I’m back into the teaching season. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks prepping for the second of two Professional Practices and Portfolio classes I’m teaching at Clark College. For the past few years, I’ve been primarily teaching the first class in the series which students take at the end of their first year.
What I love about that class is that I get to do a deep dive into the minutiae of knowledge that modern creative pros need to be aware of to survive in these fields. As they begin to understand what it really means to be a creative professional they start to transform themselves into knowledgeable, prepared individuals who think of themselves as problem solvers with a point of view.
Due to its success and the positive student feedback from the first class, I was asked this year if I wanted to revamp the second of the two classes and frame it as the next evolution in the series. The second class takes place a year after the first as the students are preparing to wrap up their two-year program and head out to fend for themselves.
I decided to take on the challenge and now I’m deep into reframing content across the class. The first year I’ll generally teach the class week by week. I tend to change quite a bit as we roll through the 11-week term, and keeping the course development on a weekly schedule means I’m able to get a feel for the “flow” of the class. That helps to keep it malleable and moldable.
What I love about that class is that I get to do a deep dive into the minutiae of knowledge that modern creative pros need to be aware of to survive in these fields.
Most often students will not get the final form of the class for probably three years. There is just so much that goes into writing and organizing this content, and even when I feel it’s fairly set, I’m forever tinkering to continually try to raise the quality of the experience. It takes a lot, and while I know if you broke down my income vs. hours spent I’d be making a pretty sad hourly wage, I don’t really care too much. I want to open minds and to do that properly requires a certain amount of time, focus, and development.
One thing of note on why I refer to these students as “creative professionals” or “creative pros” vs. something more specific. While I train students based on my education and experience as a designer, the Digital Arts and Media program at Clark is not, technically, a design program.
While we have graphic designers that go through the course, we also train up web designers, web developers, illustrators, motion graphics, and video folks. Traditional graphic design is not even taught in our unit and lives with the art department. As a result, I’ve opted for the more broad-reaching term of creative professional because it envelops a more diverse range of fields.
Class starts tomorrow, and per usual, I’m living with my imposter syndrome gargoyle firmly affixed to my shoulder. He’ll thankfully fly off into the shadows once that first session is complete.