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How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 19 of 29

The Class Begins: Start with the Student's Stories


How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 19 of 29

The Class Begins: Start with the Student's Stories


Lesson Info

The Class Begins: Start with the Student's Stories

Now we're going to get into in that class begins. Okay, so the moment has arrived. How do you think you'll be feeling when your when your students start to arrive? What's the what's, the vibe going to be like a person? Probably a little bit nervous when they're ready to have fun? Yes, you want to make sure everyone's having fun, there's a lot of anticipation, right? Especially when we plan our our lessons like we're going to our when we plan our classes so well, you're going to take out a moment's finally here and then and then it arrives. So what do we d'oh in this moment? And I want to make sure we feel as prepared as possible for this moment too, because, you know, there's, nothing like being super prepared and then getting to class and that you just like, you know, dear in the headlights, ok, so I'm going to share my preferred way of starting a class, and I know that there are a lot of different ways to start a class. I mean, you know, teacher training, you know, way get lots of id...

eas, but for kraft related classes, I think that this is a really good way to start. And I'm going to tell you why and you can you can tell me what you think so I'm going to show you two different class setups and I want you to think about what the difference between these two class setups is so first we have so if you think about this red circle is being the teacher okay this is the teacher versus this one so what is the difference between these two and obviously your spaces it's going it's going to vary right depending on your venue ok, but like I said, if there's an opportunity to rearrange the furniture ok what would what's the difference who can just caught like what is what is the main difference? Holly each other and the tea the students can see each other in the teacher what else? A notion is more free with the communication is more free yeah what was like what is if I was to say which one is more traditional which ones less traditional? The one on the right the one on the rights more traditional yeah so this one is what we call student centered right? And then this this one I'll get to that in a minute this one we would call teacher centered right and what the arrows are really reflecting communication and how I would interest do it do an introduction and so what is the effect created so let's say, I'm doing a new tradition I'm doing, we're doing our class introductions and I'm starting here and we're going in this order versus that one, and then what's the effect created could be building with this within the circle community building within the circle, the other when you're kind of talking at this dance, is opposed to their part of the exactly like kind of what I'm doing right now, which would not necessarily be my preferred way of teaching a craft class, right? I feel like I'm kind of in more lecture style right now, but it is more teacher centered right versus this where it's a lot more interactive community, what else? What are others like some other words? Maybe susan are kathy shasta what one thing that I like about this circle depending on what's in the middle of the circle for cable are there would say what was empty you could actually walk inside circle or outside, and as the teacher, you could check people's work easily and stand in the middle and you can talkto everyone's definitely or theater exactly anything else ad so let's, imagine the situation where we're starting, so I always like to start by having the students introduced themselves first, and I'm going to start here. And imagine this could also be like a long rectangular table where people are sitting around it right? So the circle is kind of you know, it's not like you doesn't have to be a circle so what is the effect of having this students start and then continue in this way and stopping here there's a sense of order there's a sense of order you kind of know when your turness what's the difference between starting with a student versus starting with the teacher what do you think you get a feel for the room as a teacher you're going to feel for the room is a teacher yeah, you can kind of you can see the different level they could see the anxiety you can see yes the anxious yes, yes now the person who starts is always going toe you know you do kind of have this feeling as a teacher that you're putting that person on the spot and I used to when I was a, um like a middle school teacher, I would I would always model first and then pass it on okay? But I'm going to show I'm going to tell you why I don't necessarily like to model my introduction first in this setting so and I would also love to hear from the online audience as we go along too so the reason I want to start with my students in my opinion I have a strong believer in this number one it sets the tone that the classes about them okay start from the very beginning my my voice might be the first day here because I'm like starting this process but it's not going to be the you know they're not gonna hear my voice for an extended period of time right away okay you're going to be able to find out their names you're going to find out their experience level because that's really the goal here right for you like your teacher goal here is to find out their experience ok and then you can find out some commonalities right? Some people say like tell me your favorite something like your favorite color favorite movie right you could you could throw in something like that and then it kind of creates a fun well I was like oh you were the one who likes dirty dancing and then like it you can talk about it during class okay so that's fun um what else do we have it engages them right away okay versus sitting in a classic here we're doing right now right where it's just like listen listen listen listen listen right it gets everybody involved right away right away then this is huge the teacher going last in this introduction circle it prevents students from feeling intimidated about their skills ok so let's say I go first and by the way I'd like to note that this is I'm not saying that the teachers boast or that they are trying to boast about how great they are right, however if you're standing up here and saying I am you know I've been a quarter for you know my whole life and I've had all these hours of practice these air my amazing quilts um you know, I'm super famous which of course nobody would really say but you get the idea and then you know, I goto shasta and she's like well I don't have a cz much experiences you I'm just starting out but you know, you might feel a little bit like the urge to compare right versus if you start out by saying I'm a beginner and I'm so excited to be here to learn right yeah you guys to see the what we're trying to kind of avoid and of course it's not all teachers that start off by introducing themselves have that effect right? Of course I've definitely been in a class with the teacher around like I love you you are the coolest because of all those reasons right and I didn't feel intimidated all but you want to avoid anybody feeling intimidated so you just cut it out from the from the get go and then when it comes back around to you feel free to show off you know tio come humbly show off and explain why you are the expert to be teaching this class ok um and then the question will come up what about with shorter classes so if you have a really short class, maybe you don't have time to go around and get long introductions from everybody, especially if you have I would say over ten students or over fifteen students you really don't have time to do this detailed introduction so just a few just a few suggestions for that would be to get names and just a show of hands so you maybe have everybody say their name maybe where they're from if it's especially this like a national conference or something or if they're coming from far away is fun to see where everybody is from and then say like raise your hand if you've never used a sewing machine before, raise your hand if you're if you you know if you're if you're comfortable with the sewing machine but you've never quilted raise your hand if you are like a new intermediate level meaning you made a quilt ok, so you get the ideas you can kind of get a feel for level without going around the room ok? And hopefully people will be honest about where they're at and I would say definitely sometimes people are a little bit to the air on the side of like being too humble about their abilities, shasta what would you consider a shorter class for? I would say anything two hours or shorter, so three hour, depending on how many students you have, if you have a three hour classy of five students, then go ahead and do a longer introduction it's going to it's going to depend? I think it's important to start out with some sort of an introduction, and then this is another one that I like to dio, especially with teenagers. If there's a lot of people use a turn to the person next to you, especially like you're assuming or you say, turn to a person you've never met before and introduce yourself, and so they introduced that, you know, so at least they're meeting somebody else in the class and then as they're working, I can be the teacher can go around and get a little bit more information but still do the hand for experience thing. Any questions about that? Do we have any questions? Comments from online? Great it's already, and I just wanted to know I want to let you know students are tuning in from all over the country, great and the world we have aren't in real life from richmond, virginia, by a dodger from support for oklahoma and our secret tree house says they're in swampy connecticut, and their milo had a question what about students in the circle? You have placed him in the circle being intimidated by the experience level of all the other students yeah, you know, I think that that's probably bound to happen and I would hope that the people that are in the class are going to create a sense of community and camaraderie and are going teo you know, try toe there's not like a sense of one upsmanship um and you know, you're there to learn everybody is there to learn so kind of embrace the tell and you can say this in your introduction of the teacher embrace this environment we've got so many different experience levels in this class and we can learn from each other too, right? Right so that would be my suggestion. Great and natalie paper if laura had a question about what about giveaways during class? Yes, she was in a class that gave raffle tickets away for following the instructor on instagram and a ticket for posting to social media. Sure, yeah I mean that's going to be your own your own style. I I note I know teachers who do that where you have there's like a jar situation where it's like entered a win something at that at the end of class yeah, I think that's great that's great marketing for your business and you know who doesn't love putting their name into our raffle as a student, you know, I was. I'm always like it. I'll do it right, it's kind of fun, and then you're kind of it creates kind of this anticipation for the end of class to find out who the winner is.

