These are some examples of my diverse teaching experiences. I also advised students and family members concerning off-campus life at the University of Florida for three years as a graduate assistant.
Graphic Design in Higher Education
I led workshops on multiple occasions for students at UF. Here are some images and files from a workshop:
Typography 1, University of Florida: Guest Workshop
- workshop pictures + student work (.pdf)
- workshop plan (.pdf)
- exercise (Google Drive .zip: .indd, .idml, fonts, and images)
The goal of this workshop was to equip students with a foundational knowledge of typesetting within a grid-based layout and to provide an introduction to some functions of InDesign. The workshop consisted of benchmarking magazine brands, a software demonstration, a rapid prototyping design exercise, printing, and a mini-critique.
Guest Lecturing & Mentoring
I guest lectured in Visual Methods, Typography 1, and Typography 2 classes while in graduate school at the University of Florida. I was also part of the group that selected modular furniture from Herman Miller to furnish UF’s Mint Design Studio space in Infinity Hall. During that time, I worked with fellow graduate students, Daniel Leonardos and Jiaming Li, to rebrand Mint and define the studio’s mission and learning outcomes for future students. I also participated in the UF graphic design club VoxGraphics as a mentor and attended the club’s design studio tour trips to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Charlotte, and Tampa.
Teaching in Korea
From August 2014–August 2015, I taught English as a Foreign Language at Changjin Elementary School in Sasang-gu, Busan, South Korea through the Korean government program EPIK (English Program in Korea). I was the only foreign teacher at the medium-sized public school. I taught grades 3–6 with Korean co-teachers for classes during normal school hours, and I taught my own after-school classes with small groups of 4–10 students. I was responsible for planning/directing summer and winter break English camps.
Design Thinking Egg Drop Challenge
This design thinking exercise involved group problem-solving by a process of sketching and rapid prototyping. Each group had a kit of materials that they could choose to use or disregard. There was only one egg for each group; so, although the students could speculate how their device would protect the egg based off their test flights, the final launch from the 5th floor was the true test. Afterwards, we examined design elements that caused devices to fail or succeed. View the exercise description from Jump Start.
Design Thinking Spaghetti Marshmallow Challenge
This exercise was similar to the Egg Drop Challenge in process; however, given that testing the noodle devices did not destroy the marshmallow like testing eggs could in the Egg Drop Challenge, groups were able to iterate their designs more effectively. View the exercise description from Stanford d.school.
Design Thinking Catapult Challenge
Similar to the design thinking processes used in the Egg Drop Challenge and the Spaghetti Marshmallow Challenge, the Catapult Challenge encouraged groups to iterate their designs by rapid prototyping.
This activity had multiple rounds of competition to encourage iterative design. Groups had a fixed amount of time to sketch and build their catapults and ammunition with the materials in their kits. Then, groups met in the hallway to test their devices and measure the travel distance of their launched ammunition. Students noted how they could improve their designs and came to the next round of the competition with their altered prototypes. This process repeated three times, and the final group scores were cumulative.
Learning Cursive + Group Typography Posters
Korea doesn’t have cursive writing in its public elementary school curriculum. I introduced cursive writing to my 5th and 6th grade students during winter English camp. After a few exercises learning the letterforms, groups of students worked together to create expressive typography posters using cursive letterforms and shapes.
Native American Symbols
I used various symbols from different Native American cultures to teach my students some English terms. Students learned about some Native American objects, such as totem poles, dreamcatchers, and teepees. While crafting these objects, students listened to Native American instrumental music. My goal in these activities and presentations was to share a glimpse of Native American culture with my students.
My parents taught at the school on the St. Francis Lakota reservation in South Dakota for about a decade, and when I was growing up in the Cherokee land of Chattanooga, my mom presented Native American history and objects at local schools on occasion.
I used some of my personal interests to engage students in active learning. From Simon Says Yoga to typical American field day activities and crafts, students learned English while taking a break from the rigor of the Korean education system.
Prescription vs. Co-creation
Young children love to role-play and use their imagination. This can be observed on the playground during recess or in the backseat of a car. How can this natural phenomenon of play be most effectively incorporated into the classroom for active learning?
The two videos below exhibit my students role-playing. In the first video, Let’s Go Out to Eat, students followed a prescribed script that I wrote. In the second video, students relied on the scripts they created on their own with my occasional assistance with grammar and vocabulary. In both cases, the students involved ranged from beginner to advanced in English-speaking skill level.
Findings: I found that the co-creative strategy of role-play development produced a more effective learning environment than the prescription method. In the co-creative exercise, higher-level students used more advanced English and challenged themselves and their classmates to learn how to use English to describe situations they dreamt up. Elements of humor and error arose from the co-creative method that created teaching opportunities. These findings support the child-centered Montessori Method of education.