From an instructor’s point of view: Design Disco + The Big Draw Festival

18 November 2016
Text by Nicki Jeong
Photos by Blqees Bnana

Have you heard of the The Big Draw? It's the world's largest drawing festival that promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. Riverside School has been hosting the festival for the past two years in Prague and invited Design Disco to team up this year. Nicki Jeong, our instructor at Design Disco, shares the story of her first teaching experience at the workshop.

It's no lie to say that I was nervous since The Big Draw workshop was my first experience as a Design Disco instructor. Starting conversations and opening up to people is not the easiest for me – especially with teenagers because most have the attitude of "too cool for school" (I know, because I was the same). This was the the exact reason why I joined Design Disco: to challenge myself and overcome my fear of public speaking.

Right off the bat as the workshop began, I could recognize a few when-is-this-going-to-end faces on the students. We introduced the project However, once we all sat down together and started drawing, I felt rather a sense of comfort, remembering that I, too, have been in the position of the high schoolers. It was as if I was back in high school again, and I knew what those students are going through. To my surprise, I found myself easily opening up to the student, talking about what they want to study in the future, which university, and their goals. It didn't take long for us to loosen up and before you knew it, everyone was having a good time – I know I was.

The workshop was a great exercise to practice teamwork, cooperation, individuality, and creativity. As an instructor, not only did I learn to speak and be confident about what I do, but seeing things from a student's perspective and understanding them was crucial lesson. I have always wished that there was someone I could reach out to when I was at their age to get a better idea of what I was about to step into; and it was through this experience when I realized that I could be that person for them. It was a great feeling to give the students a little grasp about what design is and showing them the different ways to perceive the world we live in.