Sunday, February 22, 2009

How it feels to teach a crochet class-Part Two

As I ended yesterday, I finished by recounting that: I had to hear from the truly lovely secretary how much my class thought I was a "terrible teacher"...yes, even the lady who was from my beginner class now was disgusted with me. But my story doesn't end here! Part two tomorrow....
So, as I was trying to process this knife-like sensation in my stomach, the sweet secretary went on to tell me that I could just go on home and that I would be hearing from the lady who hired me soon. It is probably needless to say, but I sobbed all the way home. I went over and over what I had done wrong to these people to deserve such cold treatment and of course, I already pictured my immediate firing. I prayed for God to give me the right words when I called the office the next morning, but no one answered nor did they call back that day. Time seemed to tick backwards, and when I called the following day, the lady who I spoke with, in charge, I will call "Cindy", said that I would be receiving disciplinary action but they weren't sure what it would be at that point. The same day I received a copy of a complaint filed by the "sweet lady who did bead crochet". It was chock full of venom, and basically she tore me to shreds not about the granny square issue, but the prior episode where the directions for the pattern were wrong, I hadn't caught it earlier, so I said that we should scrap that and move onto another topic and I would research the problem, that was a true shocker to me. But, ok, now I had to accept and move on from here, make this a learning experience, and not dwell on the negative. I felt I should be grateful that I wasn't fired, and I was(am), and ask for and gladly accept whatever the "consequences" were for this debacle.
The remainder of the month, (yes, that is the time table this had taken on) I worked on other aspects of my life, my online business websites, etc...had taken a backseat to the crochet course, so I began to upgrade my sites, take on and complete new projects,began studying for web designing so I could create another website entirely on my own. Finally the word came, I was to take a class at BOCES and observe another instructor and how they taught...I had choices and I chose knitting. I really enjoyed it and what I learned besides some neat knitting techniques were as follows: this instructor was confident and authoritative but flexible-I wanted to mirror that more so than I thought I was. I also learned that I was teaching enough content, that it was perfectly acceptable to work on the concepts that I had in my class syllabus, and not go any further for students that felt that they "had this" and are/were impatient to move on when the majority clearly did not "have this". The students who excelled could look over materials that I always brought with me, or they could work on projects that they had been encouraged to choose themselves. Overall, this very frightening experience turned into a positive one.
In March, I will be taking a correspondence course offered though the CGOA (Crocheter's Guild of America) to become a "certified" crochet instructor. I know that for me, I need to have that extra confidence that the certification will bring. I have taught several classes successfully at BOCES since this incident, however, I have never been able to fully put the feeling of trauma/fear/distrust past me yet, but I am working on it and I keep on crocheting!

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