Monday, September 6, 2010

What I Learned from My First Teaching Experience

I taught my first jewelry class this summer, choosing to tackle a pretty chainmaille pattern. Here’s the pattern, called Celeste:

The class was given through the Bead Society of Orange County, upstairs at the Bowers Museum. It almost made me nervous that I wasn’t really nervous! I felt comfortable with the pattern, since I’d won second place at the OC Fair this year with a necklace that included 4 sets of it. And these were women who wanted to learn it and I knew they’d be supporting me as much as I was going to support them.

Sorry, I was too busy to take pictures!

Here’s what I learned/enjoyed:

1. Don’t give out the instruction sheets until everyone is there. I gave them out as people paid and then I had folks half finished by the time the last arrivals were ready to start.

2. Instruction sheets are good. I’d done a really detailed instruction sheet with photos taken by The Husband as I made one of the sets. The photos really helped to show people one of the trickier steps of the pattern.

3. It’s fun to see the designs that people come up with.

4. It’s really satisfying to see people walk out of class wearing their creations.

5. One of our members brought her college freshman niece to the class. I didn’t realize until she’d finished her bracelet that she’d never made a piece of jewelry before. I hope that we got her started on a creative path that will bring her satisfaction and joy, just like the first jewelry class I took did.

6. Some people had no problem with the pattern and other people took a few sets to really get it. But seeing those folks “get it” was really cool. It’s delightful to give people knowledge they didn’t have before.

So now, I’m hooked on teaching. Currently, we’re having some transportation issues but when we’re a two car family again, I’m going to actively pursue more teaching. I’ve already got my next Bead Society class lined up for May 2011, teaching the Byzantine pattern! I’d better start planning my instruction sheet now!!

Do What You Love!

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