Say, Teach?

 I didn’t get my usual Fave Five posting written yesterday because I was busy packing my knitting bag and heading off to a local knitting event.  I was all signed up for a class with a nationally-known teacher and was pretty excited about the chance to learn a new technique from her.

We students all filed into the classroom, took the handouts that were offered, claimed our seats, and then it was time for class to begin.  Our teacher stood before us.

“I see that some of you have already started,” she said.  “So why don’t the rest of you go ahead and cast on 27 stitches and follow the pattern.  Oh, and knit the first row.”   She sat back down.

My tablemate looked over at me with big eyes and I looked at her.  She leaned over and whispered, “Surely she’s going to give us more direction than that, don’t you think?”

“I would hope so,” I replied.  I was wrong.

My new friend whispered, “I’m going to ask her to at least walk us through the first couple of rows.”
That’s just what she did and our instructor gave us a quick 3-5 minute explanation of the chart before us and sat down again.  Okey, dokey!  Looks like we were going to be pretty much on our own.

To give this lady her due, she DID come around if we had a question but her explanations sounded rather put out, as if she expected that we should have read about this already in her book or have already known how to do this technique.  Gosh, why did she think we were in the class?  I had the book at home.  I could have just gone on date night with my hubby and had some great Mexican food instead of sitting in class feeling frustrated.  Then I could have perused the book at my leisure.

Tablemate and I struggled along (and neither of us are beginning knitters, thank goodness) and slowly got the hang of it.  In the meantime we made like the little old men in the Muppets Show and traded comments back and forth under our breath, getting a special kick out of the over-exuberant fan who couldn’t stop gushing about a scarf she had knit up from one of this instructor’s patterns and how the symbols the designer had charted were such magical, mystical symbols and had such power.  They were obviously floating HER boat.  The rest of us were just trying to STAY afloat.

I must say, I’ve never taught a knitting class but I HAVE taken many of them.  I’m also trained as an educator.  I know what constitutes good instruction.  If you were teaching a technique that most people in the class had never done, wouldn’t you expect to at least explain a little bit about the “rules” and the desired effect?  Wouldn’t you have a few graphics to illustrate your points and go over them?  How about asking the group if there were any questions so that all the folks in the class could benefit from hearing the answers you gave?  My goodness!

After an hour of working on our little sample square, my tablemate leaned over to me and whispered, “Do you think she is going to show us anything else or are we just supposed to sit here doing this for two more hours, because if she isn’t, I think I’d just as soon head on back to the hotel and sit and knit with my friends?”

To make a long story short, that was the extent of the class so we bailed.  When some class members when on up to the front to admire some of the books she had brought, we snuck out the back.  Yup, we were bad girls but honestly, I was thinking of a lot of things that I would rather be doing on a Friday night.  Thank goodness I love to read because I can see that I’m going to be fine-tuning this new knitting technique by going over the designer’s book page-by-page.  Oy!

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • That’s terrible! And there’s always that one in the class who can’t stop gushing and makes you feel that maybe you’re missing something.

  • Aww…too bad. Some people should never be put in front of a classroom. I’m glad you had a companionable tablemate who could take some of the frustration off you.

    Hope you figure that technique out on your own! I bet you can.

  • Wow..I would have snuck out too…and probably complained and tried to get my money back! I HAVE taught some knitting classes and can’t fathom how she didn’t provide you more instruction. In my experience the beginning of the class is when you give the most time/direction. In a multisession class then MAYBE in the later classes do you hang out as people work..but not at the beginning!

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