July 2010

Mentoring Creative Minds

by Andy Polaine on July 4, 2010

in General

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The current issue of COFA’s Incubate magazine has a piece by me in it called Mentoring Creative Minds, which is a reflection on 15 years of teaching (that I have been teaching that long came as a bit of a shock). They also used a scarily large version of my head logo (I can see some bezier points that need work there).

You can download a PDF copy of the magazine here (14.4 MB) to read the whole thing (my piece is on page 33), but here is an excerpt I wanted to share:

Unfortunately, the Vice-Chancellor does not whisper the secret to success in your ear while handing over your testamur. Fortunately, I can deliver it to you here: there is no secret.

Getting students to trust in this, and the knowledge that some projects succeed, others fail and that there is always another one around the corner, is really what teaching is all about. I’m sure there are academics who thrive on being the source of brilliant knowledge. For me, nothing beats the moment when the smart, creative student sitting opposite me realises their own brilliance and doesn’t need me anymore.

I’m sure my current students will be only too willing to remind me of this, but it’s true.