Friday, October 17, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

This week was a very short week for me. Since Monday was Thanksgiving, it was a holiday and then today I took the day off to teach knitting to some of the kids at the local elementary school. What was I thinking??? Perhaps I wasn't...
Firstly, my hat goes off to any of you out there who are or who have ever been a teacher. After today, I'm pretty sure that you're all very underappreciated.
Now I have kids of my own. Two of them. Boys even! This did not prepare me for what lay in store for me. 11 kids were expected. 12 arrived. No problem - I had prepared an extra bag. 4 boys and 8 girls. Each of them received a bag containing basic knitting instructions, a ball of yarn and a set of needles. I tried to explain to them what was in the bag and why it was there, noting particularly the fact that all the instructions had pictures in case that was easier than reading... Oh - wait - it's so much easier to understand instructions if you actually listen to them! I had not realized previously how very attentive my own children were.
I spent an hour with them and have 4 more sessions with them. The first session went something like this:
Me: "Knitting needles are not weapons. Please do not poke or hit anyone with them. Please do not sword fight with them. If you do this, I will have to take them from you." (Many of them took this as a challenge...) "The first thing that we need to do is learn how to make a slip knot since that is the first step to casting on, which is the start of knitting. Open you booklet to the first page..."
This started a chorus os "I can't do this!" "This is too hard!"
I tried to explain that you should never give up on something before you've even tried it, and that it is okay to make mistakes and to have to try again.
I even had one kid say "My Gran knits and it isn't that hard - you must be doing it wrong." Pardon??? I'm still not sure who should really be more insulted: me or her unknowing Gran!

However, on the bright side, one of the little boys in the group (who happens to be a friend of Younger Son) was very attentive. At the end of the hour, where he had suceeded in starting to cast on his stitches, he asked me if it was okay for him to take his knitting home with him and if it was okay for him to work ahead if he wanted. I could have hugged him! It was just what I needed to hear, rather than the little girl who spent an hour demanding to be allowed to leave for a different group and having been told no, insisting that all my time be spent with her and was baffled when I told her that since I wasn't convinced she was going to come back, that no, she couldn't take it home with her.


scappyhappy said...

I remember thinking I was doing such a good thing teaching younger ones something I loved so much. Wrong. A good friend and I had a Girl Scout group 33 years ago. I remember teaching this a very simple craft that my daughter who was 2 at the time could do. Oh my...I didn't think that glue and pompoms could be squished so and glue could be spread to far. The interest level wasn't at all what I thought it should have been...I and my friend just looked at each other and wondered just what we would do with them the rest of the year...lessons learned the hard way. Keep up the good work and keep your fingers crossed the little guy will make you proud. Makes your realize that you own children are the best and you have done a great job!

Angela said...

Hahaha, aren't children precious? LOL!! I don't have any myself and if I do, I hope they turn out better behaved than most of the ones you had in your class! Well you can't please everyone, so long as one of them learns something and enjoys the class then it was worth your time!! Can't wait to hear what happens next session.

Lisa said...

You have officially been nominated for Sainthood! I filled in for Trouble's Honors Art History class for three weeks....Not only could I never teach for a living, I firmly believe that those who do could never be compensated with enough money to make up for some of the children they are required to "instruct". I hope the remaining sessions are productive and that you do not kill any of them in the process!

Nancy @ the Jersey Shore said...

Ack! Kids...boy, you are braver than I am, my friend!