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.