View Full Version : Teacher HELP PLEASE? In Need Of Some Advice For Teaching a Class....
01-10-2011, 04:07 PM
I was asked to teach a tatting class last week which i am incredibly honored and sooooo excited to do...however, i told the woman i would make up a good guideline (lesson plan) of what we are going to cover/learn in order....As simple as this sounds i am finding myself "over-thinking it"....as usual...typical me.
Any how, the outline i have made up is really over kill. There are four two hr classes (one per week).
With that, said my questions are:
how should I "break up" the two hours so it doesn't get too boring, frustrating, or overwhelming for the students?
How do i divide up my time in class so i am able to help and interact with everyone?
Which do i teach first the ring or the chain? I know some teachers prefer to teach the ring first, while others prefer to teach the chain first...
Should I send them home with a pattern to practice?
MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: I am worried because i am a left handed tatter in a right handed dominant world...should i worry about this? Should i practice doing it with my right hand so the instructions aren't confusing? or does this not matter?
If you could spare some time, I could really use some advice and some guidance from both teachers and students alike... i would really, really appreciate it. :blush: thank you so much.
01-10-2011, 05:12 PM
hello - i have only been tatting for 18 months and, as yet have not run a workshop. I have, however, taught many craft and decorative painting classes. I would be happy to send you a copy of one of my lesson plans - this may help you to structure your first class. If you are interested please email me through my website www.theshoogliebrush.com. If not, good luck and, if you enjoy it, so will the students, Gill
01-10-2011, 05:34 PM
Thank you very much. I did email you, and as I mentioned in the email i don't believe that it really matters what form of art is taught....whether it be painting, needle point, sculpture, tatting ect....the main thing is the structure behind the lesson which is huge for someone like me (who has never taught any kind of art class) to learn.
Good structure = a good instructor. Thank you again very much for your generosity. I appreciate it. :)
01-10-2011, 05:49 PM
Well, as far as being left handed, it may actually be a benefit. I have read here on InTatters that lefties often learn by sitting opposite their right handed teacher. Should work in reverse just fine. For the student it's like watching a video they stop, reverse, ask questions and get answers. If you don't have more than about 4-5 students, then 2 hours should be sufficient time to go from student to student while they are trying. Try to keep time with each student just sufficient to answer their immediate question. If 2-3 students ask the same question, call a halt and do a couple minutes of lecture.
The first lesson is all about the flip. Pick a method that makes sense to you: ring, chain, finger tatting and use it to get them through the flip. The speed demons can be given tasks to keep them busy and happy, leaving you more time with the slower starters.
I find it easier to teach tatting when my students are pulling what they want out of me rather than me pushing what I think they should want to be doing. Everyone gets stuck in a different place.
Be aware that the single most common problem I have seen new tatters get into is to fail to keep tension on the shuttle thread after the flip. So I have a chart with:
1. A straight line on the left (left hand thread under tension), right hand squiggly line (right hand working - no tension)
2. A squiggly line on the left (left hand relaxed), right hand straight line (right hand under tension)
3. Both left and right have a straight line (keeping the flipped knot on the left and sliding it into position)
Step three is the most common place to have a problem.
Lighten up, have fun, this isn't brain surgery. Some students will not complete their first pieces in class. Give them some way to contact you after the class to let you know how they are doing. Try to give out information on where to go next, a local tatting guild or any guild that includes tatters, online resources (Us!), tatting videos on Youtube. As long as they can flip, they can move at their own pace.
Good luck and have fun!
01-10-2011, 05:54 PM
I have a drill where the students wrap the left hand and have the shuttle in their right hand. We go through the tensioning without even attempting to make a stitch or flip it. We just walk through the three steps on the chart a couple of times to simply feel the tension. It's all new, so isolating a known problem area really helps in the end.
Have the shuttles wound for the first lesson, they will want to dive in right away.
I guess my bottom line is start fast!
01-10-2011, 06:47 PM
In addition to any help you get on this thread I suggest you look through other threads as this is a topic that comes up every so often. There are good and not so good points to each way of teaching.
Set things up so they are easier for you, so you can monitor what is going on by a simple glance around at the student.
One thing I do suggest is to limit how many people are in the class. Especially for a new teacher the number of people you can pay attention to at any one time is limited. Some suggest no more than 2 or 3 students for a first time teacher.
