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Thread: Teaching

  1. #1
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Teaching

    I was reading another thread and i had this thought that I will share.
    When you teach a new quillter or explain a procedure, do you assume that quilter has some level of knowledge?
    Let me tell you a story about an experience in the business world that I apply to the quilting world (it can apply to all walks of life.) I went to work as an underwriters trainee at a large insurance company and was a novice. My boss (teacher) tried to teachh me the basics like I was in "high school", but I really was only in kindergarten. Almost all she was trying to teach me was way over my head. It was very frustrating, to say the least. I learned the required knowledge and became very proficient in my field, (no thanks to my boss) but the whole process was so painful and no fun.
    So when I teach, I get down to the student's level and teach from there. I am more apt to be very explicit, and not assume the student is familiar with the subject. Take pressing vs ironing. It is amazing the number of students that do not know the difference. Or the difference of straight of grain vs on the bias. That being said, I will tell the student to stop me if they already know the subject. If they say they already know, I'll ask them to explain it to me, so I know that they know.
    I try not to talk down to the student, and I use a lot of self deprecating humorous, so they don't feel stupid or inferior.
    So I ask again: When teaching or explaining a procedure, how do you effectively do that?
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME!

    Though there is a fine line between going to the bottom level of basics and starting above.
    Going too low can be insulting to the student and create a block in the learning path.

    A good teacher is able to source out the abilities and level without insult, injury and intimidation.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  3. #3
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    I just begin by talking about quilting and check in along the way that she understands.

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    Can I relate! My last job, which didn't last long because it was never intended to but I didn't know that and that is a whole other story, gave me frustration to no end. I have office experience and skills. I was placed in a position to learn skills that someone in engineering should know, and have a degree for. I was being taught the office computer part of it. But there was nothing more frustrating not knowing why I was doing what I was. No background info, no lessons, teachings, books, courses. No resources that gave me the background of the position to allow me to make sense of the computer work involved. And it isn't that I didn't ask. It was assumed I should know engineering and HVAC. I inherited the need to know why in order to get results. I am a learn by doing and watching kinda gal. So I learned this when showing others what I know. There is nothing worse than 'dumbing someone down'. I hate it when I am treated that way, I would never do that to others.
    How do you effectively teach another? By first asking what is their best way to learn. Take the frustration out of it right away.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    My pottery teacher asked everybody to introduce themselves and say what kind of experience with pottery they had. Since there were a few of us who did not even touch the clay she started from the scratch. She gave us novices more attention while letting the more experienced students practice more complex forms. While novices were working on the basics she would consult with more experienced students. She was a great teacher. I kept taking her into class for years because the advanced class was not at a good time for me. I learned something new every time even in my last class when I was confident to call myself an experienced potter.

  6. #6
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME!

    Though there is a fine line between going to the bottom level of basics and starting above.
    Going too low can be insulting to the student and create a block in the learning path.

    A good teacher is able to source out the abilities and level without insult, injury and intimidation.
    I agree whole heartedly.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    yep, people all learn things differently too. what makes sense to one may not make sense to another. I always stated things at least in two different ways. worked well.

  8. #8
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Nanacsews2, I agree with the 'dumbing down' statement, too. It is downright insulting.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  9. #9
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    My pottery teacher asked everybody to introduce themselves and say what kind of experience with pottery they had. She gave us novices more attention while letting the more experienced students practice more complex forms. While novices were working on the basics she would consult with more experienced students. She was a great teacher. I learned something new every time even in my last class when I was confident to call myself an experienced potter.
    And I'll bet you retained a lot of what you learned because of her style & patience.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  10. #10
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    yep, people all learn things differently too. what makes sense to one may not make sense to another. I always stated things at least in two different ways. worked well.
    I am a visual learner myself. Tell me and I'll retain. Very little, show me and I'll retain more, helpnme do it myself and I'll retain the most.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  11. #11
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo View Post
    I just begin by talking about quilting and check in along the way that she understands.
    Thanks for your input, gollytwo. A good way to see what their level of understanding is.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  12. #12
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I was/am the grief to many teachers in that I learn in a multiple of ways: kinesthetic [touching and manipulating things], visual, and auditory.

    That's why I don't repeat myself unless necessary but rephrase it. Having samples to manipulate helps too.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  13. #13
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Alikat, I agree that samples are priceless. Thanks for sharing.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  14. #14
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I think it's very hard for people who know something well to consider the perspective of someone who doesn't know the topic at all. Things they think are easy or clear often aren't. That's why not everyone is born to be a teacher!
    People who start projects and never finish them are cooler
    than people who never start projects at all.


    http://quiltingquick.weebly.com/blog.html

  15. #15
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Willferg, you are spot on.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  16. #16
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    I have had to "teach" most of my working life, having been a Head Chef for over 3 decades and I start by apologising to treat them like beginners, newbies, but to bear with me as I have to ensure everyone knows the basics.

    I do the same with my Patchwork classes having been to a workshop at the 1st Loch Lomond quilting exhibition in Scotland, when the Tutor starting to "assume" that we knew certain things, she realised very quickly that we didn't and kudos to her, completely changed her lesson. I took note and my first lesson is ALWAYS on how to clean and look after your sewing machine, how and when to change needles, threads etc. I am so grateful to that Lady, as my group members are now able to look after their machines.

    By coincidence I went to a talk with Dawn Cameron Dick today at a local quilters group and she said that so many people say "Oh I must buy another machine, this one isn't doing what I want to do" and she replies "Look after and keep your machine, change your needles regularly, using the correct ones according to the fabric and thread you are using, isn't that what the famous saying does "It is a poor workman who blames his tools"!

    One of the best sayings I have learnt is " Never assume"

  17. #17
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    Ability to attract students and the attitude of the teacher can't be seperated. At a LQS I had almost been talked into signing up for a beginners class on applique when
    I asked if we brought our own machines. In a shocked voice the shop's owner said, "We don't consider machine applique to be REAL applique! When you know how to do hand applique you won't HAVE to do machine applique." What a put down! And I haven't been back to that LQS since. A different attitude might have kept me interested in other classes. Or at least in their fabric.

  18. #18
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    My life list of "I make it a policy to never/always" includes to never assume anything. period! ever!
    peace

    @ QuiltingaddictUK: I really like this!

    "It is a poor workman who blames his tools"!
    Last edited by ube quilting; 10-23-2012 at 04:01 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  19. #19
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
    My life list of "I make it a policy to never/always" includes to never assume anything. period! ever!
    peace

    @ QuiltingaddictUK: I really like this!

    "It is a poor workman who blames his tools"!
    You are so right @ube quilting. @quiltingaddictuk, I am going to remember the quote about the workman. @Tanya, what an unfortunate incident at your LQS. The sad part is the person that offended you will never know that a loyal customer was lost because of her thoughtlessness.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

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