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

The end is in sight and the comment was made that the professor would like to have PK and I back next time. That got me thinking about what I would do differently and after today where a student revealed a hidden talent, drawing, that if the student had revealed in the first week would have made that student’s time a lot more fun.

With that in mind, here is what I would do differently starting day one (no syllabus):

Let your freak flag fly. There was a student who kept their freak (video games…not really a freak, but they seemed to believe so) secret or quiet, who upon revealing and reveling in their freak has excelled. Imagine what that student could have done if they have not hidden their freak flag. To that end, let your freak flag fly. This is your time to shine and as long as your portfolios represent you and your skills you can do anything…even sex.

Some of you will cry. Truth be told, this class should be harder and challenge the students to their utmost, this includes honest critiques of their work. Some students who have not developed thick skins will get their feelings hurt, which leads too…

You will develop a thick skin. Tech-Com students are not artists in the classic sense. They are document artists, as such they will get critiqued, and often, because their work is very visible; if a reader is holding a document that looks like shit or off they will notice and say so . Students  will develop a thick skin and learn to take a critique and make it work.

Take a leap of faith. From day one, take a chance on yourself. Doesn’t matter what it is, if you think you can do it or can’t do it, give it a try. This classroom will likely be the last safe place where you can try something, fail, and recover without getting reprimanded.

You will start to learn who you are and what you are capable of. Done right, this class will cause you to showcase your talents, abilities, and skills (such as mine right there of ignoring alphabetizing). Embrace this time because if you can get on that road now, you will be light years ahead of many people.

Like to Procrastinate? This class is a procrastinators wet dream. Everything has a due date of “later.” Which means having gone through that standard educational process to date, everything can wait until the last minute. Except much of this work cannot. Which leads to…

Be Proactive, not Reactive. The best way to approach this class will be to start on every assignment from the moment it is assigned and work on them until the last possible moment. Successful students will take every available opportunity to learn more, seek out feed back, and refine their work. Unsuccessful students, will wait to the last moment and wonder why their work does not get gushed over.

You represent more than just you. This class is about showcasing you, but in doing so understand that you represent the school and the program. Have pride in your work and present your best work at all times. If you want to phone it in, do not turn it in…much like a good chef, if the food is shit, don’t serve it.

Two last things…

Free your mind and your ass will follow. Stop thinking so much about the little shit that should roll off your back like water off a duck. You do that and a lot of this class will be easier than you think.

There will be cookies. That is all.



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