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How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 21 of 29

Timing & Pacing for a Strong Class


How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 21 of 29

Timing & Pacing for a Strong Class


Lesson Info

Timing & Pacing for a Strong Class

Timing and pacing so this is going to be your number one challenge when you start teaching this is gonna be a number one challenge I would say I mean it was mine definitely especially because you just don't know how long is going to take your students to do what you're asking them to do right away you're just not going to know and even like what christine said yesterday right? She said she's been teaching for so many years she's you know she's still that one time was three hours off on her timing ok so we all it's going to be a challenge and it's okay you know it is o k and as humans we all have our strikes and weaknesses in this category right? So are you are you the type of person who is always really aware of what time it is or are you kind of write so think about how you are on a daily basis, okay? And there's no I'm not there's no criticism here at all. I just want you to be aware that if it's not something that is a strength of yours or even if it is a strength of yours, you're s...

till going to have to pay really close attention to the time ok, I would consider myself to be pretty punctual and I still every time I'm in a class something happens and my brain just like it's like this timelessness it's like you're in like a time free zone like things happen. Like what time is it? Two minutes could have gone by or like forty five minutes could have gone by it seems so it's really important to make sure you pay attention to time. Okay, there's, for example, we have a clock here. I said yesterday it might classroom has always had a clock. I had a classroom once that didn't have to buy a watch, okay? And I we're having worked in different school environments. One school I worked and did not have bells. Ok, so you can imagine the chaos, nobels, everybody, every teacher had their own strength and weakness in the timing category, right? So you would always be like where's my class and then you would see all I know why they're coming from so and so's class, you know? So you have every everybody has their strengths and weaknesses. So I have a few tips the number one tip you have to wear a watch or bring a clock, ok, if you don't like a watch, bring o'clock I'm not even joking, okay? And like I said yesterday, if you have, if you have it on your phone I know we like to carry our phones in our pockets and things like that and that I mean that works you can kind of check you're found but what if you see that you have a text or you know like you don't want to be distracted by your phone okay I know even when I have my phone on silent I look at it and like well look I just got a notification ok and then it just sets you off so the other people to be like exactly they see you looking at your phone you're like oh I wonder what's on my phone okay so you kind of as a teacher you want to set this tone where you're not checking your phone okay and this was especially important for teaching when I taught teenagers right because there was a rule that they weren't allowed to have their phones so it's like I'm gonna be like checking my phone every five minutes it's just kind of kind of like it's kind of yucky you know I hate those worlds words like you can't do this but I can and then the kids are like well why not so you want to make sure that you just cut that out you know just cut it out um I mean not cut it out but just cut that out of the equation this is a good one if you really want to make sure that you are keeping time set a timer your students are going to care so if you say you're having twenty minutes of work time set a timer for twenty minutes that timer goes off they know what it is you know what it is okay why not or have it set to like something funny like a like a quack ok are a dog barking or I don't know timers have fun fun things I used to do one on my computer in my classroom right I would set a timer and was like this loud bell that went off okay um this is a really good one I love this one have a student helper even with adults they actually a quilting conferences will give the teacher you know like buttons are really big conferences are nothing new because we're aware of that but you get like a little button and they'll give the teacher for however many classes they have they'll give them extra buttons okay and so the beginning of the class if you will say I need a helper I need somebody who can help me keep time or I need somebody who can turn the lights on and off or you know etcetera and at the end I'll give you you know you can just really cool button I mean it's silly but people love getting things for free so and then that person is going to help you keep time right you know, human error obviously is in play but then having two of you maybe it cuts out that the chances of you missing like we let me know when it's blank time and then this is especially good with kids and teens they love being helpers love being helpers um this is a good one which I actually have not tried and so I would love it if somebody would try it and let me know make a playlist of a certain length right? So if you you know more or less that your work that your work time is twenty minutes or thirty minutes make a playlist that's that long and have it sets so that it doesn't like automatically go into another one just the stops and so the music stops and you're like why is it so quiet in here like oh time for my next demo any questions about those tips? Do you have any more tips for keeping time lily online? Lisa devi says I set the alarm of my clock for five to ten minutes before class for cleanup and ending the class and then she has another alarm for leading the classic oh yes great I am a big proponent for timers and alarms okay um yeah any any anything else from you guys have any anything to add wall clock and I think it's good for the students to be able to kind of see if I say at a certain time or even just you know, classes over at nine o'clock yeah, they can just continue to look up and see it easily yeah yeah and and you want to make sure that they know that they can tell you that because I think it's so it can be a little uncomfortable if you're like you know, if the student knows that it's almost nine o'clock and they're kind of like should I say something? I don't know, you know? So you want to make sure they know please tell me if I'm going over ok, I want to get us out of here on time or you know, etcetera um and half the time if you don't have if there's nothing coming into