That First Month of Graphic Design

Surviving that first month of teaching graphic design.

I already briefly went over my first day of school, but I wanted to talk about the first month or so some of the specific classes that I taught. I already briefly went over my first day of school, but I wanted to come back to it again and discuss some of the specific classes. Looking back on this has really shown me how much I have grown and learned in the past 7 years. It has really been an enlightening experience for me.

With nearly every class I taught, I would play the "what if" game.

  • “What if they ask me something I don’t know?”
  • “What if I mess up and they find out I don’t know what I’m doing?”
  • “What if I fall over in front of the class and get embarrassed?”
  • “What if there’s a fire and the building caves in while I am teaching?”
  • (ok, the last one is fictitious, but you get the idea.) I let my mind wander to great lengths before reeled myself back in and took a deep breath. 

Let’s talk about Graphic Design first. I was way over my head on this one! Not only did I not have any experience with the Adobe suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.), but the last graphic design class that I had taken was in my 1st year of college and it was mostly done on paper, not computer!

I mentioned in my last post that my computers started to go on the fritz after just that 2nd day. I was having lag issues, I wasn’t able to make some of the functions work in the same way as I could on my teacher computer, and I had not one but 2 classes of graphic design that first year.

I even had an advanced class in graphic design that I felt completely inadequate to teach. They knew more about the programs that I did and they didn’t mind telling me so! They did not, however, know much about graphic design. I think last year’s teacher just let them play around on Photoshop and pretty much left them alone.

During that first month, I would spend every evening trying to figure out what in the world I could teach and learn how to do it myself, and during the day I bumbled through trying to teach them what I had learned and run around like a chicken with my head cut off to try to troubleshoot and make sure that the whole class had learned the concept before I moved on. Not an excellent existence, I assure you.

If someone had offered a readymade graphic design curriculum to me that first year I would definitely have taken it! (Though, I probably would have struggled through the first couple weeks or so before my stubborn personality would have allowed me to consider it.)

I certainly felt confused and defeated, and if this sounds like you, too, feel free to check out my library of lessons (browse the videos for each lesson for free). If you like them, go ahead and sign up for the free resources below. There is no obligation to buy from me, just check it out and see if it is right for you.

There are bumps and bruises to be expected along the way for all careers. If it wasn’t a challenge, then it wouldn’t be worth pursuing!