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Class in Session

September 20, 2007

I got to teach today! Finally, after a month and a half of canceled classes, there were two whole students signed up to take my class today. Horray!

It went well, too. I think I lucked out in teaching a Knitting II class before trying a Knitting I. It’s much easier to talk about how the stitches work when folks already know how to knit and purl. The class is just a bunch of sampler stitch patterns. Students end up with a bunch of little swatch squares–not the most exciting project, but the students seemed excited to learn how to do some patterns.

The one problem I wish I could teach, however, is how to deal with frustration. When a student gets frustrated it doesn’t matter how many times I say that I didn’t get it on my first try either, or don’t worry everyone learns at their own pace, or you almost have it, really, you got all but this little part. I wish there was a way to skip over that part, or at least to reason it out of students. I’m not disappointed if they need some extra practice, why do they have to be?

Then again, at my Tai Chi class tonight I got to be on the other side of the teacher/student relationship. I am clumsy, out of shape, and generally uncoordinated. So when my church, of all places, decided to host Tai Chi classes, I figured I’d better step in–where else will I find a group so accepting of my awkwardness? Last week I ended up standing in the front of the class, near the teacher. So all I saw was her dancer-movements–and since I was repeating her steps I suppose I imagined myself moving gracefully. Today, however, I was at the back of the class, and I could see everyone else. And you know what? We were an awkward, clumsy group! While the instructor danced through the moves, we looked like we had a bunch of bad itches in hard places to scratch. I had trouble remembering not to laugh at how funny we looked–and at the realization that I probably looked pretty darn funny, too.

And you will be proud to know that I responded with resignation, not frustration. It took my teacher good genes and a lot of practice to bring grace to these movements, and for now, I am just proud that I can remember the sequence.

Want some knitting? Sure you do.

One completed knee sock. As in, a sock that goes all the way up to my knee! That is a lot of sock. Truth is it took me most of the months of June and July to knit this. It was my project while we were moving and the rest of the yarn was packed away. I think I might need that sort of incentive again to finish its mate. Ah, but there are so many other distractions…

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4 Comments
  1. edith permalink
    September 20, 2007 9:11 pm

    Katie, that’s awesome that you had students today. I’m so glad it finally worked!

    Good luck with your other knee sock – that one looks pretty. đŸ™‚

  2. September 20, 2007 10:25 pm

    oh, i wish i could learn to knit from you! it’s wonderful that you have such a good attitude to learning.
    p.s. that sock is an amazing effort. that would take me years (truly) to knit.

  3. Kim permalink
    September 21, 2007 12:32 pm

    Good for you!! Frustration is a hard thing to beat — in students and in yourself. Hang in there. . .

  4. September 22, 2007 10:12 am

    Isn’t it interesting that “class frustration” carries on past our academic studies into “fun” classes that we choose to take?

    Glad to hear that the class went well. And tai chi – that’s something I’ve always wanted to try.

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