Another thing to consider is the students getting thread. If you provide a few yards of two different colors of thicker thread and start with a chain you can see at a glance if they are getting the flip. Have everyone use the same color for the shuttle thread and the other color for the ball thread. One stop color (shuttle thread) and the other the go color (ball thread) [think something like red for shuttle and green for ball - stoplight anyone?]. If the stitches are the go color they got the flip. If not they need to take it out and try again. This also allows you to talk about shuttles and thread before they purchase them.
Then they can get thread and a shuttle for practice on their own.
Have a handout they can refer to when they get home. Make sure it has pictures. Also include a link to videos on the web so those with internet access (not everyone has it so that's why I suggest that pictures or diagrams be included) can watch as needed.
01-10-2011, 06:48 PM
Thank you for all of information and advice... I will definitely be applying the techniques and advice you gave. You have a good point about being a left handed tatter; one in which i have never took into consideration and it makes total sense! Not worrying over being left handed definitely makes me feel so much better... :) I like your exercise too! i came across this issue last night, i am using my mother as my "lab rat" so to speak. She has never touched a shuttle before last night and i am teaching her to tat based on my outline so i can see if what I have down is relevant to the lesson. One of her biggest issues was applying the tension to make the flip.....and i actually thought to myself, "what can I do to make you understand the flip better so you relax your naturally rigid novice hand!?" haha... That exercise will definitely get it done. So thank you.
One more question for you though if you have time:
Do you think giving a brief (10 min) history about tatting important or not?
I figured the students could react to the history part of it one of two ways: 1. bore them to death and unmotivate them. or 2. motivate them to keep tatting and teach others....
...I da know maybe instead, I'll encourage them to explore the history of tatting in their own time, and give them some good links about the tatting history when i give them a list of other online resources....
When you're in class 3 or 4 and they're all busy practicing, you can throw in some history.. like the radio on in the background...
Congratulations on your first tatting class. All the advice you have is good stuff. The only thing I would add is to relax and have fun with it. A teacher having fun helps tremendously.
02-10-2011, 05:14 PM
I think you have got some really good advice already.
One small bit I would like to add, that is important when teaching *anything*:
During the class, pay extra attention to understand what the student is doing and asking. The better you understand what they are thinking and doing, the better you will be able to help them.
and yeah, what Lynn said, have fun!
02-10-2011, 07:50 PM
Thank you i will have fun...:) I will take note on the attentive listening... I have instructed horse back riding in the past, and that's the one thing i found that made the students feel more safe was that I would always encourage questions, listen, and be eager to find the solution to the problems that would occur. thank you all so much ;)
04-10-2011, 02:10 AM
I have taught Tatting a number of times to single or two tatters at a time. I agree with the advice you have been given.
I would add: I think it beneficial to have the possibility of them completing a small motif the first lesson, or at least them working toward something. I have used Sharon Alber's Little Fishies (http://web.archive.org/web/20050913071356/http://www.geocities.com/skalbers52/Patterns1/litlfish.html)(you can find it through Sheron's list of doodle patterns (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkoEARicS6bVdEUtbEdxSTBBQWp4TVNNenhLYXVrU VE&hl=en_US#gid=0)) and a flower made of 5 rings. I chose the motif depending on the skill and knowledge of the student. I have always taught rings first because they seemed most useful to me in getting a finished motif. However Sheron's stop/ go colors make a LOT of sense when teaching a group.
Have fun. It's so great to create other tatters through teaching!
15-11-2011, 07:20 PM
I too will be *hopefully* teaching my first tatting class soon at a local craft store (provided that they like my lesson plan & samples). Thank you all so much for posting your excellent ideas!
17-11-2011, 03:40 AM
I teach my class for 3 hours. In this time they usually complete a project. I start out teaching the class needle tatting because it is sooo easy to learn. The first lesson is rings. They learn to read a pattern and make a bookmark. The rings are 4-4-4-4 and 4+4-4-4 for the next. They make about 8 rings w/about 3/4" string/tail between rings. Once they are done w/one side, they go to the other side and repeat. They add a ribbon in the middle string/tail for strength. Their second lesson is using chains.
20-12-2011, 09:08 PM
Hello! I was wondering if you have a .jpg of the chart that I could use for my upcoming class? (I would give you full credit as the author!) If not, I understand.
Do you have any other advice for 1st time teachers? The first class I will be teaching is in March, so I have some time to get fully prepared. :0)
20-12-2011, 10:53 PM
I'll take a picture of it and send it to you. It's in print shop format .hrc format, so I'll work on it for you. Pm me if you have any questions. If you like I could mail it out to you.