How to become a BETTER Student . . .RECAP

Saturday, December 10, 2011

In late September, 2011 we published our How to Become a Better Student blog series. A series of questions posed to 8 different students regarding their class experiences.  I felt it was important to recap the list of important things to do as a STUDENT to enjoy your classes more, learn efficiently and have more fun without being a "Disruptive Donna". (no offense to Donna's - it's just a moniker I made up) 
So here is the list we compiled from our official scientific student study. 

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! Thus, 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. Let yourself 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 . . .

Prerequisite Defined: a qualification or condition required to make something happen. I think that's very vague - how I see a prerequisite is (like the picture above) a BUILDING BLOCK used to complete one task - and then often used in another task. Without prior knowledge of the A building block, you cannot recite a complete alphabet or follow through with a specific task assigned. My opinion is that many would-be students look at prerequisites like a RULE meant to be broken when in reality it is nothing more than a request to be in a certain STAGE of your crafting that you're able to comprehend the next step. 

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":

Cartoon horse by Melanie Eberhardt 1980
  • 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.

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Pat Riesenburger said...

All great points, Kelli. It is fun to take a peek at the inside of the learning process--thank you for a great series. The best things a student can bring to one of my classes is a sense of adventure and a smile!

The Hole Bead Shoppe said...

Pat, I recently took my first class with a National Instructor basically my first ever class that I didn't teach. The smile came naturally - but I think my sense of adventure was disguised as nerves and blanketed in admiration?
I brought the list that I posted to my blog. I was happy with it. I didn't leave anything at home and I have to say that the absolute worse thing about the class was the CHAIRS. They were all wrong for this type of class. My back was killing me.
I want to write more on this subject as I feel it's so important to be prepared as well as having fun.

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