Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Taking Or Giving Classes??? Wise Up Here!!!!

Dana has been asked to teach a class and when she saw my post last night about a not so great class I took, she asked me for some tips. I am not an expert and the only classes I ever gave were as a GS leader back in the 80's (I was the craft lady at Day Camp) and playing around at my SIL's with her kids and nephews. But I take a lot of classes-some for the ideas, and some for the socializing. It also helps to get the juices going when you are in a rut-plus the 10% off class day is an okay thing too. Believe me, I never pay retail-could I be part Jewish? Or would the Jewish community think I was a lightweight? It's the Scot in me a wee bit, I think.

So some rules---as a teacher or demonstrator.

  1. Show up prepared. If you are teaching something, don't read the directions to yourself and try to figure it out as we are all staring at you with mouths agape. At least read the directions and put together the card, book, page, whatever once on your own-before class!
  2. If you are using a prepacked kit, know what is in it, what each thing is for, and have some extra parts in case we make a mistake--and we will, believe me.
  3. Know how to speak English unless you are doing a class for a group who does not speak English.
  4. Don't hold up the class because so and so said she might come. If she hasn't paid you, she ain't coming. If she has paid you and said she will be late, don't penalize the other 9 ladies who are on time or maybe early by screwing up our time table for the afternoon.
  5. If you allotted 2 hours and find yourself way behind, don't rush thru the rest of the class and make us feel bad. If a card is taking so long, you need to rethink how you got the idea across for next time. But admit to the class takers its taking a long time, and ask us how to handle it. Some of us may be open to staying longer and others may have a sitter at home they need to get to. Don't just tell us to hurry up because you have another class right behind us.
  6. Don't smoke, don't eat, don't drown yourself in perfume before the class.
  7. Hang up the phone or get someone else to answer it-we paid for your undivided attention.
  8. If you are sick, stay home and reschedule the class. I don't need your germs. And if you have a sub teacher----for god's sake, make her open the paper packs before hand so she knows what she is doing. Don't have your teenage daughter do it for you. Hire someone who does this as a rule.
  9. Do know that you will have different levels of experience in your class. Some newbies, so middle of the pack and some who will know more that you do (and may tell you they do, so be nice and roll your eyes so they can't see but I can :).
  10. If we are sharing inks, powders, stamps etc, make sure there is an even distribution at the table. If you only have one ink pad for the entire table or one stamp image, it gets crazy. Also have some of the class supplies on hand to BUY or offer a special order if you can.
  11. Enjoy yourself-if you aren't happy, then we aren't happy and why are you doing this anyways? Tell your students thanks for coming-and you hope they were happy too.

Now taking classes is a whole other ball of wax-or pad of ink or pot of powder. I love taking classes if they are fun and informative and I have happy people around me. Here are some rules for the students.

  1. Show up at least 10 minutes early and take your place at the table and get ready. Go potty now! (this one is for me-potty queen)
  2. Turn off the cells, say hi to all of us and don't hold places. Some of the students may be lefties and need to be on the ends otherwise you may get an elbow when you least expect it.
  3. If the class sheet said to bring your own stuff-like glues, scissors, pens, anything like that--and they usually say at least bring your own fav adhesive-bring it. Don't borrow mine. I may not be able to get mine at the place if I run out-and I am very picky about my glues and tapes- go buy a new one if you forgot or better yet, bring your stuff from home.If you are interested in what I am using, ask me after class and if the store carries it. I know the stores I like inside and out-isn't that sad?
  4. We need to start the class on time, so don't ask to hold up for so and so. I have an hour's drive for most classes and need to get home before night time. So and so may not show up and then we are all behind. If she is late, she can make up or catch up or we can show her what to do.
  5. No perfumes, no smoking, no eating at the table. If you smoke, air yourself out before you come inside. Allergies are not fun, neither is asthma.
  6. Pay attention-if you don't understand the directions, ask. Don't be gossiping and not listening, so the teacher is saying the same thing over and over just for you. She is rolling her eyes behind your back and others are laughing at your childishness. Pay attention.
  7. If you are really confused--maybe the class needed a pre-req for you. Don't take the most complicated classes if you don't know what embossing is or how to heat set ink. Work yourself up thru the classes so you educate yourself to the stamping/scrapping/paper crafting. We all started at the bottom and did the scut work. Most of us are still learning everyday, so its not a bad thing to admit you are clueless.
  8. If you make a mistake, say so. Ask politely if there are any extra pieces so you can make your mistake work. If not, work around it and make a note of what went wrong and then buy some extra paper. You can always redo it at home, practicing until its right. Remember, there are no bad crafters, we all make boo boos and can usually redo it later. I have a whole bucket of boo boos. Some are actually on my blog at times.
  9. Tell the teacher thanks by a verbal thank you and shopping where you are taking the class. Small indy stores are almost a lost breed these days. At least buy a few items, because they usually have stuff you wont find in the big box stores or chains. Most give you a discount for taking a class anyways. 10 % or more off for that one of a kind stamp is way cool. And if you are looking for an oddity, ask and you may be surprised that they will say to shop at so and so's site or store.
  10. When you are checking out, know what you are buying before hand, pay and move on. There are 9 of us behind you wanting to pay, so don't say take this off my bill and add this, then say put this back on, or hold this for later. Move on and gossip when we are all done and gone--and don't go back to the class room and rifle thru our extra stuff from class instead of buying your own.
  11. Stay home if you're sick. I don't want your germs.Ask to have your class items set aside for you (homework!) or maybe reschedule for another class.

ETA-here are two more tips from Jacki " for student rules. Thanks Jacki!

  • Don't try to out-teach the teacher. If she needs your advice, she will ask.
  • Don't talk about what this store or business doesn't have. Teachers are to highlight what the store/business does have.

    So there's some of my rules-anyone want to add on? Post away and let Dana and both teachers and students know what to do or what bugs you about taking and teaching classes. Mostly Dana, have a good time. The first class will be the hardest, but you will be happy you did it.


    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Did I say Thank You?!
      This is quite helpful Jan. I'm going to link to this post on my blog. It might be helpful if the entire WORLD read it!

      Another question: If the class were NOT in a store, or related in any way to a particular brand or company, would you still be willing to pay for the supplies for each card/project?
      I'm teaching at a BOCES school, and am concerned with making students pay for the supplies (yet I don't want to foot the bill on my own!). How much is a reasonable cost? Any ideas?

    2. I LOVE this, it is the Commandments of Class taking and giving.

    3. Evelyn12:13 PM

      Great rules for both teachers and students. Thanks for sharing.

    4. Great tips. I've taught and taken classes.

    5. Anonymous2:19 PM

      This list is great. You get your point across by being direct and with humor. TFS.

    6. This is fantastic! I appreciate seeing things from a customer's point of view. I hold a lot of classes, and it's good to see what people think of different situations! I will definitely take this into consideration in future planning. Thank you so much for posting this!

    7. Those are great tips - I teach at a Stampers' 6, but have never taken any classes. I'd like to though. Thanks for putting together all this info.

    8. This is so awesome. Mind if I put a link to it on my blog?
      Hunker down for this Michigan weather today looks like it's going to be a doozie. Awesome blog and congrats on winning the TJ giveaway! How Cool.

    9. This post was fantastic! Every stamp store should have this posted as the class commandments!


    Thank you for stopping by and sitting a spell with me and mine. I hope you take away a smile!