Ok so where was I? Oh yes, I taught my first lesson at the antique/bead shop last night. I had a wonderful time, and I can't believe I actually got paid to do it! First of all the shop is actually this huge, beautiful, pink Victorian house that is richly decorated and full of the most beautiful antiques you have ever seen. I'm not the best writer in the world, but I'll try to describe the evening as best I can.
She walked me into the kitchen that is equally as exquisite as the rest of the house. This is where they serve tea throughout the day, and one wall has shelves full of the different gourmet teas that they offer. They carry so many different types of tea that you could probably have a different flavor for every day of the month, and they create this wonderful scent in the kitchen adding to the pleasant experience. She tells me this is also where classes are held. What? Isn't that just awful?! I have to teach a class and spend two hours in this comfy, fabulous kitchen surrounded by delicate china and sweet smelling teas. Then you are going to pay me for my trouble? Ask me later how to act completely professional on the outside while jumping up and down, doing happy dances, and squealing like a teenager on the inside. Maybe I should teach a class on that.
My student showed up and we all sat around the table sipping tea from intricately patterned antique teacups (yes the woman even served us some of the gourmet tea. can you say spoiled!) and discussed all that the session would entail. I like to sit and chat for a bit so that I can find out what my student's goals are. Some students only want to learn the knit stitch to make scarves, while some want to learn anything and everything they can. I get way more excited about the latter. This student's main goal is to learn the skills necessary to create preemie hats and booties to donate to hospital where she works. I liked her right away.
Do you think I'll be going back? You bet your patooty I will be! As a matter of fact we have already scheduled a class for this Saturday. I told her to practice her knitting and purling all week long and to start looking for patterns she would like to make. I'm convinced that she'll be knitting hats in no time. She is a fast learner and very enthusiastic which makes all the difference.
Inez asked for advice on how to get started teaching knitting classes. I'm not sure if this is how everyone goes about doing it, but this what I did. After I gained confidence in my abilities I went to my local craft store and inquired if they had a knitting teacher. I brought in examples of my work and a copy of a basic syllabus I wrote up. I joined a yahoo group for knitting teachers, and did some research online and in books. I had already taught several people how to knit successfully so I was confident that I could at least teach the basic classes. After getting more comfortable with teaching, I began to offer other types of classes like pattern reading, cables, and most recently a design your own poncho class. The way I see it is that if you can do it, you can teach it. The most important thing to remember is have patience! Also, the Craft Yarn Council of America offers a Certified Knitting Instructor program that you can complete in a Correspondence Program. I hope this helps :)