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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Getting the most from your classes

Even though I love to teach, I also love to take classes. There is always more to learn and seeing how other instructors teach helps me be a better instructor with my students. 

Classes are meant to be fun and a chance to learn something new. There are things that we, as students, can do to help ourselves get the most from our classes. Some seem like common sense, but all of these tips are worth sharing.

  • Arrive on time (or even a few minutes early). We've all been in a class that it has started well with introductions and explanations and the class is getting down to work - and one student arrives 20 minutes late. What is the instructor to do? I know that traffic and transit can make you late and sometimes it can't be helped, but late-arrivals can fully disrupt a class especially when they demand extra attention because they are late. If you are late, please wait patiently so that instructor can keep the class going; she will catch you up as quickly as possible. In the meantime, read the instructions and help yourself become prepared to jump in with the class.
  • Come prepared. Some classes require you bring materials to the class for your project. Unless it is specified that there will be time for shopping during the class, please have the materials with you when you arrive (or arrive early to purchase them) so you can give your attention to learning.
  • Beginners - believe you can! Your instructor will do everything she can to help you learn a new technique and help keep you from being overwhelmed and frustrated.
  • Know your skills. This is especially important when a class is listed as intermediate or advanced. If you're not sure if you have the skills for the class, check with the store staff at the time you register. They are there to help; if necessary, we'll contact the instructor on your behalf to find out. It also helps to review the technique or stitch, if possible, so you are better prepared for the class.
  • Ask questions. What an instructor says and what a student understands can be two completely different things! You're there to learn and asking questions helps you learn. An instructor can explain a technique differently to help you better understand.
  • Be respectful of the learning environment. Conversation is great but it can be distracting for some students' concentration. Please don't interrupt or talk over the instructor during explanations or comment on other students' questions.
  • Be patient. With only one instructor for eight to ten students they can't be in two places at once. Be assured that your instructor will answer your questions and repeat demos as many times as needed.
  • If you have special needs or require accommodation to help you learn, please let the store staff know when inquiring about a class. We will do our best to help.

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