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How To Know If You Are Ready To Teach Others
How many times have you heard, "I'd love to learn how to do that?" Have you ever been at a craft show where someone walks up and asks if you give lessons?
I can't tell you how many times I've been approached about lessons. Seriously, who doesn't want to pretend they're in the movie "Ghost?"
You probably have a lot of questions. Are you ready to teach others? Is now the right time? Should you learn a little more yourself first? Is your studio (or dining room) big enough? Where do you start? Let me try to answer. A couple years ago, I was at a craft show, and five or six people ask if I gave lessons. My reply was always, "no." Last year, at a local wine festival, that question came up again. When I got home that day, I was telling my husband about the requests to teach. His response was, "why not?"
I told him I didn't think I was experienced enough, since I had taught myself, and had only been doing pottery a couple years. He was adamant that I was "good enough" but I was still very hesitant.
A few months later, we were in a local hardware store, when we ran into a friend of ours. She said my Facebook pictures were awesome, then asked the dreaded question, "Do you give lessons?" Before I could say no, my husband jumped in and said, "yes, she does."
His theory is, "teach what you're accomplished at now, then offer additional things as you become more comfortable with them. Learn together as you grow."
That's where my teaching journey began. Since I only have one wheel, I knew I had to be selective with project choices. I started to offer workshops, lessons and kid clinics, based on projects that could be done using slabs.
The first project we did was birdhouses. I only had three participants signed up, but I was fine with that, knowing this would be a learning experience.
Since my "studio" was in our dining room, we planned to hold the workshop in our garage. Due to the temperature (-2) though, our plans for firing up the wood burner wasn't going to be enough so, we moved the furniture onto the porch and held it in the living room.
The birdhouses were a huge success, and have generated a lot of business. Oh, and by the way, since it was a "bring your own wine" event, none of us complained about the weather!
Because offering lessons and such was my husband's idea, I've since taken over that garage. A little hard work, advertising, and serious dedication, has turned my passion into a growing business. I guess I was ready. Are you?
Keep an eye on our blog for ideas on setting up your own "teaching" studio, and check out our latest video for some great tips!
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