Teaching

So I was really nervous before the first class I taught.  It was for a little girl's dress called the Gracie Dress.  It was for the tiered top (view C).



I've never been to a class like this, so to teach one was unnerving.  I didn't know what protocol or procedure was so I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants.  Only two women attended the class so it was up close and personal.  By the end of the three hours though, I realized it wasn't as scary as I had thought.

The last class I taught though was the hardest one.  It was for the Bellanca Bag.


It was a complicated class to teach and still not having a lot of experience under my belt, the class didn't go very well.  Only one woman out of seven came close to finishing it, and she came with it halfway done!  I've arranged for a makeup class next week for those who didn't finish it, but one woman can't attend and she had the most trouble.

I invited her over to the alteration shop yesterday so I could go over a few things with her and she gave me the most helpful advice I've ever received.  She's attended a lot of classes over the years, mostly quilting classes, and told me what has been the most helpful for her.  She was so understanding that I'm a new teacher and was so willing to give me constructive criticism.

Her pointers:

  • Introduce the whole pattern and then explain the steps they'll be doing.
  • Start with the first step and explain in detail what they should do, demonstrating if necessary.  Then move through each step doing the same thing.
  • Stop the whole group for pointers at certain places, even if not everyone is to that step yet and explain what's needed.
  • Don't assume anyone understands the pattern.  If I had difficulty with certain steps, others certainly will.
It all seems so logical now that she's pointed them out, but at the time it didn't occur to me.  So next Wednesday for the makeup class, I'll be armed with a newfound knowledge.  I could feel silly that I didn't do a good job and didn't know how to teach, but I'd rather chalk it up to experience and move forward, grateful for the advice.

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