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Thread: Another dilemma in taking classes

  1. #1
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    Another dilemma in taking classes

    After just reading the thread about taking classes & the instructor focusing on one or two top students (or friends), I've had just the opposite experience. I've been in a cpl. of classes with people who didn't even know how to thread a needle. A handsewing needle. Never did understand why they were even there.

    I have taught classes in other hobbies including some quilting & because I tend to catch onto things fast & am good with my hands, I sat quietly working on the project (English Paper piecing) til the instructor noticed I was working ahead. Instead of recognizing my experience & letting me go, she made sarcastic remarks because I wouldn't stay behind with the nonsewers. Didn't make sense & was embarrassing.

    If I had held back I would have had to just sit there doing nothing. Everybody was working at different levels but most weren't interested in learning what was being taught. It wasn't a paid class but a grp. of friends.

    How would you have handled this?

  2. #2
    Junior Member Liz92B's Avatar
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    being Canadian, would have apologized for being too advanced ... {snicker}
    Liz / Calgary

  3. #3
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    Was the friend/instructor trying to be funny - and maybe that was her way of recognizing that you were ahead of everyone else?

    Overall, it sounds like it was a frustrating way to have spent some time. The only thing I would suggest is to avoid that group for a 'class'

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz92B View Post
    being Canadian, would have apologized for being too advanced ... {snicker}
    good one!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz92B View Post
    being Canadian, would have apologized for being too advanced ... {snicker}
    HaHa! I busted a gut reading your post Liz! Thanks for the laugh!

  6. #6
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    My response I realize is going to sound awful but honestly I would have left. When my fun gets ceased I'm done for the day!! Quilting is fun and when you get together is supposed to be fun, challenging or just go with the flow yet so many people make it competitive and try really hard to make someone else feel inferior. I love this board because when there is a "bad seed" in quilting you can always come here and it's a total support system of positive reinforcement!!!
    *Rachel*

  7. #7
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Was the friend/instructor trying to be funny - and maybe that was her way of recognizing that you were ahead of everyone else?

    Overall, it sounds like it was a frustrating way to have spent some time. The only thing I would suggest is to avoid that group for a 'class'
    No, she wasn't trying to be funny. This was my first encounter with this particular woman so we didn't know ea. other. I just wanted to know how to do EPP which I had never heard of before that. I do think twice before committing to classes there now to see how serious anybody else is about it. It's very frustrating when I really want to learn something though.

  8. #8
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz92B View Post
    being Canadian, would have apologized for being too advanced ... {snicker}
    Giggle, Giggle!!
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  9. #9
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    My goal in classes is basically to learn something new, so the instructor should not be insulted if I actually learn what I'm supposed to and then leave her to give attention to those folks who need more instruction. I'm always friendly and appreciative, but when I'm done I'm done. And because I'm Canadian I thank the instructor profusely as I leave.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  10. #10
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I'm always a little skeptical about taking classes for the reasons mentioned. I find "googling" will give me videos, etc that I can watch at my own pace and usually accomplish what I needed.

  11. #11
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I think I just would have 'very politely' said something like, "I understand and can do everything you've covered thus far so I'm just quietly working on my own until you get to the next part. My apologies if I am distracting you, but I really hate just doing nothing at all." (sarcasm added to taste)
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

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    I always think of something perfect to say....later. I would have been insulted just like you at the time and simmering mad after the class. I guess you can now say you've met the Quilt Police.

  13. #13
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Wow..that is terrible. She must have felt threatened somehow by your advanced skills.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

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    Oh Pat, sorry you had an embarrassing class! I had one class with different level of students, but the person that took the cake was the one that had a brand new machine that had never been taken out of the box and she didn't have her fabrics either...... another student in that same class was very 'needy'.... she had been quilting for several years, but just didn't know how to do anything on her own. If a couple other students hadn't been 'over achievers' and helped that whole class would have been a bust..... I was really surprised when I was complimented from the students..... Next time I will know to refund the money to the ones that are not prepared or switch them to another class....

  15. #15
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Whenever I've taught anything where there were students who were way ahead of the others, I usually asked them to be my 'helpers'. Of course this may work better with elementary age kids than with adults. LOL!

    The only crafty class I've taught with adults was English Smocking and all the students were newbies and eager to learn. Really enjoyed doing it. The other adult class I've been the teacher for was a Sunday School class and I told them I was the one who asked the hard questions and we were going to be discussing the material, not me lecturing. Have done some one on one time with people wanting to learn to sew. Find that I sometimes have a hard time stepping back and letting them do it themselves.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member kountrykreation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nygal View Post
    Wow..that is terrible. She must have felt threatened somehow by your advanced skills.
    Had a similar incident, and believe the same as nygal, "she must have felt threatened somehow". I'm self taught, and decided to take a sewing class to hopefully acquire the 'right' way to do things, or at least something new. The instructor sarcasticlly asked, in front of the class, "why I was even there, taking her class?" and my reply, to learn something new, I hope! It takes all kinds.