the space after you most people unless you know people if they have obligations they're out the door, you don't have to worry about that, but you want to make sure you have your wrap up before those students run out the door okay, so you do want to make sure you end on time and then if people hang around that's one thing okay? And we'll talk about wrap up later because it can be kind of a crazy crazy time too, so we'll talk about that a little bit later um so this is also our one of our number one jobs is to keep our students on pace not just us right? So we just talked about how to keep ourselves long pace really? How do you keep your student it's on pace right it's our it's really? Our job number one thing to do is give time reminders to your students. Ok? And so this is like if you're setting a timer for your next demo but you want to give a five minutes before the the demo timer set the timer for five minutes you know what I mean? So you want to make sure you're giving them reminders ok, especially for kids but also for adults. You know, we heard from christine yesterday she was talking about when people move at different paces during your class so this is really helpful tio get people to stay on pace, okay? If they know they have ten minutes left versus being like oh my god the next demo was starting all of a sudden out of the blue it helps ease their anxiety and and it might actually speed them up a little too or slow them down or whatever. Okay, so it's really, really important I would even give especially if it's a longer class I would give ah fifteen minutes and a five minute warning until the next thing um redirect lengthy questions during demos so this is going to help keep everybody on pace remember I said before we we're giving our instructions during the demo and we're redirecting questions until after the demo and then at that point you still might get a lengthy question so try tio try to redirect those really lengthy ones too when people are sitting down and working ok again if it's relevant to the group, I'd love to answer it here, but if it's a longer if it's a longer answer try I'll come around and talk to you one on one I'll explain it in more detail ok, I want to make sure we're keeping good time and you guys are getting enough work time to really you know get this project donner really get our hands dirty with this technique redirect those questions and then this was my favorite thing this is why I have this thing here I I like to use some sort of a noise making device to bring the class together unless you have the time or sat right that works too, but if you're not using a timer, this was my child from my days um working in a quaker school and we, you know, use moments of silence a lot and so this was a really good way of getting the class's attention without shouting, so this is really effective if you are not not necessarily a very extroverted personality and don't enjoy getting large groups of people's attention by shouting and waving your hands hey, people can hear that pretty pretty clearly right um and it's very calming right still going um and don't be afraid to like you know if it's really loud in the room I used to you know, do it a couple of times ok, so this is a really good that's a really good thing to do and then you know you can get creative use your own style obviously was a spanish teacher this was very this was very effective. Okay, um so use your use your own style do what? Do what you you know, if you have like, a bike bell or something even that's fun um something to call your class's attention I find saves your your own voice and it's a little bit less intrusive you know, sometimes when there's a lot of stuff going on when somebody's like shouting in your ear like all right, everybody, we're going to have our next demo, okay? Just, you know, bring it and then people kind of settle down and then you can talking like a normal tone of voice ok, try it out. Those things are very expensive by the way they're pretty cheap. I mean, you could also get one of those like singing bowls the you know, those that those things are really good too any questions about keeping students on pace I'm wondering if anybody has any experience or, like maybe stories or horror stories about keeping like christine shared her horror story about being three hours under time, um, which I don't actually consider that to be a horror story, but anyway, it sounded like a success in the end, ok, do I think we might have something from online or some comments and question great from our online audience? One question was, what happens when you're doing a project based class and people finish a part of the project early? Do you suggest an additional smaller project? Yes, that's a really that's a really good question, and I would say that you're going to try to kind of find the middle ground between the people who are going to work really quickly and the people who are going to work really slowly. Okay, and so if somebody is finishing early, you guys remember what christine suggested, which I love that suggestion. Do you remember what she said to the student who was, who was working too quickly and wasn't we weren't quite ready for that? She said, ok, well, we're going to get to our next demo soon, so why don't you take a break and go get a drink of water, coffee or something, okay, so I would do that, and then I also would have potentially something else for them to dio if it's a project, though, you can't really have them move too far ahead on the project. But if it's a technique, a really cool thing to do is just kind of add something to that technique. So I'm in quilting, for example, if they're doing let's say they're practicing their swirls or something on the machine, you can say, ok, so I'm done with this technique, I'm kind of done swirling. Is there something I can do or can I move on? And I would say, ok, well, I'm going to get to my next demo in a minute, but why don't you d'oh like, you know, those like egyptian like they're swirls, but there they're like squares, so more geometric swirls, so experiment with doing some free motion straight line swirls, so give them a just a little bit of an extra challenge to do while they're waiting. And like I said, if it's a project, you could give them a little something extra to do the like preview the next step, but I wouldn't go to I want to give them the next step because you kind of want to encourage them to keep pace with the class, because it's not really just about them it's about the whole class and that's the idea of inviting them teo teo sort of have empathy for what's going on you're like ok well everyone's almost ready to so if you could just hold on okay I hope that answered that question yes that