Sunday, 22 January 2017

Craft workshop

day one is over.
I have eight lovely students - quite enough thank you very much.
They were very kind to me. 
Teaching adults is not the same as teaching children. You can make certain assumptions when teaching adults who choose to do a class. Yes, they will be able to count to 15. Yes, they will all know this basic term or that because a prerequisite of the class was "confidence with the knit stitch" and the term "yarn over the needle" will mean something - even if there is a need to do it in a certain way.
I had made up kits - some yarn in a bag, a folder with some notes - and more notes to be added as the weekend continues. I noted with curiosity that they all looked inside the bag. Not one of them did what my great-nephew did recently and tipped the bag upside down!
I noted which students wandered around the room and looked at the other teaching materials I had put out - and I noted how they looked at them. You can learn a lot from that. 
I am glad I took the pencil rubbers. We all make mistakes when drawing charts. 
And I have  learned a lot. It looks simple but that little "cat's paw" motif involves a lot of teaching. Was I pushing them too hard? Did they want more information or less? 
With adults you can ask these things.- and they can tell you. It is possible to go  back and explain something again to just one person  in a small group. 
And yes, I will go home and write that particular chart again. I thought I was doing the sensible thing but it turns out to be the confusing thing.
It took me almost a year - on and off - to prepare to teach this two day class. I spent time reading and knitting and then writing and drawing up charts. I wrote the instructions for two patterns. I made decisions about what I might include. I contacted two authors of books - one of whom was particularly helpful and extraordinarily willing to go that little bit further than I expected. I can repay her by making people aware of her very good book on the topic.
If I needed to teach the class again it would be much less work. The basic preparation would be done. I can make some adjustments and I might make more when I get some feedback - and feedback is important.
I don't know who is learning the most here - but I am very grateful to my students for being patient and willing to listen!


Melodye Traupel said...

I wish I were there to take your class, Cat! I know you are doing a great job.

I've tried "Cat's Paw" lace and it's hard!

USA Sister Cat

Anonymous said...


I learn at every class I teach, and on one occasion I let a student explain what I meant to a fellow student, and learned from her explanation. I also knew she had learned what I had just taught.

Jodiebodie said...

There are lots of different learning styles and that also has an effect on how well the messages are communicated. A teacher that is willing to cater for those differences will be more effective.

I love that you made the effort to make a chart. Visual learners will appreciate charts more. Verbal learners like written instructions. Those who learn well being told things (aural) will appreciate the personal instruction of attending a class. These are just some examples.
Well done. It takes confidence and personal skills to conduct a class effectively.
Knowing a subject well does not necessarily make a good teacher, as you know.

I especially love the fact that you are learning in return and not too proud for self-analysis and improvement.
Well done! :-)