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Thread: What advice do you have for a new quilting instructor?

  1. #1
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    What advice do you have for a new quilting instructor?

    I may be getting a new part time position teaching some beginning quilting classes.

    I have taught before, and I have quilted for over 35 years, but I haven't taught quilting before.

    What advice do you have for a new quilting instructor?

    What have other quilting teachers done that you did NOT like, or appreciate?

    What have other quilting instructors done that you really liked?

    Not sure exactly what I am looking for, but any kind of advice you can give!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Personally I think one of the worst things you can do as an instructor is tell people there is only your way of doing things. Eventually everybody will find several methods of doing things and may find a method better than the one you taught as the only way and in the end that just makes you look bad. It's much better if you tell your students there are several ways of doing ______ and this is the way I do it and why.

  3. #3
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    I have been fortunate to have such good mentors. Their one common element is that they are genuinely nice people with a ready smile. I love to walk into a quilt shop with a class going on and hear all the chatter and laughter. So, my advise would be to relax and have fun. Model for you students the joy of working side by side, the satifaction of doing a new skill for the first time, and the frustration of making the same mistake 3 times in a row. This is a beginning quilt class, if you can share the joy of quilting, they will be happy to know that there is a life-time of learning ahead.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    Demonstrate good techniques, answer questions, and try to get them to start small so they'll have a finished project to be proud of.

  5. #5
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I agree with Scissor Queen, that there are lots of different ways to do things and not every way works for everyone.
    Also don't assume that they will know things. My first teacher went right through the most basic things like tying a knot on the end of your thread. We did a sampler quilt with a different technique in every block, starting with a 4 patch. It also included a little curved piecing, applique and triangles. Gave me the confidence to think almost any pattern was achievable.
    Good luck and have fun
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  6. #6
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    Make sure you provide good clear written instructions, that the students can use, over and over again, when you are long past the rear view mirror.....
    Don't play favorites in the class, everyone else will feel slighted.
    Don't allow click (small social group) conversations, that is so distracting from everyone else....
    Speak clear and carefully so everyone in the room (front row to back row) can hear you....
    Have examples to show ....what to do and WHY....what not to do and WHY....a lot of people are visual learners.
    IF you are comfortable give out your phone number or perhaps your email address for followup questions....
    Stay after class for questions.....
    Make sure you enforce the concept of enjoying what you are doing and to have fun with quilting....
    It is not a science...but a craft, that will be learned over a period of time...
    Enforce there is a learning curve, students will make mistakes, expect it , embrace it and move on......
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    All of the above, and...
    Don't assume that the student knows something, even if it seems very basic to you.
    Don't encourage sloppy habits, but do be encouraging of the student's efforts - sometimes hard to do both at once.
    Prepare some good handouts. Students can't absorb everything in class and will appreciate having something at home to refer to.
    Tell the students about local guilds and quilt shows to fuel their new quilting habit.
    Recommend some good books on basic quilting, and if possible bring your copies with you so the students can look through them during class.
    You will probably have one student who is (pick one type) know-it-all/down-in-the-dumps/talkative/grumpy/unprepared. Try to keep that person from ruining the class for everyone else.

    Good luck with your teaching. Quilt classes are almost always fun, and sometimes what you learn isn't exactly what you came to learn, but it still counts.

  8. #8
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    Great Advice everyone! Keep them coming!

  9. #9
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    If the students are paying for the class, to you or the quilt shop, they deserve your attention. I have been in classes where the instructor also was running the store. She left to wait on customers. Other times, the instructor had friends stop in and she visited with them. The students are paying for your time.
    Jean in MI

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    On one of my classes the teacher knew all the students and would discuss other things with them, which was ok since I was paying more attention to my work. The worst part was that she did not use the same supplies as us that were listed on the class supply list. She used a product that was easier, MUCH easier to use but failed to tell us before the class started (and she had weeks). We all struggled. Needless to say, that was the last class I took with her. I am still not sure I will go back to that outfit altogether.

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