How to become a BETTER Student . . .TEACHER: Kim Stathis

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I met Kim Stathis in Wisconsin at The Bead & Button show - Miller Time Pub - with Shelley Nybakke - eating cheese curds and having drinks. She's very approachable - easy going and witty. I was drawn to her very affable manner with a little quirky quick wit thrown in for good measure. Kim teaches everywhere and as far as I know - she makes her living doing just that - teaching! Her work is amazingly detailed (as you'll see below) Welcome Kim Stathis - and thank you for taking time to be apart of our series How to become a BETTER Student:

1. What is your most difficult obstacle to overcome while teaching a class?
KS: Trying to keep the class moving forward in an organized manner from the beginning to the end can be a challenge. The students all work at different speeds or levels as they complete the beadwork within a workshop.

2. What is your most difficult obstacle to overcome while attending a class?
KS: ( did not answer )

3. Why do you teach? (Be very specific here please):
KS: I really enjoy being with a group of people that share my interests and my enthusiam for the same media. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to be able to design and then be able to successfully teach that design to students. 

4. How do you feel about beading SKILL levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced
KS: It is really important to define the skill levels needed for a workshop. It eliminates stress and frustration for both the student and the teacher as well as for the other students in the class. It also gives the student a clear defined parameter as to what experience and knowledge is needed to be able to complete a workshop. The student then has the opportunity based on the skill level needed to learn the necessary skills prior to a class.

5. What is the BEST way you can handle a disruptive student?
KS: The most important thing to remember when dealing with a disruptive student is not to become combative with them. Luckily, I have not had any really difficult students and have not had to deal with a really unpleasant situation!

6. What is the difference between teaching a TECHNIQUE and a PROJECT?
KS: A technique defines the method used to make a project. A project is the finished product created using a technique. Techniques do not belong to anyone and are not copyrightable. Projects on the other hand can be original designs and therefore copyrightable.

7. What is the importance of using the materials you've listed in your materials list for the specified project (you're teaching)? 
KS: It is important to use exactly what is called for on the materials list. These are the materials that were used successfully to create the project. Any variation from the requested materials list for a project can result in a project that will not work properly.

8. Which do you find more useful: Written instructions with diagrams or STEP by STEP photographs and instructions (please chose one or the other):
KS: I choose written instructions with diagrams. I find that I have more flexibility to draw and explain a step visually than I would with a photograph. I also have found that students respond better to step-by-step written and illustrated as opposed to a photo of a step.

9. In your experience, is an average student easier to teach than a student who is taught? 
KS: I find that average students can be a little more open minded than a student who has taught their own classes.

10. If your prerequisite SKILL LEVEL for the class is INTERMEDIATE: How do you divide equal amounts of time between Beginners/Intermediate to Intermediate beaders? 
KS: You need to come to class knowing you can have a mixed skill level in the class. This is usually always the case in a class. This means your instructions should also take into consideration you will be dealing with mixed skill levels. It can be difficult to juggle different skill levels within a class. I just try to be patient and get to everyone who needs help. I do rely on my instructions to be an equalizer with the different skill levels. My instructions are very detailed so even if a student is more of a beginner, they will still be able to follow along and work independently without being left behind the intermediate students.

11. OPTIONAL: Please write specific tips for any student reading this to become a BETTER student:
  • MAKE sure you know what the class requirements are. If you are not familiar with the technique used for the project, take some classes at your local bead store to learn the requested technique.
  • READ the materials list and do not substitute materials without checking with the teacher first.
  • COME to class prepared with the requested materials so the class can start on time.
  • BE RESPECTFUL of other students in class regardless of their skill level.
  • BE PATIENT if you have to wait for the teacher to help you out.
  • BE OPEN minded learning a new technique or doing a technique in a different way. Everyone does things differently and it is a good thing to learn a different way to do something.
  • RESPECT the teachers' copyrighted workshop.

Like what you've read about Kim? Find her here:   Kim on FACEBOOK

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