|packing supplies & samples for a class|
Like art, once you start, more and more people want you. Word gets around. I find it a struggle to juggle teaching and art creation time. Fortunately, once you put a class together it's always there. You don't have to start from scratch every time. That's a big perk. I know the same will be true for video classes, but I am concerned about the initial amount of work in putting something like that together. That's the exact reason I dropped out of going to Denver at the last minute for Craftsy last year. I need to get over that.
"Come for Tea & Stitch with Me" in Winnipeg was my pilot attempt at teaching a class on basic surface embroidery stitches. Already I'm getting booked for it three more times in the next month! That's crazy great! One is in Winnipeg again, one will be at Creative House in Saskatoon (details coming soon), and one will be a 3 hr module for a 6 day long workshop lead by Elizabeth Babyn. I met Elizabeth over a year ago at USCAD's Experimental Fibre Art II class. She went on to do some part time teaching with the University's art & design program. Now she's offering this through her own art studio. See Elizabeth Babyn's blog post about the Experimental Textile Workshop HERE. It's six days long! WOW. She's doing it because she feels there's a need for it. Awesome. I'll be doing my workshop for her class on the morning of Sunday May 26th. THIS time I will make sure to bring my camera! : )
So - I took some time to reflect and ask myself this: as a teacher, what am I learning?
I answered: Lots. (Monika - please elaborate)
I am learning:
- Students love to see samples of finished work.
- Students really love to see samples of techniques of work in progress
- Showing things that didn't work & explaining why are equally great ways to learn (learning by MY
- Students appreciate prepared kits so they don't have to go mega shopping for an unspecified project. I was told this one over and over... I want coming to my classes to be easy.
- Always make a point of spending a bit of time with the quietest ones who don't ask for anything. ; ) They often have a lot on their minds and many questions they are shy to ask about.
- I will likely always need to keep a point form schedule of planned things to cover in class or I will forget important things / stray...
- Their creativity is spurred when I supply fabrics and fibres for them so they aren't always staring at their old stash.
- Tips - I am full of them! I see how the simplest of tips make enjoying the process of creating so much less stressful (like threading or tying off... really basic pointers are really helpful).
- Show & tell is golden. Because the results in-class projects are not based on patterns, everyone ends up with something different. I like the students to take a break and look at each other's work - whether completed or in progress. They learn so much from each other. This point in the class is often a real creativity booster. You get a lot of, "OH! I never thought of that!" and everyone is generally quite impressed. : ) I am right in there with them squealing, "WOW look at that!". : )
- Students are sometimes nervous to be there too. I did not know that before. One woman giggled at my disclosure of being nervous, and said, "You are nervous!? How do you think we felt coming in to this class?" I really had not contemplated that. But yes - I do recall going to a class and being completely terrified of messing up or being put on the spot. Even going around to introduce yourself is highly intimidating for some. (I hated that part - but as a teacher, I always do it! Should I be?? Do you hate this part at the beginning of classes?)
- As a teacher, I'm always learning and thankfully that will never end : ) I am blown away by people's creativity!
- I still consider myself an artist first and foremost, and want to remain that way. That will keep priority as there is so much more I want to create. I have ideas pouring out of my ears and some days it drives me mad!
Do you teach? Are you a sewing-class-aholic? What's your feedback on your experiences?
WIP Wednesday @ TN&TN - since teaching is what I'm workin' on. : )