My first teaching experience was in Boston, just after my BFA, and before graduate school.
The young son of our friends (who also were our landlords) loved to draw, but there was some worry about his art class in school. I gave him lessons at his home (an easy commute, 2 floors down). This was before I started many of the things I now teach, but I hope the experience was encouraging for him. What I mainly remember was how he loved to draw action scenes with planes, and make “movie music” as he drew.
While this wasn’t what you might recognize as realism, the activity and process seem very contemporary to me, as an artistic activity. The drawing was a record of the storytelling, rather than the goal. I recently saw a friend, a recent art graduate, in a joint performance with a dancer, sharing and combining the processes of dance and drawing.
When I teach, I still try to listen, and look, to find out what my students/artists are doing and trying to do. I have ways to teach how to do representational work, how to understand color or design, but these are part of a bigger picture, of what art is and how it is part of our lives.