Monday, April 26, 2010

Teaching at Jo-Ann Fabrics

This past Saturday, April 24th I had the pleasure of teaching 2 jewelry classes at Jo-Ann Fabrics in Arlington Heights, the store that I work at.

They were my first classes.  The current teacher had cancelled, and God was on my side when I overheard the managers discussing whether or not to cancel them, and disappoint 18 eager students.  I got the details, and told them that I could do it.  I had taught a small group before and was confident this was my thing!

I would be teaching Jewelry 101 for beginners to learn about tools, materials, beads, and starting to get the hang of using these things, plus clasps and making loops to attach component together to make jewelry.

The second is Jewelry 201 for intermediate beaders.  We would each make a wire-wrapped pendant to attach to a necklace of different silver beads and findings.

So the manager took me up to the office and printed some papers for me.  Guidelines, teaching outline, project materials and so forth, for both classes.  I was very excited and nervous.  I had two days to produce the Wire-Wrapped Necklace pictured on the cover of the Jo-Ann Class brochure!  I was up very late the night before, and very early the morning of the 24th.  Too excited to sleep!

At the classroom I opened the jewelry materials cabinet and looked through what I had to work with.  I brought all of my own supplies as well, just in case.  Students began to arrive, and I was instantly no longer nervous as I began chatting with them about beads and wire.  I began right on time, and walked them through it.  I forgot to let them have a 10 minute break because we were all so excited.  They were great students!  They learned fast.  I never felt impatient with them.  I didn't teach them how to make wrapped loops though, because they seemed to have enough trouble with making their own headpins. Each student successfully finished a bracelet!  I was so proud of them.  I took them out to the aisle with all the beads and findings and talked more about wire and crimps and pliers.

I barely had time to prepare for the next class!  They started arriving, and had to wait for the two students from the first class who signed up right after the first class was over.  I was excited to teach them more!  This class didn't go quite as expected... as every student brought a different kind of pendant to wrap.  So with my expertise on wire, I visited each student individually to suggest to them how to wrap the item they had.  Some students had round pendants, when the supply list said square.  Two had chunks of flat semi-precious stone with no hole at all.  Easy fix though.  They all reported to have had a great time, and so did I.  Everyone here successfully made a necklace that they liked.

I had no idea that I had just worked for eight straight hours!  I LOVED it.  I had a great time, and I learned very much myself.  I couldn't wait to get home to bead even MORE.

My manager came to me in the classroom to talk to me.  And of course she always looks pretty serious, so I was instantly nervous she might say I totally forgot something, or didn't do something!  She said to me, "I haven't had so many compliments about a Jewelry teacher, Laura.  You will be able to do this again, right?"

I sighed with relief and nodded vigorously!  "Yeah!  I mean, this next month is going to be a bit nuts, what with the Bridal showers and the wedding and honeymoon and stuff, but I am ready to do this again!!"

Here's Jo-Ann's homepage. Click on the class Schedule!

1 comment:

  1. I'm am very pleased and proud that you were able to do this on such short notice. I knew you had it in you. Way to go TEACH!