Their starting point doesn’t matter; what matters is how much they’ve grown when they leave my instruction. My students acquire basic foundational skills and knowledge in design. More importantly, they become comfortable sharing ideas in critique or brainstorming settings, presenting their ideas to stakeholders, and thinking on their feet. Most importantly, they learn to embrace trying, hard work, and the possibility of failure.
How do I accomplish this?
By building rapport with my students, I establish relationships of trust, mutual respect, and interest. This extends to their families as well, as I regularly update them on their child’s progress. We are all part of the same team.
Setting clear boundaries is also an important part of my approach. We are one team, one cohort, one big design family, and we support each other’s work. I ensure my students understand this by practicing the “love sandwich” method when giving critiques: a positive critique, followed by an improvement critique, and ending on another positive critique.
The information I learn about my students through rapport building is integrated into my lesson planning. I create projects that will engage them and meet state standards, resulting in an exciting and engaged classroom.
My teaching philosophy is simple: meet my students where they are, accept them for who they are, and craft projects that will excite and engage them in learning. This builds their confidence and paves the way for their success.