Sometimes I have a habit of trying things beyond my area of expertise, beyond my knowledge…and far beyond my comfort zone.
I like to believe that I am somewhat of a free spirit.
Exploring things unknown and foreign to me,
doing things others don’t expect of me,
following my heart before my head,
pretty much leaping before looking, regardless of the reprecussions.
Not gonna call myself a daredevil or thrill seeker in any physical way…but rather a “life seeker.” Trying to fulfill my life, and not giving myself a chance to have any regrets.
I believe there are moments in your life….forks in the road if you will. And that you have a choice every day to travel to whatever destination you choose.
When I was working as a costume designer, I was miserable.
And day in and day out, I stayed because it paid the bills. My job gave me somewhat of a financial stability, but my mind was a wreck. Working everyday for someone who didn’t respect me or listen to what I had to say. Working long hours and never getting acknowledgement, the list goes on…
When a friend mentioned an instructor’s position opening up at a local fashion design school, I almost wrote it off.
I don’t have teaching credentials,
I have crazy stage fright
and I’m one of the shyest people you’ll ever meet.
Nothing about me screams instructor. And then I thought about my horrible boss, my so called career with no way up.
This was my fork in the road.
Stay at a dead end job and slowly whither away everyday, or take the leap and try…just try.
So after a couple interviews & one very small training session, I was a design teacher.
I was nervous. So much so, that I felt like I almost didn’t go through with it. So many doubts and fears. But I stayed. And I actually ended up teaching these classes & workshops while I was at the school:
Introduction to Communication Design
Fashion Sketching & the Computer
History of Art
Fashion Camp Sewing Workshop
I thought that I wasn’t cut out for teaching-dom, but for those 10 months, I was. I pushed myself in a way that was definitely not possible in my world. And I met some wonderful people and wonderful students..some of whom I still keep in touch with from time to time. And I got to put my fear of speaking in public, to the test.
The first days of teaching were rough. I was def not prepared to have 13 pairs of eyes staring at me, and only me. I fumbled when I spoke, I was extremely nervous, sweaty palms, and those stupid powerpoint slides…yea, no one looks at those. And since the first class I taught, was a computer class…everyone was on FACEBOOK! I didn’t get comfortable with disciplining til like the 2nd week. I felt like I was a horrible teacher at first, but I got the hang of it.
I don’t think I will put the effort into looking for a teaching gig again though. I had the heart of a teacher…wanting my students to excel, trying to push their limits, meticulous grading, and trying to instill a lil’ fun in learning….But the work, the effort put into teaching and planning an entire quarter takes a lot of time. Plus, it broke my heart to pieces when my students wouldn’t try, esp. when I knew they were much more capable. Also, I’m not as passionate about teaching as I am about design.
Students can smell fear.
Asking design students to follow a book will only end in disaster.
Design students can be “lazy” & full of pride.
Know every lecture & presented info. inside & out…don’t let the students question your expertise.
Putting boundaries on a design project will not let your students explore their creativity.
Looking just as old, if not, a lil younger than your students doesn’t help your case.
When students don’t try, it’s not a reflection of your teaching.
Teaching was a great experience. I had a couple bad moments, but all in all, I’m glad I had the chance to experience this. I did receive 2 Inspirational Teacher Awards while I was there, so that’s something to be proud of right?!
Have you ever taken a leap? Tried something that was out of your comfort zone?