“Re-imagine it for yourselves.” -Design Essentials Instructor Inspires Students

Grace Bowman, Reporter

Visual journalism is journalism.  You use a different medium to express it.  It can express emotion and information.  Carlos Ayulo teaches his students the basics of design while letting them express themselves throughout their work.  


“So, that’s what I’m telling them is that their work, there’s nothing terrible, there’s nothing bad.  What it is, is we need to clean it up, but we start with their work first,”  Ayulo said.  “That’s the biggest thing about me teaching them is it starts with them because I don’t want to drive the boat and give them my ideas as to why they should do it this way, but here’s some things you need to think about before you do it or tell me why you did it so together we can clean it up and make their work better.”


Ayulo starts with the students’ work.  Rather than a strict lesson plan, he let’s his students work on their projects.  He helps them improve by relating design to real life and using humor.


“That gave them confidence and allowed them to be involved and pay attention more then me planning A-Z lesson plan.  Now with the lesson plans I will introduce them, but little at a time.”  Ayulo said.  “And if I don’t get to all of them that’s okay because as long as they’re asking and showing me some things they want to do then I believe we are filling up the time with what they want to do as opposed to what I want them to learn, but I will make sure that I will get most of my curriculum in but I want them to feel empowered and they’re the ones who drove the class.”


Students are working on their own projects either in pairs or individually.  Ayulo leads group discussions and answers any questions the students may have.  He shows the tools using the projector.  Rather than telling students what to do, he explains it thoroughly, and let’s the students work on their own time with their own ideas.  


“I’m currently working on a yearbook spread about a kid who lived in Paris for a year and then he comes back to St. Charles-that’s where I’m from-so he comes back to St. Charles and then the spread will be a cutout of him and then some pros and cons and what it was like in France,”  Senior from Francis Howell High School, Hannah Chisnell said.  “I’m… still going to continue working on the spread and making it better.  And actually filling it in and writing about it.”


The class continues to work on their own individual work.  Chisnell hopes to be able to contribute more to her school’s journalism staff.  She has learned a lot so far, and has seen improvements from what her instructor has taught her.  


“Many of them will not continue to be visual journalists or continue visuals, but I enjoy it because I can at least give them my all and give them the impression that this could be fun, this could be good whether you continue with it or not.”  Ayulo said.

Hannah Chisnell takes a break from working on her yearbook spread. She is excited to learn what the editor on her staff knows and contribute to her team.