COURTNEY HERMANN
EXCELLENCE IN FILMMAKING AND FILM EDUCATION
Teaching Statement

Instruction in Film and Video Production

A film project comes together by the force of will of its creators, their artistic vision, personal themes and instincts. The content of the film is additionally shaped by history, aesthetics, technology, political climate, social context, and economics.

I encourage students of film and video to develop a consciousness of the dynamics that shape their art--a gratifying pursuit that informs their own work and their perceptions of others’ work.

I also teach technology as a tool through which filmmakers pursue their craft, the primary function of which must always be to serve the content objectives of the piece.

What I believe...

A prerequisite to achievement is student awareness that there is something valuable hanging in the balance--something that is at risk of being lost.  This fosters a sense of urgency that propels students to meet the current challenge head on and empowers them to take on every subsequent challenge with equal fervor.   

Why I teach...

Performing the functions of a teacher and interacting with students who share a passion for the subject matter is valuable to me personally.

Students challenge me to see things in ways that I had not considered before, and push me to find answers to complex questions.

It is rewarding to discover students’ learning styles and to challenge myself to connect with them on their “level.”

I like working to get the very best from each student.

I enjoy facilitating a healthy learning environment--one where students exhibit openness and generosity.

How I teach...

I relentlessly model the commitment and enthusiasm I wish my students to adopt.

My classroom is casual and friendly, respectful and task-oriented.

My classroom is organized. Students always know what is expected of them, what we will be doing and the value in doing it.

Students are expected to freely share information and not to guard their knowledge or insights.

Students must think critically and articulate their ideas, especially during critique sessions.

I encourage students to invest themselves in their work.

I employ a variety of teaching approaches (from lecturing to hands-on practice to screening and discussion) during each class period, if possible, to satisfy a variety of learning styles.

I strive to spend students’ time productively.

I use examples from my own work and tell personal stories that illustrate relevant concepts, ideas and principles.

I employ companion websites/online classroom software to host classroom materials, reduce paper waste, improve communications and clarify expectations.

I meet with students individually during the term to provide one-on-one teaching and learning opportunities, and I encourage office visits and email correspondence.