I have so much to learn.
And I’m always open to suggestions on how I can do a better job, or what would have helped students more.
I will never be the one to think that I know it all --- but I admit, in my desire to give students options to choose from, sometimes it makes it harder for them TO choose---
Smith Mountain Morning is a very involved class. It’s specialty-ruler-heavy ---Easy Angle, Companion Angle, Tri-Recs --- and the way the pattern is written in the book, you find out in one paragraph on the first page that I used these rulers and 3 1/2” strips and 2” strips to do the units in the quilt. But the book also gives “regular” rotary cutting directions for those who don’t have access to these rulers.
The class supply list doesn’t say to cut out the whole quilt ahead of time –and I have edited the supply list to say that there is SOME cutting that can be done ahead of time for those who want to cut --- they can come with 3 1/2” strips of blue and brown and neutral, and some 2” strips of blue and brown ---but that this is a 6 hour class, and that should be enough to get them started and keep them busy for a while. They can bring fat quarters and other yardage to cut into as time allows.
My biggest fear is that someone will spend hours cutting their valuable fabric ---only to find that if they had waited for the demo they would have done it better, done it differently if they had seen the demo first.
And there-in lies my quandary. How much cutting is enough? How do I give folks options without it being too much information?
Do I put a warning on the class supply list --- Do not cut triangles first unless you have experience using these? I don’t want someone cutting with the stitching line as their cutting line as has happened in the past and have all of their triangles too small.
I don’t want someone cutting all the regular rotary cut measurements – piles of 3-7/8” squares --- only to find that if they had waited, and tried the ruler method that they could have used 3 1/2” strips and been happier with the technique and the results.
How can I be a better teacher allowing people to think things through for themselves and choose the best option that works for them? This is something I worry about all the time.
There are evaluation sheets given to the students, filled out at the end of class in triplicate, and I receive my copy of each evaluation at the end of class. Of course, they are anonymous – and they can all be wonderful and praiseworthy and make me feel really good until I get to the ONE that says “Should have had better pre-cutting directions”.
But there are reasons why I didn’t?
So this is a thoughtful post this morning ----I realize that I have a long way to go to being the confident teacher that I would love to be ---
But at the same time I do believe I gave it my all – and we had a wonderful time and the quilts that are coming out of this class are going to be so great!
Today! MYSTERY CLASS!! So guess what?! There won’t be a lot of pictures because this one is appearing in Quiltmaker Magazine in the fall ---
We will still wave at you – there just won’t be a slide show to go with it ;c)
Have a super Saturday everyone!