Our DVD subscription service began with a chance remark from a knitter in the US, who said she wanted to own all my DVD’s but would like time to digest one before the next one arrived. Could we possibly send them spaced out over a period of time? Well, we now offer a service where we ship one or two discs every month (or every two months) – at whatever schedule you think will work best for you. Once you have subscribed for this service, there is no need for you to remember which DVD you already have or which to order. We will keep track of your growing collection of titles.
Not surprisingly, the topics covered on the DVD’s were largely inspired by customer and student suggestions.
I have traveled around, teaching thousands of classes in hundreds of places over the years. I suspect I have learned as much as my students.
One particular observation led to the initial idea of making the DVD’s. I was, too frequently, surprised by the knowledge gaps in otherwise experienced and gifted knitters. I kept notes, and made these ‘missing techniques’ the first to be addressed in the DVD series.
The latest intriguing idea has come to me from a knitter on the West coast of the US.
“Since I met you at the Bend Knitters workshop, I have been pondering this idea: Cloning you. Have you thought about teaching teachers to teach using your videos? I would certainly be interested in a program like that. “Lucy Certified Teachers”. I have been asked to teach classes at my LYS and would love to have teaching training to improve my presentations.”
It is an odd coincidence that this email so closely dovetails into my current thinking:
I have been forced to admit that, in spite of spending half my life on the road, I cannot physically reach every knitter and spend time with them! I could, however, help other knitting teachers spread the good word in a nurturing and in-depth manner. There are of course technical aspects to teaching knitting, but more importantly, there are ways to teach that support and transport the student – ways to leave them feeling confident, even enlightened. There is an added layer of understanding gained when we teach not only the ‘how this is done’, but also the ‘why it works or behaves this way’.
I passionately want my students to understand and love knitting as I do, to feel confident enough to break the ‘rules’ and enjoy experimenting. This power and freedom can be gained only from an understanding of the underlying structure and behaviour of any knitted fabric. It is on this philosophy that all my classes are constructed. ‘Power to the knitting people!’
My light-bulb moment: If I teach the teachers, they will be saved the years of experimenting and trying out teaching strategies that I’ve already gone through, and the knitting craft will be ensured a good supply of first-rate teachers, so that ever more knitters learn to love and understand their art to the fullest. It seems like a winning idea all around!
I would construct a workshop covering: my principles of course design, teaching methods, DVD’s and other teaching aids, student support techniques, contract writing and negotiating, physical space and materials requirements, and workshop scheduling.
To those of you who teach knitting, occasionally or regularly, and those who are considering teaching knitting: How does ‘Lucy Neatby Certified’ sound to you? Would you take this course?
Shop owners: Would it make your search for an instructor to invest in easier if this certification were available? Would it be a consideration in whether you hire this person or not? Do you think it is an idea worth pursuing?