Teaching, Photography & teaching photography
I’ve been teaching for 20 years - and A level photography specifically for 12 of those. I teach classes of about 22 students, in 5 hours a week. There are 5 first-year classes, with 3 in the second year. The 5 hours are split into 2 x 2-hour sessions and 1 x 1-hour session. The college has nearly 4,000 full-time students; the department 5 art subject endorsements. It’s big. Really big. Over the last decade there has been a huge surge in the popularity of the subject. Numbers have grown ten-fold in as many years. There’s also been the transition from working exclusively with film - in darkrooms, using chemistry - to a predominantly digital environment. By far the biggest changes in my work have come about as a direct result of innovations, technical ones really, that offer both challenges and opportunities. Digital photography promised a panacea of cheap, fast and easy photography - both a gift and curse. Whilst the subject has become much more accessible and less-technically craft-based (which I think is a good thing), it has demanded a complete re-think of what it means to be a teacher of photography. And so, for what it is worth, here are 12 things - in no particular order; one for each year of my photography teaching - that benchmark some of my current working practices.