Tuesday, 11 March 2014

20 YEARS A TEACHER - final reflections

Well that was a great few days where I could actually stop and reflect on my unexpected career path. If you travelled back to 25 years ago and told me my life would be filled with teaching and learning I would have probably told you to get stuffed or worse (I would have punched your lights out). I could not imagine anything worse than being around teachers again. My degree experiences had put me off education for life or so I had thought.

I am an illustrator what else could I possibly need?

The choice of working for either Parcelforce, KP work, Lambeth Council or putting something back and getting paid in full brought my options into sharp focus. Life is filled with choices but do we always make the right ones?

I contacted my friend Angus Mewse who I knew was doing some lecturing and asked him to hook me up. When I went into Hertford Regional College at Ware to show my portfolio and talk about professional practice to a group of Foundation students I couldn't have guessed at what this small event would lead me to. I really enjoyed it and the students appeared to enjoy it also.

Working at Hertford Regional College (1994 - 1995) led to work at Barnfield College in Luton (1995 - 1998) on the National Diploma in Graphic Design and Illustration course. Thanks to Roger Spencer for all your support. This work in turn led me to Milton Keynes College (1998 - 2000). Fiona and David Durrans really gave me the opportunity to understand the mechanics of teaching. A short spell at Luton and Dunstable College (1999 - 2000) where I worked on FE and HE courses in Graphic Design teaching digital design. During time I maintained my career as a freelance illustrator truly believing that teaching was only a passing phase.

It took a spell at Croydon College (1998 - 2000) and then my work at LCP/ LCC (1999 - Present) cemented my teaching and my realisation that this was my vocation now and the illustration work trailed off. In 2003 after 9 years of lecturing I gained my PGCE in Teaching and Learning Art, Design and Communication.

In 2013 I gained my MA in Visual Arts - Illustration.

In the 20 years I have worked alongside some of the finest people I've ever met and had the pleasure/ pain/ joy/ laughter/ anxiety of working with students. I estimate that more than 3000 students may have benefitted in some way due to my work with them. Using networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter appears to confirm this. Seeing or hearing Alumni good news makes me feel it was all worth it.

So as I look ahead to the next 20 or so years I really believe my best work is ahead of me. Doctorate here I come…

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