Be a Good Student

I'm just back from a fun teaching trip to Delaware. I love teaching, and I jump at the opportunity to do so. I've noticed that often, the difference between an ordinary class and a wildly successful one is pre-class preparation, on my part and on the student's part, as well. Here are some things you can do as a student to make sure you're prepared for a good class experience.

  1. Check--and follow--any pre-class instructions. Are you supposed to cut something? measure something? Teachers plan class time carefully, and count on students doing prep work before they arrive.
  2. Get all supplies together and keep them organized. Most classes call for basic sewing supplies. Put a kit together with pins, clips, scissors, measuring tools, needles, thread--anything you use regularly. Check the supply list and make sure your toolkit is complete.
  3. Make certain your sewing machine is in good working order. It should be clean, recently oiled (if your machine requires oiling) and outfitted with a fresh needle. Make sure you have the appropriate presser feet with you, as well as extra bobbins. Most teachers can troubleshoot a machine problem, but even the simplest repair takes up valuable class time. And match the machine you use to the project you'll be doing. A class devoted to making a large handbag from upholstery canvas isn't the best time to break out the Featherweight.
  4. Be respectful of time: yours, the instructor's, and your classmates'. Show up early, so you're set up and ready to go at class time. Introduce yourself to your instructor and your neighbor or table-mate. Better yet, bring a nametag. Put your phone away, keep food and drink well away from workspaces, and be ready to go. If your class has a set of recommended prerequisite skills, make sure you can perform them. Brush up if necessary.
  5. Bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and a willingness to try new methods and techniques. Sit in the front row, and ask questions. Your teacher is there to help you--don't be afraid to ask for guidance if you need to. There's no reason to guess during class time. The only silly question is the one you don't ask.

Check our Events page for upcoming classes. If you're a shop owner or guild coordinator and you'd like to book a class, use the Contact page to send an email! Hope to see you very soon.

Joan Radell