Name: Victoria L. Pfeiffer (Brown)
Employer: Houston Independent School District
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I completed my Bachelors of Science Degree at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. I studied as a teachers assistant for 2 years, as well as maintained employment in the peer tutoring center where I provided assistance to fellow students. My career took me across the country to Houston, Texas in 2012 in pursuit of industry employment.
I gained vast amounts of experience working as a freelance artist under contract for various employers for varying projects, including advertising, 3D Animation, Illustration, Graphic Design, and personal commissions.
I strongly believe that the best way to learn is to DO. I took a risk and left the state I’d spent most of my life in to come down to Texas for new opportunities. I’ve taken strength from my struggles and enlightenment from my travels. Becoming a teacher has been a life changing experience for me. The past 3 years I’ve spent at HISD has opened my eyes to many cultures, students, and experiences I never would have had otherwise.
My goals continuing forward are to continue to develop a curriculum that engages students in the arts, exposes them to the world and its rich history, and allows them to be themselves in a space that is safe and encouraging. I look forward to the challenges ahead of me!
I consider that a strong program includes subjects of art and technology, which are integral to student achievement but are often overlooked. Student choice also allows for relevancy, and opens the doors to motivation and engagement. Critical thinking and problem solving skills are often sacrificed in place of standardized instruction. I believe a balance of rigor and project based learning can spark self-exploration and passion that allows students to develop their confidence and expose them to abstract skills absent from other subjects. Thus, I believe that a strong project based art program is essential to my work, and I pour myself into having a work ethic of passion, encouragement, and consistency.
I create real world connections through relevant, multi-cultural and history rich projects. It’s important to explain the relevancy of projects, and provide multiple avenues of access to information. This is where technology becomes my greatest asset. No one student learns the same way, and by providing as many avenues as possible to reach each child’s learning needs I have successfully created a student culture and classroom environment of accountability and self-sufficiency. I am an advocate for providing differentiation for all students, as all students come with different levels of skill from one another, and measuring proficiency through the passing of time and the development of a portfolio of work that shows growth over their time in my classroom.
I value every opportunity to support my students in their own personal goals so that they can acquire the knowledge and skills they need to be career ready. The strongest builder of character is the person who is willing to admit when they have made a mistake, and learned from it. I will always consider myself a life long learner, and that even my students continue to surprise me, and teach me about how to live a fulfilling life in the 21st century.