These days my regular work week in the yarn store is Tuesday to Saturday, and one of my semi-regular Saturday afternoon gigs is to teach the knitting classes. I figure that now that I've taught my third Beginners Knitting classes, and one Intermediate Knitting class, I can accurately describe myself as a Knitting Teacher. I teach, therefore I am (one, that is).
It's tiring, as the class is 3 hours of being 'on', but we limit the class to 10 people and that's much more manageable than trying to teach a huge group. I get to spend plenty of time with each person and demonstrate the techniques one on one. Bringing the Magic of Knitting into their lives from my evangelican pulpit.
I used to teach people how to use bookkeeping software years ago, and enjoyed the one on one tutoring, but I was a little hesitant to start teaching a group. Despite indicators to the contrary (ie: blogging) I'm not normally one who enjoys the spotlight. (I prefer the Left of Centre to the Centre of Attention.)
But I'm loving it. We hand out feedback forms at the end of each class and my students have been most generous in their praise. Sometimes it pains me to see that some people struggle to get it, but hand/eye coordination is just not some people's bag. It become obvious that some have never attempted anything creative before, and are not brilliant with the fine motor skills that come with any form of art or craft.
On the other hand the rewards can be amazing. I taught my first intermediate class last weekend and 3 of my students from a previous beginners class were there. (Puffed up with pride would pretty much cover it.) Then today I had a really fun group that included one young woman who was intellectually disabled (her own description).
I met her during the week when she dropped in to show me some of her first attempt at knitting, and to discuss whether I thought she'd be able to do the class. Today she came along and she did brilliantly. She already knew the basics of the knit stitch, but I taught her how to cast-on, purl and cast off. At the end of the class she must have thanked me at least half a dozen times, and she couldn't wait to get home and show her family how much more she'd learnt.
Actually it's her I needed to thank, because it made for one of the most rewarding afternoons I've ever had at work.