As a graphic design teacher my goal is to relate to each student. Through this connection, I can achieve a better understanding of how to help each student with their specific needs. Each student is different, and their uniqueness is what makes them special, especially in the creative industry. When a connection is made it encourages a mutual respect.
An educator should be knowledgeable, understanding and, most of all, passionate. I was a full-time designer prior to teaching. Working in the industry before heading to the classroom was beneficial because it gave me a better understanding of processes, projects and expectations. Now, I am able to share this insight with students.
My teaching style provides a learning environment that creates a sense of camaraderie and an opportunity to interact with peers. It is paramount to create a setting where students can regularly have peer encouragement and critique sessions. For example, in the Graphic Design II course students regularly interact in small group critiques to check progress and receive peer evaluation.
The speed at which information is delivered and projects are assigned is pivotal. Students thrive with a rigorous pace and tend to excel. This challenge enables students to push their creative boundaries.
While teaching abroad in Bonn, Germany, the importance of student connection became apparent. Students were placed in a very different culture far from a normal classroom setting and expected to flourish. During this time I had the opportunity to teach, mentor and counsel.
In summation, I aspire to create strong designers with a good sense of design knowledge, but more importantly the skill to communicate and connect. As Phil Collins said, “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” With that, I am always learning and looking to improve.