Monday, 24 November 2008

On Teaching.

I had to do a bit of teaching last week, which threw up some really interesting points for me. One kid in the group (12/13 years, don't ask me what yeargroup that is...) was, according to his teachers, talented but refusing to draw anything for fear of looking "uncool". I thought this was a little odd, but upon actually talking to the kid I found him drawing an exact, and quite good, copy of the DFC cover in front of him.
Well, I started laying into him for that, trying to shame him into doing something of his own. "Fine!" he replied, now in a sulk, "I'll draw you then!" So I decided to draw him while he was grumpily drawing me. It turned into a bit of a competition, and half the class gathered around to watch. The teachers told me after the class that they'd never seen him so involved in an art lesson. His drawing wasn't bad either.
This really struck me as interesting. Clearly his teachers had just been too soft on him, quietly trying to coax out the "art", whereas when I came along and took much more of a "you're not that hot" attitude he really rose to the challenge. I guess the more teaching you do the better you're able to judge how a certain kid is going to respond to a certain type of teaching; which ones need soothing encouragements and which ones will be fired into action by a need to prove you wrong.
I can definitely relate to teachers who talk of the feeling of satisfaction when you really bring out that spark of excitement in a kid, but I couldn't do it every day. I was talking teaching to "Dave" of Two Sides Wide Studios (and recent Manga Jiman fame) this weekend, who works with a similar age-group. His job sounds ridiculously difficult. Much respect there.

Also in the realm of DFC promotion, I did a talk at the ICA for Comica on Sunday. I had a horrible headcold all day. I can't remember what I said, but it probably consisted of a lot of sniffles and grunts. So apologies to anyone who was there.
Here is a picture of the ridiculously talented Adam Brockbank, My sister Rachel and me looking queasy.

Edit: Just realised Adam did the storyboards for the Dinotopia film. I'm glad I didn't know that, or I might've done a whole lot more fanboy squealing.


nana said...

Bobby Chiu talks about how people respond to different types of motivation in one of his podcasts. Some work harder when complimented whereas others respond by slacking out. Then there are also those who respond better to pressure whereas others keel over when under stress.
He mentions that it's important to know what type you are, I guess so you know what buttons to push and what traps to watch out for. :)

aqws said...

I clearly have to listen to this podcast! thanks for the link.