School: January 2006 Archives

How to be a Great Teacher


I have quite a bit of teaching experience. A couple of semesters of composition, a long period of literacy work, and a couple of years of teaching non-technical people computer programming basics. It's true that teaching gets easier with practise, but I am here to tell you that nothing, absolutely nothing, is as good at teaching you how to be a good teacher as being a student with teaching experience.

It's really simple. You get to see somebody else make all the mistakes. You get to compare their style to yours and notice things you never noticed before. Just like the realization when you first stand up in front of the classroom: Oh my god, the teacher really can see and hear everything that happens in here. But in reverse.

So I decided to start keeping track of some of the mistakes I see my teachers make, and some notes for myself on being a better teacher. Bear in mind, this is not a criticism of my professors. All my teachers are great, the state certainly doesn't pay them very well, they have to try to cram lots of material into the typical ten-week quarter system, and the outdated equipment and materials available are embarrassing when you consider that this is the world's fifth largest economy running this place. But they are mostly not teachers by vocation: most of my teachers are engineers or architects or construction managers or what have you, first and foremost, and they give up no small number of billable hours to come give us the latest, greatest, and most relevant information. So there's a lot they can learn about teaching.

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A Couple More Drawings


I didn't scan these two drawings last week before turning them in, because I didn't totally finish the shading until right before class. I really dislike drawing in pencil, but I'll tolerate it. In a week or so, we're supposed to transition to conte crayon, which I dislike even more. I hate messy drawing materials. I'd rather go to pen or marker.

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Class Report


I've got my school schedule all worked out now: 19 credits, which sounds like a lot but is actually a pretty workable load. Almost all my classes are Tuesday and Thursday, which sounds great until I tell you that they start at 7 in the morning and go until 9 at night. I get some decent breaks in there, but still.

My studio is doing a neat project this quarter: years ago the College of Architecture and Environmental Design put together a proposal for a Renewable Energy/Sustainable Design Research Center, but what with our budget being slashed into tiny pieces and the students even having to vote ourselves a special fee to ensure that there were enough classes that current students could graduate, it's been shelved. So we're going to use the proposal and the proposed site (on campus) and design it. This will allow me to develop an idea I have for modular plumbing (so you can easily switch out, say, experimental toilet designs). We got a glimpse of the program today, and we are starting our first exercise in the process.

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Some Drawings


The studio I'm in this quarter requires weekly sketches, so I guess I'll be posting more sketches here for the next ten weeks. This week there was no real assignment, per se, except to do two sketches in pencil. I did a little theme pair, both fountains.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the School category from January 2006.

School: November 2005 is the previous archive.

School: February 2006 is the next archive.

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