There have been several emails over the past few months asking for advice on teaching. Fresh from last Sunday's class at the Ink Pad, it seems a good time to begin to answer that question.
If you've taken a class with me, you may have noticed that I love to teach. I've "taught" 2 year olds all the way through to senior citizens and the common denominator is inspiration. To learn, students need to feel inspired, yes?
Thorough, and I mean OCD level thorough, preparation is really important. You can have the coolest ideas, techniques and all the inspiration in the world but if you haven't planned the pace and the explanations, your students will glaze over. You've lost them.
Listen to your Students
Your students are your divining rod. Let them lead you, not the other way around. That sounds convuluted after advising you to prepare thoroughly for your class but teaching art is an organic, creative process for me. I make sure that the points planned have been covered but there is always flexibility in my curriculum and that is where listening to your students comes into play.
If you are thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable about your subject, you can allow the creativity and skill level of your class to guide you. Sometimes reigning back on techniques and pushing forward in experimentaion. This varies from student to student so you'll need your track shoes.
Teaching art is exhilarating. The world really needs fabulous teachers so let's support that. I'm adding a new category on this topic so it will come up from time to time. Questions and tips are welcome and will add to the pool of resources here.
I'll go into more detail about each of these three topics over time. PS: I took these photos at the tacket stitch class on Sunday. They are all student work.