Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From Student to Teacher

Although I woke up this morning feeling behind, I find myself looking forward to today's teaching. It's a little bit of a shift in gears, going from student to teacher (and what is a teacher but a slightly more experienced student, anyway?). I'm teaching a 55+ class at the local Parks and Recreation Department, and apparently, the same ladies sign up over and over again.

It could have gone two ways, really. One direction could have been the "I'm doing my own thing. Leave me the Hell alone," vibe. The other direction was the "We're stuck. Please help," vibe. I was lucky to get the latter.

I used last week's first session as a sort of barometer for the class. Since the last "teacher" didn't actually teach, but used the class as time to get her own stuff done, I was a definite step up. I had a warning about this before walking into class, as the previous teacher had been the same woman who taught the beginning class Mr. ShellHawk and I had taken together a few months ago, and I had a neighbor complain about the lack of teaching and leadership, too.

As might be expected, I have one hard case in class; the one who eyeballs you with stern judgment written all over her face and may or may not officially sign up for class. Depending if you prove yourself worthy, of course. I decided she'd be my best friend, instead of being offended or nervous. At the end of class, she threatened to sign up, so I guess I measure up.

On the other side of the spectrum, I have a gal who has never taken ceramics and has always wanted to. I love her! She's so open to new things and really wants to be there. I can't wait to give her some new things to do today.

I've used this week to comb the 'net for images to get them inspired. After I finish this post, there will be a bit more surfing before I head out to prep some clay for their first throwing lesson. I think housework will have to go on hold until I get home today.

Mr. ShellHawk and I are going to put our heads together to see if we can help to grow the program a little. I get paid a percentage of the registration, after kiln fees, so you can imagine with a small class that I'm probably making minimum wage, if I'm lucky. Don't get me wrong, though. I love that I get to teach what I enjoy! With any luck, word of mouth will help to get more people interested.


  1. Congratulations on your new adventure. I know with the enthusiasum that you bring to all that you do, you will be an astounding teacher.

    Looking forward to hearing how it goes! And don't let it take too much time away from making your lovely pumpkins!! Us haunters need those! :)


  2. Very VERY cool. I once took an intro-to-watercolor class. It was loaded with little old ladies. I was like "Cool. All these people are first-timers too." Then they told me they had been taking the same Intro class for years and years.

    All the best with it!
    I have a feeling you'll be great.

  3. Hope you enjoy the experience. It helps to teach something you love.

    And as someone who has spent years in adult education, I can tell you that building a rapport with your students is everything! :)


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