exploration to empower the students and help them to find and share their hidden talents and their own voices.
When children identify their strengths and create a classroom community, they thrive and appreciate and respect each other. I view teaching art as a means to nurture visual sensitivity, informed seeing and critical thinking skills.
I believe that the most inspiring creative environments are those where the children are engaged, having fun, and are appreciated for who they are. I want my students to leave my classes confident, self-assured, happy, and with a sense of accomplishment.”