So, I promised I'd write about teaching my first Polymer Clay Class for Nationwide Insurance's Jewelry Class.
Firstly, I had made plans to teach a few techniques that kinda got changed VERY last second under the advisement of Miss M. On top of that, I had about 10 minutes to rush to the conference room and set up before the class got there for the lunchtime session. (note to self: lunch classes really aren't enough time)
So, I got there and was sweaty, exhausted and worried that the change in lesson might throw me off. I started pulling out all the clay. I barely got out all the supplies before ladies started coming in. The next 50 minutes was mostly a blur, even though I had spent the week before it carefully planning witty quips and helpful pointers.
I've determind that one hour is NOT enough for a polymer clay class. If I can avoid it in the future, I'm gonna try. It's just not long enough to teach at a pace where everyone has a change to get attention. So the whirlwind class ends and I bake their beads.
Several hours later, the second class started. I had one pretty experienced polymer clay student and mostly newbies. Now this is when I started learning some valuable teaching lessons.
- If you have time, prepare pieces in various stages. So you don't have to make the items along with the students.
- Do not encourage speeders, because if they are assuming what you want them to do, they aren't listening and will most likely mess something up.
- Keep calm when adults get upset that their project doesn't look like another's....because in the end, it's the finished product that is the important thing.
- Walk around and help people. Talking and demonstrating only work until the students start using their hands. Then their ears and eyes are focused on their work, not what you're saying/doing.
- Teaching is fun, especially when someone is certain they've "messed it up", because when you get to the end and you slice open your canes, the look on their faces when it turns out great is too fun to miss.
Class 1's beads! Not shabby!!