Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teacher, Teacher

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.  ~Gail Godwin

At the library Gala a couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to the teen librarian as "a knitter." When I corrected my introducer that I was a cross-stitcher and general crafter, the teen librarian perked up; "we have a craft group, if you ever want to come teach." And since I was halfway into my cosmopolitan, I volunteered to teach cross-stitch. "I could teach a cross-stitch bookmark since it's for the library!" A few weeks later I got the call, and next Tuesday I'll be holding forth in front of a couple of teens. (Over the summer they had about a dozen kids, but reports are the numbers have declined because of sports and other after school programs.)

I have written to Heather Holland-Daly (monsterbubbles) and she has consented for us to use her patterns. We're using the Three Bracelets pattern and stitching on perforated paper.

I've gathered all the materials we'll need: paper, floss, patterns, needles, and scissors. I've made a list of ideas I need to teach:
  • Stitching on perforated paper: smooth side
  • Start in center
  • "Rules"--no knots; top-down
  • Show how to make the ex
  •  Show how to anchor the thread
I'll be searching for a good diagram for making the cross, and for how to start and end stitches.

I've got the three-fourths theater sewn up, so how's my preparation? (I have to tell you I've done a lot more prep already for these two weeks than for the three times per week for three weeks teaching an intermediate project to Polish speakers.) Any other ideas?


ArchangelDecker said...

What about neatly trimming the back and making sure the threads are tucked under correctly?

Congrats on the teaching gig! :)

Miss Quoted said...

good I dea on the back and tucking ..it's simple, but no one ever taught me... You will be an excellent teacher!

Kathryn said...

If there is time, some thoughts on creativity and color? Ask them about changing one color on the design and how that effects all the other colors.

BTW, I have that book, too.

Real Live Woman said...

I'll be interested in hearing how it goes - good luck! I've just volunteered to help out my daughter's brownie troop and one thing I'm hoping to teach them this year is the basics of cross stitch. I think starting on perforated paper instead of fabric is a great idea.

Don't forget to tell them that all of the Xs need to be crossed in the same direction. This is something my -year-old has trouble with - may not be as big of a problem with teens.

Mary said...

Fun! I taught beginning cross stitch at a local store - it's great to share. The British cross stitch magazines have clear diagrams that might work as models for you

Annemarie said...

How exciting! I don't know if there will be many colour changes in the project you're teaching (but since it's a Monster Bubbles design, I'm guessing there will be plenty), it might be handy to teach them how to carry threads at the back without the thread forming loops, or showing through the fabric/paper.

riona said...

Love that book ... and I am sure the designs in it will appeal to teens.

Meredith said...

How nice of you! It is great that you are going to teach this class - can't wait to hear all about it. I like the idea of talking to them about changing up the colors (I never "knew" that was a possibility until just a few years ago and it's really made stitching more fun for me as now I personalize by color or changing smalls motifs or wording....) Also, maybe some blogging tips for them while you're at it! Love reading your blog. I think this is the first time I've commented. Have fun!!

Adrienne Martini said...

You seem fairly well prepared to me. I *love* that quote, tho. And since my lectures lately are, like, 7/8ths theater, I'm probably not the best to ask about prep.

Kathy said...

Good luck with the class. I'm sure you will be fine.

Miriam said...

You sound like you're very prepared. A few more preparations and you will be over-prepared!

I had a slight panic attack reading about all the tips and tricks I never thought of ... I think I need to back a little off being a perfectionist on crafts I don't even do.

Alice said...

When I showed a friend how to stitch, one tip I had was to keep floss length manageable. Less chance for knotting up, twisting and fraying. It sounds to me like you are perfectly ready. Have fun!