Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TIPS For Teaching

While at the Woodcarving Illustrated/Fox Chapel Open House, I was fortunate to be one of several instructors.  My classes were focused on new whittlers/carvers, or at least ones with limited experience.  I prepared my notes, with the anticipation of addressing the class of 20 participants, followed by a demonstration; then hands on by the participants.  During this hands on part of the class I planned to move about the participants helping those that needed it.  Well, it soon became evident that the venue/location (steam engines, tractors, train locomotives (all with loud whistles) and a garden tractor pull, was just plain too loud to be heard.  Loud, but fun!

My solution proved more effective than what I had intended.

The classes were one hour in length.  The way my classes were scheduled resulted in the class tent being vacant the hour prior to my class.  What this meant was that half a dozen folks always showed up early.  So, as soon as these early birds arrived, I sat them around me (close) and had them watch me whittle the project (5 minute wizard).  As I whittled the project I explained each cut.  After everyone received this close up demonstration they started on their own blanks, with the assistance of step-by-step study sticks, and I went around to provide individual assistance.  Here's the classroom!
I think these small (4 to 6) participants sitting with me and observing close up as well as listening to my explanations worked better that me demonstrating and explaining to the whole class of 20.  It was almost like one to one teaching.....Nearly the same results.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tom, you are correct, it was loud but fun. A great atmosphere for this event. Enjoy you pictures and blog posts. Also enjoyed meeting you, I had the bark class between your classes. Hope to see you again soon. Bob Hershey