Previously I mentioned teaching my first ever Fiber Arts Class. Well, this past weekend that class took its maiden voyage. I certainly learned a few things with this one. It had it’s positives and negatives as most things do, in this case “negatives” are things to improve before the next teaching session where I will be presenting this in just under three weeks.
Some of my good points included having all my handouts printed and ready to go, everything together so I could easily grab one box and go and keeping my talking and instruction fairly relaxed so that I didn’t have stressed out students in the room with needles in their hands.
The biggest lesson learned was time, give myself more of it. I tried to teach this as an hour long class and that simply did not work well, it was evident in that some of my students were able to complete the project that accompanied the class, some where able to get most of the way through and others were simply unable to get past step two. I need more time to talk before we begin the project and more time to work through it so that we can all be more on an even footing. This one is going to be a 2 hour class going forward, it will give me time and if I have more at the end, I can help those who are struggling and not need to worry about hustling through clean up while also trying to assist students.
I wasn’t happy with the set up of the teaching space, I had to bounce from one group of desks to another and not all of the students were facing me, some were actually backs to me with the setup. I had briefly thought about horseshoeing the desks in the room to have everyone facing me for instruction, but I didn’t as I was too concerned with the previously mentioned time. I want all my students able to see when I am demonstrating a stitch or going over any material.
While all the handouts and materials where already together, too much time was spent with students getting a needle from the sewing needles set or breaking out the handouts to each student. I will be prepackaging sets of handouts, and supplies for the class going forward, so I just hand out one thing and have minimal misc supplies to negotiate for the students.
As a happy coincidence, I had a member of my fealty family (protege sister) in the class hanging out who was able to help punctuate certain points of my class with some of her project that she was working on. I think I am going to put together a small assortment of demo pieces to pass around and also seeking to have another person in the room with me who knows the work so that I can have someone who can jump in and help with a struggling student if I am busy helping another.
Finally, I am going to add a web URL to my handout that will go to a survey for students to score my class and suggest improvements. I don’t need to take all suggestions, but I know I have occasionally taken a class from even a very experienced teacher and seen areas that could use improvement in presentation, scope, etc. If I can make the class better for the students who take it, I want to do that.
At the end of the day, I want o have a class that people learn things from in a fun way and if they don’t learn anything new, I want them to enjoy the project they get to take home with them.
Ever onward, Ever upward,