Overall, I have found that this module has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. It has definitely made me think outside the box as a graphic designer and shaped potential future ideas that i have within my subject area. I have learnt so many different skills during this experience that i will use both within my everyday life and my practice to achieve my full potential. This module has encouraged me to grow and approach situations with new ideas that are transferable and relatable to my course and given me a deeper understanding of transdisciplinarity within field in a context outside of my normal practice.
At the beginning of this module I was incredibly apprehensive and nervous about the whole experience and was unsure that I would come out of it the other end with anything valuable to me in the future. Initially, i found that the thing that stressed me out the most about this module was the lack of communication between the school and uni and having to figure out what i was doing for myself in an unfamiliar place was a challenge for me. Having planned potential ideas about what i could teach in art and design over christmas made the fact that i was in design and technology and massive shock to the system that i wasn’t expecting. From having the teaching seminar where we found out what schools we were at one day to actually being in schools the next meant that I had little time to prepare. Alongside this, I didn’t find the first seminar particularly helpful either, if anything it stressed me out more because we weren’t talked through what the learning outcomes were or the mark scheme and were just given a load of paperwork that we didn’t know what to do with.
The first week at school was a massive milestone for me. Being a generally nervous person meant that i didn’t like being outside my comfort zone and although I try to push myself to try new things to get over my permanent fear of almost everything, i feel like i may have pushed too far with this module. The first day felt like i was in a living nightmare. Trying to figure out how to actually get to the school and meeting the teachers and students made me feel incredibly scared and sick and im so thankful that I got put with a fellow student who i was familiar with as personally I dont think I would have got through this experience without her and I would have probably switched modules.
Not having a Design and technology back ground meant that this would be a very interesting experience. Although the first week was a bit confusing as i didn’t know what i was doing or how i would teach design and technology, once i calmed down and actually thought about it everything fell into place. The school was absolutely amazing in supporting us and helping us figure out what we could teach. I think that the head of department picked up that we were both very nervous and made us feel better and said that we could go at our own pace. This allowed us time to settle in and get more comfortable with the department and familiarize ourselves with the school routine and time table and the different lessons taking place. After a lot of head scratching and confusion, we decided to focus our teaching towards the year 7 CAD project. They used 2D design to created their phone holder designs and the had them cut out on the lazer cutter and bent the acrylic into shape using the heat strip. In comparison to the other years, this project was really straight forward which allowed us to make our own examples and quickly work through the project to stay one step ahead of the pupils. Although we did observe and help out with other years, It was agreed that some of the project were too complex and coming from a Graphics background i may have been a bit out of my depth which would have made it hard to stay one step head. The years in upper school were focused on GCSE’s and exams and i felt like i couldn’t help them with much because they knew more about it then we did and i didn’t want to waste their time!
This experience has meant that I have had to adapt to a whole new format and style of working. Learning alongside the pupils was an interesting experience, Because i was learning things at the same time as them it was interesting to see how some pupils just didn’t understand it and how others got on with their work – you could clearly see who had listened! Although 2D design was a simple concept to grasp, it looks really outdated and isn’t a particularly nice software to use, and i found that the pupils really struggled with it and the computers and sometimes had some technical issues which was frustrating. Another thing i noticed which was quite upsetting was the lack of creativity within their work! because this project was skills and making based, it was interesting to see in my reflections and lesson plans how i could bring creative elements into the lessons to inspire the pupils.
Although I didn’t get an opportunity to actually teach, I can safely say that I dont think i want to be a teacher. I really enjoyed helping the students on a more informal level and i think it improved my communication skills so i think if i did find that i wanted to down a teaching route i feel like being a teaching assistant would be the way forward. Bonding with the pupils was a very important element within this module as i found that the more you spoke to them and listened, the more the respected you and in turn got more work done. Its unclear as to weather i would have the same thoughts and opinions on teaching now as i would if i had been teaching a Graphics class, and although this would be an interesting opportunity i am happy with this module and proud of the progress both i and the pupils have made during my time at the school.
Presentation evaluation and reflection
Overall I felt like my presentation went well, I covered most of the areas I wanted to, however I was really tight for time. I only managed to get through 3 of my slides on my presentation due to time restrictions which is a bit of a shame. I also found that I didn’t really cover some of the main points i wanted to talk about, i didnt really get to talk about the year 7 projects as a whole, reflect much on the teaching that was delivered, talk about the projects different year groups were creating and look at cad skills throughout the years which were some of my main points to cover. Although I did practice what I was going to say and how i was going to say it beforehand, time went so quickly once i was up there presenting. I also found that I really centered the presentation around me and my learning experience from this module and although this was good reflection, i felt like i needed to balance it out with some of the pupils works too.
After being really prepared for my presentation, I still found that my nerves get the better of me whilst waiting and it made me feel quite sick. Perhaps a way to over come this would be to suggest presenting first which is something ill take into consideration when delivering another verbal presentation. Although the posters were useful to do and have as a physical piece of evidence of my experience, i didn’t feel like i utilized them at all in my presentation so if i was to do it again this would be another element i would like to focus on. It was really interesting to see the difference in atmosphere between our presentations in the glass box and the presentations in the graphics rooms. I feel like working in a light, open space with only a few people really helped my confidence and helped me deliver the presentation in comparison to the graphics presentations that i saw which looked very dark and intense.