Friday, January 7, 2011

What Is It I'm Really Teaching?

Another one of my wide-awake-at-four-in-the-morning ruminations. It struck me that not only does every instructor bring a different perspective to their teaching, I believe that we are really teaching something much more than is reflected in the catalog description. For example, I bet if I asked another local artist and instructor what is the essence of what she teaches, she would answer "tapping into one's creativity."  Each class may focus on a particular project or technique, but she is really sharing her enthusiasm for the creative process. Another instructor I know spends hours experimenting with new techniques and doing research on materials and techniques.  So she is not only an innovator, she has also developed a high level of knowledge and expertise that she is eager to share with students.

I began to ponder the essence of my teaching. I had a flash of knowing, but it is hard to articulate.   I guess what I really want people to come away with is the confidence to stick with it, to work through difficulties and to be open to new possibilities. It's easy to get frustrated when trying a new technique, especially if it doesn't turn out the way you think it will. There is a learning curve to everything, and some people move through the curve more quickly than others. (I know - I'm one of the slow ones!) My hope is that participants won't be discouraged by a "failure".  Failures can lead to interesting new possibilities!


  1. I think you're absolutely right, Lisa. I know in my years in quilting & many, many classes, the teachers that helped me the most & gave me, ultimately a sense of my own creative freedom & confidence, were the ones who, with a clarity that surpassed all self-doubt, basically let me know "Oh, that's quite understandable~~everyone experiences those frustrations & learning curve experiences (Not "mistakes")." So I was able to take a breath, back away from self recrimination, & grow.

  2. that is so right on! the enthusism your bring with the technique teaching includes joy of discovering by doing , following what comes next,not to judge but enjoy the flow of art in the making.


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