Teaching


Teaching Portfolio available upon request



Select Class Samples






2020–Present

Adjunct Instructor
Seton Hall University
South Orange, New Jersey

Adjunct Instructor
Saint Elizabeth University
Morristown, New Jersey




2011-Present

Adjunct Instructor
New York University SPS
New York, New York



2021–2022

Part-time Instructor
Beyond the Bell
SoMA School District Maplewood, New Jersey



2018-2022

Adjunct Instructor
Middlesex County College
Edison, New Jersey

Adjunct Instructor
Raritan Valley Community College
Branchburg, New Jersey

Adjunct Instructor
Union County College
Cranford, New Jersey



2015-2016
Instructor
Brooklyn Brainery
Brooklyn, New York



2011-2016
Assistant Professor
New York City
College of Technology
Brooklyn, New York



2012-2018
Part-Time Faculty
Parsons, The New School
New York, New York



2010-2012
Adjunct Instructor
Fashion Institute of Technology
New York, New York



2008-2011
Adjunct Professor
New York City
College of Technology
Brooklyn, New York

I teach with all I’ve got.


No matter the context, I see teaching as a means to sharpen my practice, renew my engagement, and build the world I want to leave the coming generations.

I start each new learning season with a simple statement:

“You are my future peers.
You just don’t know it yet.”



Every year, I swear the students shine a little bit brighter. I cannot tell if they are actually more creative or if I have learned just enough to see their burgeoning talents better. No matter–I have decided to welcome each person into the work of art and design fully. I train them all as practitioners who should surpass me. Announcing this in the first minutes of each term? It sets the tone I maintain as I push each group to new heights–as a collaborative and as individuals.

In order to find our excellence in art or design, we have to find that internal rigor, that line in ourselves we will not cross. I think the main purpose of foundation classes–my main interest as an eductor–is welcoming each student to find this for themselves. I call this energy, for lack of a better term, Give A Damn. I demand that students show that they care about their effort before I demand formal perfection–proactive engagement will get them to perfection far more than learning to please me. I am not training students of a particular curriculum as much as I am developing creative citizens of the world.

The one element essential for a lifelong creative practice is fearless, rigorous play. If I cannot take risks in my learning, I will never innovate. If I cannot let go of the familiar long enough to make bold conceptual leaps, I will never excel. If I give myself permission to be as bad as I need to be while I dive in, I will master any skill and move on to the next one. Once I become proficient at this cycle of learning, I will be unstoppable no matter what I encounter.

During this year and a half  of quarantine, fearless play has proven invaluable. I have openly failed and prospered in front of screen after screen of faceless boxes until I found my way to a full and living class. I had major tenets of my teaching style tested, my bedrock ideas about evaluation utterly turned upside down. Creative resiliency has given me every win I had, as usual.

The students played as well–once they realized I meant what I said. We made messes, we found ways to explore the elements of art in kitchens, we found the principles of design on driveways. I demanded students get autobiographical as they researched ideas and sketched objects. I changed all evaluation to rubric-driven complete/incomplete grading to eliminate the endless quibbling over points. I demanded each time that they care and they responded with thoughtful reflection and disarming honesty. They pushed themselves to discomfort and found their point of learning for themselves.

Teaching is my activism. I am building the world and industry I want to leave the coming generations. To this end, I strive to make my classes reliable and respectful places where students learn and interact. We deconstruct the curriculum, we speak often of the frameworks and conceits that have proven unworkable. We design portions of the class together–they need to know how this is done. They are learning to be on teams and to run projects. They are learning to implement their ideas over time. Each person must learn to evince meaning out of the world actively. I work to instill that needed rigor through connection so students achieve true quality.

In my advanced classes, I model and demand the criticality and work ethic a delving practice demands. I engender compassionate and raucous dialogue. My class critiques are exacting in content and effervescent in tone. I do expect advanced students to have their Give A Damn firmly in place–I do not accept excuses; I applaud strategy, evolution, and iteration.

As for my opening salvo, I never promise the students guaranteed riches or acclaim. I assure them that we work hard, that we bear the brunt of craft and care. If that struggle is driven by integrity, these bright beings find traction. I teach to give my students timeless tools so they maintain perspective in the face of anaerobic change. Everyone can find the way to inflect their lives and practices with fearless play and benefit. These are the nascent peers I see coming.

I am here for them.







Libby Clarke / Studio
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Mission
I make things and teach people to change the world for the better.
Let’s Change the World
If you also strive to give this world your best effort, let’s work together. Reach Out