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On Knitting and the Teaching thereof

So, I've been beginner's classes at Urban Arts for about a year now.  Recently, through duendegrrl I got the opportunity to teach a free class at a local library.  I thought'd be a good experience and a way to get some more interest in my classes at the store - or personal lessons. Last night was the class (which depsite my planning, I almost completely forgot about) and at the last minute I was informed that I had 23 people signed up for the class.  All 23 of them showed up.

It was a pretty big undertaking.  I was a little nervous teaching to that many, since my usual classes are about 6 or 7 people.  And on the whole, after having a night to think about it, I think I did a pretty good job.  Everyone left with at least a small basic knowledge of how to get the yarn onto the needles and how to do something with it once it's there.  However, as to be expected with that many people, it was extremely unruly, and at many times suffered from a group mentality break-down where people fed off each other's negativity and it slowed down everyone's progress.  And that sort of slow-down is really hard to come back from.

I'd like to do some free Intro classes again in the future, but with some more definite ground rules next time.  Like no more than 10 people at a time.  And no one under the age of 15.  Younger kids can learn, but without some dedicated attention, it's really hard.  I had both a 10 and 12 year-old last night, and the 12 year-old would've gotten it if I'd had more time to spend with her.  And, if the whole thing does mean a few more people pick up classes at the store, then it was worth it.

Although I think next time, I want to do it when I can work from home the following day as well.  I'm really really sore and tired today from standing and bending and generally not being nice to my body for three hours without a break.  Also, I'll have to remember not to work out before hand, because really didn't help matters at all.


( 7 felicitations — Felicitate Me )
Jul. 15th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Holy cow! 23 people! Congrats on surviving the class... limiting the class size definitely sounds like a good idea (and will hopefully dissuade any parents who might think free class = free babysitting. Not saying that the parents of the under-12s were necessarily thinking that; I'm just aware that some people might.) Or maybe you could have separate, smaller classes for younger people who want to learn to knit... I imagine you could tailor the class to meet their (potentially short attention span) needs and spend more time with each student.

Hope you feel better soon, and hope your classes continue to be successful!
Jul. 15th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
You are totally awesome! I think that's fantastic you got a chance to try a class with that many people and survived it. Congrats! :) *big hugs*
Jul. 17th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
I think it's awesome you teach knitting to those. Especially having a free into class. :)

I know NOBODY personally that knits and I've been doing it since I was 9. I've never thought to seek out a knitting club, mainly because I doubt there would be anybody there my age and the cost...

Have you ever considered teaching a crochet class on top of that too, or is that not your forte?
Jul. 17th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
You should definitely look for a group or meet up in your area. On you on Ravelry.com? That's a great place to find meetings in your area.

I'm not a crochet person, but one of these days I want to take a crochet class to get better at it.
Jul. 17th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
I've never heard of that site before...

And is it just American, or Canadian too?

Crocheting is quite easy, and really flexible, the only thing is, it can use way more yarn than knitting because the crochet stitches use more windings. Only downside, it's hard on the fingers and wrists from holding the yarn for tension purposes.
Jul. 17th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
Oh, you totally need to join up at Ravelry then. It's not a meet up really. It's for Knitters and Crocheters to find patterns, track their own work, find yarn, and there's groups for just about anything - which is how I know you can find local people. There's like three groups just for my city. :) And it's not country specific. Ravelry.com - I'm Cherith there if you sign-up!

I know the basics of crochet, but since I've been knitting for so long, I can't really get the hang of it.
Jul. 17th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
CONGRATS!! That's a huge class. But it sounds like it might be worth pursuing.
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