When I started teaching at NOVA, the first module I was assigned was Materials and my first class was 20 International students, all from China. I had to adjust both my course content and course delivery immediately. Previously, having taught Materials numerous times at a variety of schools and colleges, it was typically a 45 hour course spread over a 15 week session. The course coverage ranged to a number of other topics and specialities, all crammed into those 45 hours. In this instance I found the opportunity to expand the content, to provide greater depth and more detail, to the class. Moreover, dealing with the same student group for a full 6 hours a day, was initially daunting. ‘How am I going to fill all that time?’ I wondered. Along with that was the uncertainty of being able to deliver, equally, the details, the nuances – the hundreds of topic specifics – to a class wherein English language skills, and cultural comprehension, were ‘all over the map’. I must confess, the first 3 – 4 classes were a real learning curve – for both of us I believe. But we quickly found a rhythm, and a demeanour that worked in the class room. Humour, was a big part of it. And not being overly concerned about quickly ranging from acting the clown to being the firm classroom manager was another substantial element.
Lo and behold…..we arrived at the end of the first module – intact. And immediately, fortunately, started on the next 5 week module – same class…..and then the third followed directly after. In all, about 15 weeks – a standard college semester …… but we covered three times the subject matter and content. Materials, Furniture – History ,Style and Design and Window Design, Window Styles.
For me it has been a uniquely rich experience. Both as a professional designer and as a teacher who started part-time teaching 25 years ago. As a unit, as a classroom I feel we melded together. We overcame the awkwardness of language difference, the uncertainties of culture collide and evolved with a broad mutual respect for the special unique individuality of each student. From my perspective, to be able to do so within a future where the posture of the individual is not typically celebrated I think we achieved a special partnership, of purpose.
As I continue on with other groups and other modules, I am beginning to hit my stride I think. Last week marked the end of a course with a completely different group. And next week I begin one last session/module with, the Gang of Twenty……and I can’t wait for us to again, find the pace and find success.
NOVA, for me, has been a revelation. It has been a hugely rewarding professional experience wherein the complete staff – from custodial, teachers, coordinators to director – have bonded together to embody a passion, a commitment and the conviction that we can, and do – provide the very best educational incubator there is. I am proud and grateful to be a part of this team.
Michael Moore (Interior Decorating and Visual Display teacher – NOVA Career Centre)
NOVA would like to congratulate Mr. Moore in a very special achievement, 1st Place in the Residential Design in the 2014 ASID International Design Awards. It was a great challenge – a kitchen renovation/extension/re-design. It involved the development of a design concept for a kitchen expansion/renovation. Given lot setback requirements, they were only able to add 8′-0″ to the back of the house by the length of the kitchen, 16′-0″.
The client was a highly skilled home chef in a jewish home which follows kosher cuisine restrictions. That means, two of everything are required – two dishwashers, two sinks, two microwaves, two refrigerators…….and given the incredible tightness of the spatial envelope, it was a huge challenge.
The entry submission requirements were very rigid – all entrants had to conform to a 30″ x 40″ image size which had to include a design concept overview…i.e., the specifics of the design challenge, the scope, the design solution, etc.