Mobile Production Classroom

Shine On Teens Teach the Basics of DSLR Photography to Other Chicago Teens

My mom, who was a teacher herself, would often say — “the best way to learn something is to teach it!” And it's true. The more I teach photography to teens the more I learn about the subject and the craft of photography.

The same is true with my Shine On teens. At three events this summer, they taught other teens the basics of DSLR photography. One time it was with After School Matters interns at The Lincoln Park Zoo during the Teen Bash event; another time it was with drop-in teens at the Logan Square Library, and once with After School Matters teen interns for The Art Institute in Chinatown.

One lesson that I’ve learned about teaching is — teens often can teach teens better than an adult. It’s probably because there’s a sense of trust, and different ways to communicate that help teens often learn better amongst themselves. It seems that teens will open up more with each other — they seem more willing to ask questions and listen with greater intensity.

And on the flip side, the teen mentors get a chance to reinforce the learning they’ve done, and in the process of teaching it to another teen, they seem to learn it better. As my mom would also often say, “See one. Do one. Teach one”— because by explaining the concept, it becomes ingrained in the teen’s mind. They manage to understand the concept more deeply because they’ve had to explain to someone else in their own words.

And it works the other way around — teens can teach adults too! To prove it, at the end of our summer program, I invited the Shine On teens to the CLX August MeetUp. During the event, they got the chance to teach DSLR photography to adults who were interested.

Check out the photos below of the teens engaged in the mentoring process — and if you like what what you see, please donate below.

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