Monday, July 20, 2015

The Economics of Knitting - Classes

One of the the very kind compliments I frequently get on my classes is that I share so much information and new technique skills. That compliment was recently followed up with a question. "Why do the American teachers have so little content in their classes?" I'm in Canada and we do get foreign teachers here at some events but we are a large country with a small population. Many teachers are locals even at our larger venues.

That one did throw me for a moment. There is a lot pressure from students for small classes and a lot more pressure from venues for larger classes. Larger classes mean more profit. I set myself a personal standard which includes knowing that every student, even the really experienced ones leave my classes with some new knowledge. 

Increasing class numbers creates a problem for me because  my teaching plan timing is based on student numbers. More students means less material can be covered. As it is, I also have to adjust during the class based on student skill level which varies widely between classes and between students and is completely unknown in advance. 

After I thought about it, I realized the person asking the question had been attending some of the big knitting events with large classes in the U.S. She is also a very experienced knitter and very open to new information. I shared my insight with her and suggested she might want to focus on different kinds of classes to see if she can find a better fit for her learning requirements. I also thought to myself "whew I'm glad that started with a compliment and wasn't a complaint about my class".



  1. I agree with your assessment: Larger classes can mean less material covered. It really depends on the type of class, though. I don't mind large lecture style classes, but if it's a very hands on class, I don't like to go higher than 15 students.

  2. Good observation. Teaching a large class with no idea what people know is a real challenge.