  17. #17
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Faster or advanced sewers shouldn't bug the teacher for instruction for the next step when it's not time for the next step or sit there acting board waiting for others to catch up. If I finish a step ahead of time, I do like you, just be quiet and not be obvious. The teacher was rude. I always confront rudeness with complete silence. Saves me from saying something I may regret and it works.
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  18. #18
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz92B View Post
    being Canadian, would have apologized for being too advanced ... {snicker}
    You bet!!!! That's exactly how we Canucks would handle it!



    PatG ... often times free group get togethers are worth exactly what you paid for it!

    When deciding on a class, I do a lot of "checking" before I sign up to ensure it meets my needs, the size numbers, the leader/teacher etc. I've been to classes that were horrors, and classes that were true delights. Unfortunately, in most cases the teachers do not have a chance to screen the class members re abilities, and just have to deal with it when they get there. I empathize with them, though I do not feel it is my responsibility to jump in and assist! After all, I am there to learn as well ... and in a "perfect" world do not know what is being taught!
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  19. #19
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    After reading the threads on class disappointments I am so thankful for my LQS. I have taken several classes and only had one where the instructor could do but not teach. The owners contacted everyone after the first class, apologized profusely, replaced the teacher, added a session and had the new teacher start from the beginning. Their class descriptions state very clearly the level of ability needed to be successful including statements such as "not for beginning sewers or quilters", "confident ability with (whatever) technique needed" etc. they also give a 10% discount for anything purchased for a class but you are not required to purchase from them unless it is a kit class then the kit is a part of the class fee. It's a great place to learn. I also really get so much from my Craftsy classes and there are some amazing free instructional videos from great online teachers like Leah Day, Deb Tucker, Sharon Schambers, the Missouri Quilt Co. Ladies. Don't give up keep seeking those great learning opportunities.
    “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest”~Jesus

  20. #20
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    I took a class to do a strip Lone star and was asked before I even signed up if I knew how to sew. LOL I pretty much had an idea on how to do this, but just wanted to get together with some quilters for a while. One of the ladies taught sewing at a local school and she brought the 'Newest" machine the classes she taught would be using. She didn't know anything about it and we had fun helping her set it up and discover all the great features this machine had. And so to class... The teacher would show us what we would be doing and cut us loose to do our thing. She would help those that needed help and the question about an accurate(sp) 1/4" seams came up. Teacher said on this type of quilt (all Lone Stars) you really had to be sure the seams were 1/4". When I got some of my quilt put together, the teacher commented on how good my seams looked and how all the points ended up where they were supposed to be. I said, "yes, you really have to be sure of those 1/4" seams." Everyone was looking at my work, I looked up and the teacher was "mouthing" Thank you, so only I could see. Makes you feel good when classes go good like this and she didn't mind when I would help someone. She said she liked to do classes where she learned something, too.
    Would take any classes she teaches. And..I'm really not that good, but have made a lot of Broken Texas Lone Stars. Making one for each of my children.
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  21. #21
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    In all honesty, I'd probably have been too shocked, to say anything. Would've packed up my stuff and walked out, though.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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  22. #22
    Super Member starshine's Avatar
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    One thought I had was that maybe she uses sarcasim as her means of being humorous, there are a lot of peeps who do even when they don't know the people they are talking to. But again in her position she shouldn't be sarcastic with others especially if they don't know her or she them. My other thought is that some people are that insensitive and rude.
    the lqs around here will list what skills a person should have when signing up for a class. Perhaps the owner would want to think about listing that in the class requirements, and if someone has never even picked up a needle before; maybe they could have those that need that instruction they could meet with them sometime before the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat G View Post
    No, she wasn't trying to be funny. This was my first encounter with this particular woman so we didn't know ea. other. I just wanted to know how to do EPP which I had never heard of before that. I do think twice before committing to classes there now to see how serious anybody else is about it. It's very frustrating when I really want to learn something though.

  23. #23
    Super Member AnnieH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teddysmom View Post
    I'm always a little skeptical about taking classes for the reasons mentioned. I find "googling" will give me videos, etc that I can watch at my own pace and usually accomplish what I needed.
    Agree. Youtube is excellent too.
    I now only go to a class if the teacher has a good reputation. So sorry you had this experience. It's not you!
    Annie

  24. #24
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    I'm a New Yorker and would have told her that I HAD learned what she was trying to teach to the others and didn't need her, or her sarcasm. I am not as polite as the lovely Canadian laides... She should be grateful that you were happily "doing your thing". Better luck next time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz92B View Post
    being Canadian, would have apologized for being too advanced ... {snicker}
    Me too, but I would have carried on far ahead of the others and not returned if there was a second class. When stuff like that happens, I become a tiger.

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