Teaching

If you ever get the opportunity to teach, take it.  Here's my story:

In 2002, I was offered a job as a teacher's assistant in a compositing course at Seneca College.  I had been working as a compositor for about a year.  I looked at it as an opportunity to improve my demo reel, since I didn't have a great computer at home.

I was at the school day and night, answering student's questions while working on my own stuff.  Often the students would complain about the quality of the program, that the teachers weren't putting in a great effort.  I felt bad for them, and I did a few impromptu lessons with the class.

The head of the department noticed this, and the next semester I was made a teacher in the program.   The complaints about the program continued, and two teachers from another department would sit in the class.  I was told they were taking the program because they were interested, but really they were evaluating the teachers.  The next semester I was made the coordinator.

Now, honestly, at the time I really didn't deserve the position.  I was in the right place at the right time.

Over the following years, I slowly grew into the role.  When I started teaching, often there were times when I barely knew more than my students.  There were many times when they would ask me a question, and then I'd be up half the night figuring out the answers.

This process forced me to become a better compositor.  I was working at a studio as well during this time, and many times something that I had to learn for the school helped me at work.  Or something I learned at work would become incorporated into one of my lesson plans at the school.

I'm quite sure that teaching compositing has made me a better compositor.  I would highly recommend that if you ever get the chance to teach that you jump at the opportunity.  It has given back a great deal to me.