My first design job was at Linn Benton Community College, as the layout designer for the student newspaper. Now, my first teaching job is also at Linn Benton. I’m teaching Graphic Design in the classrooms I learned in, to a community I grew up in.
Being a Creative Director to college students involved a lot of teaching, but not stand up and explain new concepts to strangers type of teaching. It also didn’t involve teaching students older than me, although in my experience we’re all pretty child-like when we’re learning and I often still feel like the “adult” in the room.
This opportunity is so immensely valuable to me. So important that even in the immediate aftermath of losing the Emerald, the idea of teaching got me out of bed and responding to emails, scheduling classes and doing the necessary prep work to make it successful. Its one of those things that hurts right now, because I’m new and I’m awkward and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong yet but this pain feels like progress. Every time I’m around new designers I’m struck by how much I enjoy talking about design, and also how those conversations make me a better teacher, designer and maybe even a better person?
I think teaching is the best way to learn something. Transferring information from one brain to another presents a new challenge every time and being forced to reexamine knowledge that I often take for granted feels very powerful. Introducing someone to a new skill or concept that helps them achieve makes me feel successful.
2020 has brought a lot challenges, changes and hard learning but it’s heartbreaks also demand of us extra patience, grace, and compassion.
If you would like to connect with a community of learners and take an online class from LBCC’s Extended Learning program, please visit their website to see the latest list of classes on offer: linnbention.edu/extendedlearning