Class Description

Teaching opens you up to a whole new revenue stream and lets you connect with people who are passionate about what you do. Learn how you can use your existing skills at the front of a creative classroom in How to Teach a Craft Class with Ashley Nickels.

Ashley is a life-long quilter and multi-discipline creative educator. In this class, she’ll show you how to prepare to teach a craft class and offer plenty of insights on making it fun for everyone involved. You’ll learn:

  • A variety of teaching styles for the full range of teacher personality types
  • How to plan lessons, set objectives, and manage student expectations 
  • Classroom prep tips that help you feel fully prepared 
  • Techniques for dealing with tricky situations 

Ashley will share insights from her years as an educator and help you feel confident before your first (or next) class. She’ll reveal her favorite classroom management techniques and teach you how to deal with difficult personalities. You’ll learn ways to engage and inspire everyone – from advanced learners to beginning students.

Teaching is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding both personally and financially. How to Teach a Craft Class will demystify the magic behind a good craft class and help you make your dreams of educating and inspiring others a reality.


Claude Aimée Villeneuve

This was a very good class, well prepared and packed with such useful information! I've been teaching various arts and craft classes for over 10 years now and did it sort of instinctively. Ashley gave me the tools I needed to refine my classes and prepare really good classes outlines and how to find venues to teach and pitch my classes. That was awesome and I plan to watch it again and again because there is so much in it! This was a first class presentation! Thank you Ashley! Claude Aimée Villeneuve, Visual artist and teacher

a Creativelive Student

I'm not even half way thru the online videos and want to recommend this class to anyone who just needs that extra boost to start their own classes! I like the fact that Ashley suggests that we think from a student perspective to help us to better plan. This class covers many things I have heard before BUT in greater detail. When I hear the 'WHY' of doing things, I'm more likely to follow thru. These videos explain many 'WHYs' (There are many informative sites/classes for this topic but not many people give you 'this is WHY' it should be done this way) Ashley gives the "WHY' and the 'HOW to'. If you want to teach and are mostly ready to teach, take this class and all the gaps will be filled in and you will be ready to go forth and teach your craft!

Barbara Schiffman

Great class -- watched live (most of it) and purchased for ongoing review. I've taught many things, including some crafts (decorating gourds, collage, making your own tarot-collages) but I gained new insights, ideas and confidence from Ashley's advice, the students questions and input, and the panel! I recommend this for anyone who wants to teach a class -- craft oriented, personal development, or anything else!