How to become a BETTER Student . . .STUDENT: Maureen Warland

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I've known Maureen Warland for a long while now - through e-mails and of course, Facebook. She's an accomplished beader - a mother, grandmother and friend to all. Maureen has been needle weaving for over 10 years and lampworking for the last 5 years. Her questionnaire was chock-full of information about the 20+ classes she's taken up to 7/25/2011 and by reading her answers - she's had lots of practice being a student. So I am sure we can learn from her experiences!

3.       What is the AVERAGE cost of your classes (don’t need exact, just average): The average cost of the classes I take are in the $150.00 range.

4.       Do you usually take a class that supplies a KIT? I have taken both with kit and without. The project and the teacher is what motivates me and learning something new. If it is a teacher whose work I admire, I will take it . A. If not, what motivates you to take the class? (cost, teacher, friends)

5.       When you signed up for your class – did you read the prerequisites for the class or just assume you could learn once you were in the class – in front of the instructor – with the instructions/diagrams in front of you? I have always read the prerequisites for the class and adhered to them unless it is a beginners class. I have been in classes where people have done this - not had sufficient knowledge. This makes it very difficult for the instructor and the rest of the students taking the class. The instructor has to waste her valuable time, that the rest of us are paying for the teacher to teach that one person the basics of the stitch or technique involved, before that person can move forward.

6.       Did you learn the techniques you paid to learn in each class (be specific).
          A. If NOT, please tell us WHY?  I have learned the techniques in the class 100% but the problem for me lies in when I get home. If I do not go back and do the technique again the next day to reinforce what I have learned . I will have trouble going back to it several days or weeks later, especially if the INSTRUCTIONS are not very good. Good instructions are invaluable - they are worth the price of the class because you can use them again and again and expand on them.

7.       What was the best thing about taking the/a class: Outside of making the project, the best thing for me about taking a class is I always, without fail, come home with a bit of great information about beading, that I never had before. i.e. there is a right side and a wrong side to thread a needle and warming and stretching your thread over an Ott Lite bulb helps cut down on tangles (although thread has improved greatly over the years). Where to purchase components you didn't know about. Someone in the class - not necessarily the Teacher - will have some little tidbit to share, that "I didn't know that" moment.

8.       What was the MOST difficult obstacle to overcome while taking a class? Comfort is really important and a lot of classrooms buy inexpensive chairs, this to me is foolhardy, the better the chair, the longer you can bead. The table can be inexpensive - spend money on chairs.

9.       Was the fee you paid for your class – worth it and why or why not?  Some classes, the fee is well worth it and some are not. Usually it is not worth the money when the instructor turns out to not be an adequate teacher and their instructions are poorly written. The best TEACHERS are the ones who tell you that there are no rules, teach you what they know and let you create as well as learn.

10.     Adding all your classes together – to make ONE class – what could you have done better – as a student – to get more out of your class experience? Never take a class you do not have the required knowledge for, read the written instructions before you start - FROM START TO FINISH. I have made this mistake of not reading things through and suffered for it. "ha!" I have learned my lesson!!!!

11.   OPTIONAL: If you want – write some tips for others who might want to take a class in the future.
          a. Always go to the store you are taking the class from and look at the samples.
          b. Ask if you can supply your own beads if the cost of the class and kit are "too prohibitive" for you - some instructors will allow this and some won't.
          c. Make sure you have all the tools you need, appropriate eye wear and magnification with you, nothing is worse than not being able to see those pesky size 15 and 20 beads.
          d. Make sure you have a notebook and working pen.
          e. Bring a snack, a drink and get up and move during a class - this helps to keep your energy levels up. 
          f. Try to do some of what you were taught the very next day to make sure  you have absorbed the technique/information.

Like what you've read about Maureen? Find her here: Beaches Art and Crafts Show
Next we have AJ Reardon! 
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