Do you teach weaving?
Do you teach weaving? I'm a new weaver but an old teacher - I have been teaching (adults, in graduate and undergraduate university programs) most of my adult life. I have always wanted to weave and finally took my first weaving class last June. I love weaving, but I did not love my class. Now that I've been lurking on this and other weaving sites, I have some advice for teachers of weaving, and also for students - especially new students - looking for someome to teach them.
Learn to teach. It is not a natural ability. You are probably a master weaver and rightly proud of it. How did you learn? Teaching is at least as difficult as weaving, and because the set of skills required is so very different, it may be harder for you to learn. Recognize that your ability to weave has very little to do with the ability to teach and prepare accordingly. Don't presume to teach until you have learned how. It may never happen that you will be as good at teaching as you are at weaving, but they should at least be in the same neighborhood.
Change your prepositions. Do not teach "to" or "for," teach "with." Especially if your students are adults, they should be active and talking, not passive and silent. Do not teach "down from." Everyone agrees that you are a better weaver than your students. You don't have to keep proving it, and especially you don't have to keep reminding your students that they are novices and you are an expert.. Nothing undermines learning like low self-efficacy.
Don't compete. There will be things your students know more about than you. In my class, for example, someone was incredibly knowledgeable about goats. We could all have learned a lot, if only that person had been allowed to share the spotlight now and then. The classroom is not a stage and you are not Anthony Hopkins.
Manage your time. Allow extra tme for everything, and have a backup plan if you don't need the time.
Avoid comparisons among students. Never, never, never single out a student for public criticism, or compare one student unfavorably with another. Your class is a family for as long as it lasts, and they should be unified, not divided. Ideally, they make you a member of that family, but that's up to them and you must earn it.
Normalize mistakes. Everyone makes them, even you. Mistakes make teachable moments, so take full advantage, and spend equal energy describing how to get out of the current dilemma as you do describing how to prevent it from happening.
Do one thing at a time. If you are teaching, teach. Don't work on your own projects, talk on the telephone, clean closets, or skein yarn.
Love what you are doing or don't do it. No amount of money is worth doing something that drags you down.
Thanks for listening. Maybe some others have suggestions, too?