This year, I decided that I would start the process in becoming a high school teacher. I always knew that I would eventually teach, and loved the idea of it as a kid (probably just as much as drawing and playing around with computers). In some way though, I knew that I couldn't teach straight out of high school. I didn't feel like there was enough of me to give back into students with my only experiences being school.
The best teachers in our high school had lives outside of their work. They worked in their industry and they worked up the ladder and experienced their fields independently of text books and classrooms. They had a better outlook on what was expected of the students. They knew that regurgitating information wasn't what it was all about and they never sweat the small stuff.
So although I never really thought about what industry I would gain my experience in (at the time, it was split between journalism, law, and graphic design) I knew that I would take that and become a teacher.
So years later, end of last year after my usual birthday fuck-I'm-old panic attack I decided it was time to work back towards what I wanted to do. Lots of calls and information fishing later, I found I needed a degree to be considered as a high school teacher.
I thought about what I liked to do. Design. Build things. Figure out how things work. I knew for sure I couldn't be an art teacher. I hated art as a theory. Law and journalism were out years ago. How could I teach design and not limit my job prospects in small towns who provided the basic / limited curriculum?
I discovered Industrial Design, which really is Design and Technology with an honours year.
So at the end of the day, I'll be a qualified D&T teacher, technical drawing teacher who will be able to pull their weight within the department regarding computers, a bit of engineering, etc. The goal here is to be valuable as I'm hearing there's lots of competition.
Now, how's my first experience of university going? Well, different. My previous experience has been mostly hands on, industry work. Any training has been short, to the point and concentrated. University is completely different.
They drip feed information slowly over the course of weeks and weeks. I think, condensed the theory could be learnt and retained within a few weeks. The project side is a little different, but first year and second year projects are quite simple and straight forward. I'm already 2 units ahead due to prior experience and learning credits and I'm progressing quite nicely through the two most hands on units for first year - Engineering and Design concepts and Materials Technology.
I have to say, it's really strange going back to school with folk who have just barely come out of school. The mindset is so different. The way they approach the work and take the information is exactly like high school and they're just preparing to regurgitate it back.
Last week in Materials Design, we were commissioned into making a little amulet from aluminium. Any information that would provide of value to any of the students is passed along in the coming weeks. The thing is, no one else is taking it upon themselves to learn independently of the lecture material.
These kids will be D&T teachers too one day (most of the course is made up of students preparing for high school teaching). Part of me hopes that there will not be any competition between myself and them when it comes to finding work.
Anyways. Easy to say now but there doesn't seem to be any issue with any of the work. Except for Friday, I have a 9am lecture and then the follow up workshop isn't until 4pm. I'm a bit far from home by car to be driving back home, so I spend the day at the campus. Extra fun considering that I'm having to go to the library and fill time with books I can find that will semi-relate to future material.
I'll give the other students a bit of credit; fresh out of high school means their math, physics and engineering studies is fresh in their minds. When the memory has been prompted I'm not too bad, but I'm reading what I can to touch base and get up to speed.
I have to say, I'm having flashbacks to year 7. I entered high school not knowing anyone (with the exception of a couple of girls who found joy in giving me grief) and so I spent a lot of time in the library reading, writing. My grades were phenomenal.
On a side note, I have to mention that I did in fact, yell at the entire EDC lecture in the second week because they would not stop talking. To the point the lecturer couldn't be heard. Several prompts and they wouldn't shut up. So I yelled, "ARE YOUR EARS PAINTED ON? SHUT IT!" I thought I had cemented my time at university as a loner. Yeah, I was the mature age student who yelled at everyone.
And you know what? My little EDC group didn't ditch me. The following week, they sat beside me - the first 5 seats in the front row. Heh.