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Teaching Statement
by Greg Senn
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I love teaching. Teaching is why I'm here, and it is what I consider to be the most important part of my job. As I see it, the students come first. Students are paying for my time, advice, and assistance and they deserve the best that I can give. I am here to guide their explorations in the area of their interests in a way that enables them to learn how to do it and to come to an understanding of why it is done that way. I tend to stress reasons more than techniques or methods in my classes as I try to encourage students to think and make connections. I believe that if the students understand the reasons, they can usually figure out a method to accomplish their goals. This creative problem solving encourages students to explore alternatives and make discoveries and decisions after some kind of evaluation process.

I believe that the conceptual aspect of art is a very important part of our students' education. In recent semesters I've worked with students on a wide variety of projects including: advanced metalworking, fabric art, figure sculpture, art education, and enameling. I've supervised students on gallery and graphic design internships. Currently, I have been on the thesis committee of and have been working with a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology on his thesis project: "Differential Heat Treatment of Chert".

While most of the students I teach are Art majors, my Jewelry class has always been very popular with non-majors as well. The variety of backgrounds and goals these students bring to the class make teaching it both challenging and exciting. In addition, last year I was invited to teach a figure casting workshop at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, to augment their very active 3D art program.

Student comments are very important in evaluating course material and teaching methods. Here are a few representational comments from recent student evaluations:

  • Senn is a lighthouse and an example of a great professor. He inspired the students (including me) to creatively design and propose projects that would stimulate thinking.
  • When I'm in a class taught by Greg Senn I always learn so many new things. He is the kind of teacher that his students are his life and what he cares most about. He challenges, yet makes you feel comfortable as you endeavor to travel into the unchartered waters of new methods and mediums. I wish Eastern had more teachers like him who are caring and willing to share their selves and their vast knowledge.
  • Greg Senn is a great instructor! He is a hands-on type of teacher that encourages his students to learn & do!
  • Greg encourages students to try to do different things with their work. He trys to get the students to go one step further with creativity, to experiment.
  • I really like the way Greg gives us an overall outline but basically lets us create our own ideas and enjoy the freedom we have to be creative.
  • He's one of the best teachers I've ever had. He is very helpful, thoughtful, usually available when needed and is very accessible.
  • I really appreciated the opportunity to work independently & at my own pace. I learned a lot - not just about terms & definitions, but about myself & my art.
  • Greg encourages you to think and it creates a very positive learning environment.
  • I feel Greg is a little strict in his grading for a nonmajor course, but I agree if he were more lenient he would lose the attendance throughout the semester to skipping.
  • Greg does have a passion for his career and shows it during class.
  • He seems to love to teach the course, which makes it easier for students to learn from him.
  • His knowledge is astounding in all fields!
  • He encourages creativity and conceptualization in his students.
  • He's really good about making students extend their imaginations by getting out of their comfort zone. He also encourages students to go further with their mind, imaginations, & projects.
  • He's the main one that spends time with the "why" in art.
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