500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 7

Being sick, puts a slow down in my step, which meant that instead of keeping up on the portfolios I was behind. One one hand I was fine with that, give them a few extra days to work before I offer up my thoughts. On the other hand, I was prepared for nothing new since the last visit because I understand that this class has not sunk in yet and as always procrastination is a sexy beast. Plus it was Valentine’s Day weekend and I totally approve of putting work on hold in the name of…sex.

These must be those moments that teachers enjoy, when students do more than you expect. Perhaps I should not have such low expectations, but I did. Being a man of extremes, I also had another set of expectations that were higher. They knew about the high bar and some of them are reaching for that high bar. Each one of the portfolios had some visible progress. Most of them are still feeling out the WordPress medium, but in that feeling out are signs of progress and personality.

My role today was to answer questions and provide some feedback, all of it good. They have a lot of work ahead and not much time, but right now I can say that I am pleased with the foundations that are being laid. I showed a couple of the portfolios to people who were looking over my shoulder and they make noises of approval. Always a good sign.

Next up, print. Of the two portfolios, print is more demanding due to the precision, decision making, and technical skill required. Since the students are not being asked to code their own portfolios they are free to work within the constraints of the WordPress theme they chose. Print does not have that safety net. They will have to learn to be patient. They will have to be confident of their decisions. They will have to learn that “one-and-done” does not apply. They are going to have to develop thick skins because every little detail will be picked apart and analyzed to death.

The great thing is, unlike our class, Erin is setting aside more time for them to work on their print portfolios. Further, she is taking advantage of my experience to get them started now instead of allowing them to wait until they are “ready.” Which if they are anything like my class would mean that most of them wait until the last minute and freak out…procrastination may be a sexy beast, but procrastination is a harsh unforgiving beast.

I am thinking of a way for them to make mini-sample versions that they can use for their full portfolio. The goal, to show them how much work should go into the process and at the same time allow them to work out some of the stranger aspects of print, which include layout, design, personality, organization, page layout, colors, and …well everything. Then have them print them out, assemble them, and see what happens next.

I’ll keep everyone updated…


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