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I'm Rivers Cuomo.

3 min read

This was originally written as an introduction post for the KQED Teach platform. The assignment was:

  • Create your first post on the KQED Teach community with your type(s) to introduce yourself!
  • Choose an image, animated gif, video, or other form of media found online that represents your motivation.
  • Briefly explain how the things that motivate you impact your teaching.

Hello! I teach Strategic Communications in higher ed and while it appears the Teacher Motivation quiz has been taken offline (I'm sure others have figured this out and solved it themselves, but I found a Slideshare). My courses focus on designing for publics and market segments with a focus on research, copy, and layout. My classes are fairly traditional digital literacy courses in the fact that they aim to give students a broad understanding of what a creative department within an agency specifically does and how they do it. A part of my job is to give students a basic understanding of industry tools (such as Adobe Creative Suite) though I like to also show some more online based tools (such as Canva). We also spend a fair amount of time blogging and coming to understand who we are both as creators and creatives. So I'd say this matches a lot of what is categorized as Demystifier (40%) + Alt (40%) + Spirit Guide (10%) + Professional (10%).

Demystifier:  As a teacher, you “pull back the curtain” to help students see how various forms of information and knowledge are constructed. You emphasize the practice of critical thinking, helping students ask good “how” and “why” questions.

Spirit Guide: You are a listener of your students, and want to make sure that everything you do in the classroom connects to their immediate needs to understand themselves and their lives. Students likely find you trustworthy, and may even confide in you in ways that they do not for other teachers. You know media is just one facet of student life, and you want to engage with it to help them through the highs and lows of life in all of its challenges and opportunities.

ALT: You are an inventive, perhaps “DIY,” teacher. You’re always ready to challenge students with alternative ways of finding, using, thinking about, and making media in the classroom. Whether you use open source programs on school computers, encourage students to start alternative clubs or magazines, or introduce students to media that’s “off the beaten path” of mainstream and mass media, you are likely a key proponent of broadening students’ understanding of the many different ways that people can communicate in the world.

Professional: You have high standards for your students’ work, and you may be seen as the go-to media professional in your school. You know how to push your students to understand and emulate the professional conventions that is important to being taken seriously in the world of media creation. To help students enter the real world of media creation, you bring other authors, professionals, and media-makers into your classroom to enrich the learning experience.

I also introduce my class via Kermit the Frog. All of this is to say, I'm probably Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. Part indie, dressed a little stiffer than I'd like, and I give you what you get: a dose of hits and a couple of really bad experiments.

Caption: Video created via from the Keep Fishin' video.