How to become a BETTER Student . . .

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I hope you've enjoyed our first round of Students answers to our questions about "How to become a Better Student". As I said in the introduction to this series - I want to bring teachers and students together - to find a happy medium about teaching and learning. And with most of us being out of school for years (well, I have...) and some of our study habits lost along the way of raising children, working jobs, being married, life? From our students answers, what tips can we share, to get more from classes we've signed up to take?
From our survey answers we learned that on average a single class fee was $60.62+ and then you may or may not purchase a kit? And travel expenses - average cost per gallon of gas at this time is $3.42 and if need be - a hotel room? Lunch? Dinner? We could be talking $250.00 to $350.00 for a SINGLE class. 
I'll be taking my first real classes in November 2011 from Laura McCabe in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Bead Society. I had to join the DBS to get into the class. The class fee per class for DBS members are $80.00 each for a total of $240.00 per class. The kits for the classes I actually got into were $310.00  (one kit per class and no other colorways). And so, without driving to Dallas yet or eating or buying any thing other than what I need for 3 classes, I've already spent $550.00 (now I see a very valid reason I've never taken classes before?) But - I am going to see Jillykintwin Wiseman and my friend of over 25 years - Karen Vergamini. And it's going to be a girls' weekend mixed with a huge amount of learning and I hope good food and lots of laughs.
So, what was the number one reason given by our students for taking a class?
All of the students felt that they learned the techniques in the classes and had some great tips to share for other students or anyone planning on taking a class, here are a few condensed tips:

1. Bring an adequate, alternate light source and extra supplies such as needles, thread, bead mat, pliers, etc. Not only may you need them but what a better way to make a new friend then to help them have a great class experience by sharing?

2. LISTEN to the instructor and take plenty of notes! Yes, bring PAPER and PEN to every class - even if you think you won't need it. While you are sure to find time to visit and socialize, first and foremost you're there to learn and expand your "beady resume". Listen to the instructor - she wants to GIVE you a gift. The gift of her hard earned experimentation and knowledge base - it's a priceless gift.

3. ALLOW yourself to learn and create - don't get hung up on what you can't do - spend time and energy focusing on what you can and will accomplish. Women are very hard on themselves - here is a chance to stop judging your failures and applauding your achievements, triumphs and successes and if you can't do that - do it for your fellow classmates!

4. PREREQUISITES: Read them. If you do not have the skills or prior knowledge base to formulate, create and comprehend the project in the class - save yourself, the instructor and your fellow classmates the frustration of failing at something before you've even started! See #1 . . .

5. If you've got any questions - ASK THE INSTRUCTOR - If you love an instructors work - why chance asking someone who really doesn't have all the facts and just repeats what they've heard about an instructor? It's beading that has brought us together - so get your information from the "horses' mouth, not the ass".  Pamela Troutman has some great common sense questions to ask the Instructor or "Horses' Mouth":

  • How much experience do I need in this medium? (prerequisites are listed for this reason)
  • What are the minimum tools/supplies needed that are NOT in your kit?
  • Will I finish the project in your class? If not, can I finish on my own with the instructions as you have them written?
6. Bring a snack and drink and MOVE around during the class as much as you can without being disruptive. I mean - don't get up and walk over to someone else who is working and take up their class time with your stretch break.  If you have a friend in the class it's fine to schedule your breaks together - but remember - unless you're being tutored privately - others' are there to learn as well.

Do you have additional suggestions for becoming the best student you can be? I'd love to get your feed back. Leave a comment and/or write me - I'd happily share your feedback.

Next up - we have INSTRUCTORS/TEACHERS! See what they have to say...

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