My Teaching Journey at NOVA

The journey to becoming a teacher has been an exciting challenge. As a new teacher at Nova Career Centre in the Interior Decorating and Display Department, I have tried to draw upon my field experience in design. I have designed private jets for Bombardier, worked on high-end and historic residential design projects and run my own design business for over 20 years. My experience has been challenging but truly rewarding, but what I value the most from it all are the relationships I have had with my clients and employers.

I often tell people, my real success lies in the things my Mother taught me: being kind, true and expressing genuine interest in another. Teaching, for me, represents an opportunity to use all of my work experience to engage my students through on-going communication and real-world relevance.

As I stood in front of my first class of 22 International students, I very quickly realized this was going to be a very big challenge, but an amazing one. To see one’s self in a new light and capacity is a huge gift of this very special teaching context.

With both feet on the ground, I took a very deep breath and started my journey as a teacher. The pivotal part of teaching, for me, is “who” is standing in front of me. What gift do they have to share and how do I nurture it while working within a structure and a curriculum?

The project that is being featured is from a Studio Class, Build Décor Elements. This was the first studio class this group had seen and most all of them had no idea that they had any creativity in them whatsoever. They were also not comfortable working in teams. This project celebrates the Chinese Harvest Moon Festival which correlates with the Solar/Full Moon we just experienced, as well as the harvesting of crops. This is a time to be spent with family, friends and loved-ones. Being separated from their countries and families, this project proved to be very meaningful for the students. T Change E, is part of Chinese Mythology and goes with the Harvest Moon festival that celebrates the Harvest Moon, the Harvest of the crops. We recently had a Solar Eclipse and a full moon! Not sure if you noticed the crazy energy circulating around?

This project was an evolution and a journey on many levels as students pulled together as a team, stepped outside of their comfort zones and were creatively inspired and fully engaged. On a side note, we met our curriculum objectives along the way!

I would just like to point out that in this class many of the students had no idea that there had any creativity in them. They also DID NOT like to work in teams and there favourite response even to this day is “I KNOW”!

I am extremely proud of not only the work but also the “journey” we ALL took to get there.

Nadine Thomson
Interior Decoration and Visual Display
NOVA Career Centre

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