With only one week left it seems apt to review my placement experience.
On March 5th I started my university placement teaching Graphic Design at Telford College. Before starting the placement I was convinced that I wanted to teach in further education (16+).
Within a week I had changed my mind.
Before starting I had no idea what the result of the compulsory education until students are 18 had done to the education system. When I was in college people were allowed to leave at 16 if they wanted to or didn't have the grades to go to college. This has all changed...
Colleges have now had to adapt to large numbers of students who don't want to be there.
Level 1 BTEC courses have started for students with 0-2 GCSE's but the same problem exists, they don't want to be there. They argue every point you make, they don't want to learn. This has taught me a great deal of patience and resilience.
Level 2 BTEC course are better. At least they listen and some of them actually want to be there, some of them want to do well. I know we aren't meant to pick favourites but everyone does and my top three are in the level two. I enjoy teaching this group, I look forward to it and I seem to have had a significant input in a few of there final pieces with them taking a keen interest in Graphic Design. This is the bit of teaching that people must enjoy - when students respect and listen to you and produce amazing work because of this.
Level 3 BTEC year one is a different dynamic altogether. Lots of them don't want to be there and use this as a stop gap until they turn 18. As a majority, not many want to go on to the second year but have the talent and the intellect to thrive in a more academic environment but don't want to put in the effort.
Level 3 BTECT year two are a very talented bunch of kids. They want to be there.Some of them are going to uni to continue art and design courses and as a bunch they are strong, independent people. The majority of them do not under any circumstances want my help. Even if its learning Indesign or illustrator. They just want to be left alone to get on with it.
Level 4 FOUNDATION DIP bless. There is only three of them but they are the nicest people you will ever meet. extremely talented and love advice. all three soak it up like sponges which as a "teacher" is a lovely feeling. They want to listen they want you to show them new skills which pushed me to get better and better. Not only were they learning off me but i was learning off them.
As as whole, No i don't want to be a teacher anymore. It's not plan A. But it wasn't just this experience that changed my mind. While on placement I had a taste of freelance design work and I loved it. The combination of the two means that design will always come first. And if I do end up teaching I think it will be more focused on degree level.