question came from aaron right fleming by the way and there are a couple other questions I know we talked a little bit about food and snacks yesterday but one user was asking um isa too distracted to food or snacks she's been to both yeses where there's where there's food and some without food and she appreciates the snacks but you know because I'm crafty you can lose track of time yeah is too distracted to have that with your pain I mean I find that it is you find it I mean but but I'm not going to necessarily I mean like I said with with sewing glasses and quilting class is we don't like snacks because we're using sewing machines and you don't want to get them but for another class I'm not sure I'm not exactly sure how intrusive it would actually be I don't know what you guys think you like snacks yeah I don't like to discourage it especially like if somebody's having like a like a you know like they need I know what it feels like to like just need to eat something like go ahead and eat it in terms of like snacks for the whole class though that's that's kind of I don't know I don't really have a strong opinion either way and that if my thought is that somebody you know does find they need that extra boost of energy they'll take care of it themselves and have something with them but I find I get I guess because I work with kids mostly that next kind of create a distraction sometimes you know yeah, it could I'm thinking it could be something a little bit along the lines of like checking your phone if one person's having a snack or like if somebody is like setting up their dinner and they're in their station you know it could be a little but I don't want people to like, you know, pass out from from hunger so I also wouldn't want to say like no food kathy I could keep a little snack for everybody but I have spend when he teaches that like fire conferences and stuff and it's a full day class he always has chocolate covered coffee beans for them after lunch oh that's to wake them back up for the class you know yes it's something that's like unique to you or feels natural for you and include your class in that like include them in however you decide tio offer a snack or not offer offer snack just make sure everybody kind of understands that it's not like you know I don't want you don't want to ever be sort of like, oh, please, don't eat or something, you know, you just want to make sure it's zinc care of yeah, there, yeah, there's, another question, and a few people voted this question up so great. It must be a good question. How do you keep perfectionist students on pace? Oh, the perfectionist. Yes, well, I think it would depend on if you're perfectionist is also like a like a russia header, which I'll mention figure if you're perfectionist is like somebody wants to finish, then you just want to make sure I guess the perfectionism would would imply that they're like taking every you know, they're taking time to make sure everything is perfect, so that would imply that they were they were taking a longer time. I would give them frequent time reminders, frequent time reminders that would say, ok, and I would notice that person right away, you would notice them kind of ripping out their stitches and being like, oh, and then starting again and then ripping out their stitches, okay? And I would say, hey, you know, we're going to have our next demo and ten, fifteen minutes, so I want to make sure that you get some some really good practice in and I want you to just go for it I don't want you to worry about every stitch I want I don't want you to worry about every such being perfect I just want to see how much of this peace you can fill up so she you know let's see how much of this piece of fabric you can fill up in the next fifteen minutes something like that try to like check in with them and make sure that they know that you're onto them you're yeah holly getting a lot and everybody was like like, this is your safe place this is where you're supposed to make that's why you're in the class yes this is right you you learn what goes wrong and we'll deal with it and it's not going to be a perfect you going to do this exact river and you and you could also challenge that person be like, hey, I'm gary I'm just challenge you to make seven mistakes in the next ten minutes and they can actually keep track of seven mistakes and be like in their perfectionist way be like yes, I made those seven mistakes you know this works this works really well with teenagers too because they you know in competition tio friendly competition works as well to keep those people on pace or not on pace but like to tone down the perfectionism yeah and that's a really good that's a really good reminder about reminding them that it's ok to make mistakes is there anything else? Those questions were so great there's one other question and we talked a little bit about cattiness keep the chinese this time beyond control under control in the class but a girl friday she does a monthly class and how the students get really familiar with each other and I think it sounds like the chatting this is a bigger problem because they know each other and yeah it's their time to socialize yes, andi I'm wondering what age group that is, but I think what could apply to all age groups? I mean kids maybe not so much, but teens and adults you just want to remind them that hey, we're here they were like I don't want to I love that you guys are getting to know each other and socializing but let's not let's make sure that it's not interfering with with our class and let's try to keep our our conversations you know, on topic I used to always say that in in class two it's like keeper talking keeper conversations on topic and try to save it's a little harder with adults to say savior savior chitchat until break time or you know, it's easier with teenagers but just you know and then constantly be reminding reminding them of that, ok and you can do it just like, very, you know, kindly and interject if you're hearing a lot of conversation, but just a reminder, I want to make sure that everybody's, you know, paying attention to the corner of their blank blank blank. Ok, so constantly interjecting with a class related comment is my suggestion, especially for grown ups. So if you're teaching in a way where there's like like, I did this thing where I was managing, people having the portfolios reviewed, and so they need to know when the time was up, so we would just walk around and, like, actually, physically show them your hand a five minute great. Yeah, but it was easier to because they were talking in pairs. So, yeah, which is what, which is what, what happens here, creative life or, you know, like

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!