The Frantic Teacher
I've been asked to teach a class on hand piecing to one of my quilt groups and I reluctantly said yes. I don't feel I'm a particularly effective teacher. I've experienced good teachers - teachers who inspire and excite as well as inform - and unfortunately I don't feel that's me. I struggle with articulating my methodology to others in what I do. I know how to do what I do I just can't figure out how to explain it to others. It's frustrating really. It's not that I'm shy or inhibited in a crowd. I'm definitely not. I can speak to anyone, anytime. But when I'm put in the situation of having to instruct, I turn into a babbling idiot. It's embarrassing.
I do believe that teaching is a skill and to some degree it's a matter of practising that skill to learn and improve. But I also think GREAT teachers are born. There are those individuals who effortlessly deliver instruction and in doing so accomplish not just the transfer of knowledge but also teach in a way that leaves their students wanting more. They imbue excitement and curiosity and leave their students enthused about what they just learned. THAT'S the kind of teacher I want to be. But first I have to learn how to instruct how A goes into B without sounding like a two year old putting together their first sentence - heavy sigh....
So I'm in the process of putting together a simple lesson plan with practical application so I'm not just speaking to the students but also getting them to do something as well. Especially when teaching a skill such as sewing I think you really have to get the student to apply the theory to the practise. My husband, who has been a teacher for years and is gifted (no I'm not just prejudious in this because he's my spouse...he is really good) has graciously agreed to be my student geiney pig and let me practise on him. The poor man doesn't know what torture he's in for.