The last blog post ended on a slightly depressing note, so I thought I’d share something more positive.
(Warning: This article may contain rants about the Indian education system and coaching institutes.)
Even though I had been into programming and game design for the better part of my life, a part of me had always felt that I could be a good teacher if I wanted to. When I realized I needed a break from Pyrodactyl, I thought the time was right for me to dive into this new line of work and see what I could contribute.
I’m very lucky that I got a faculty position at a university that allowed me freedom to experiment with the curriculum. So far, this has been a surprise in a very pleasant way.
What I learned by teaching (so far)
My biggest peeve with my education was that it was 100%, Ambuja Cement style rigid. The curriculum was decided in advance and nothing you (or the teacher) could do would change that.I’ve been trying a more flexible curriculum that changes based on the strengths and weaknesses of the students, and while it is very early to definitively tell, I think it is having positive results. (More on these findings as the semester progresses).
Showing (not just telling) students how they will use this knowledge in the future helps a ton.
In my case, first I got freshman students to analyze their own favorite games, and then I slowly explained how the games in question use the game design techniques that I taught them. While I am still figuring out how to improve my speech and ability to explain things, I think most of them became very interested when they realized they could learn how their favorite games worked – even though I was conducting a dry flowcharts and game states lecture.
Subject (and self) Discovery
I’m learning a lot more about my subjects and myself as I give more classes. Even the games that I made appear in a different light with some of the things that I learned while researching my topics.This is exciting – like Eat Pray Love except someone pays me a salary to do it.
I hope this different style of article is cool with the usual readers of Pyrodactyl. I’ll share more as I finish my first semester of teaching!
If there’s any teachers out there in the comments, what did you learn when you started teaching? Any tips to help out a new guy? 🙂
Posted In: Education