My Teaching Goals
My teaching goals are to help you get “it“. Whatever I’m teaching, I want to see that light go on, or hear that the information helped you. My core teaching goals are you learning and being able to use the information in a way that is useful to you.
Why I Teach
Prior to 2000, and my first time stepping into a classroom, I’m not sure I had ever thought about teaching, as such. I had a vision of myself working with apprentices, so I guess I was thinking of myself as an educator, but not actually in the act of teaching. In that vision was a desire to share what I know, and build relationships with others who want to follow my passions. I don’t think that vision has changed; the only thing that has changed is that I now understand how to teach, have developed some skills around that, and still love opening those doors.
What I Get From Teaching
But I started teaching because it was offered to me. I liked having to master material and I enjoyed presenting it. It gave my mind something to always be thinking about, and it turned out that I loved standing in a classroom and sharing. I do think I get mesmerized by my own voice sometimes! You can look at my CV through 2021.
Teaching also helps me learn and understand. As someone who is very observant of myself and others, it became a way to sort out behavior, knowledge, lack of understanding, and to find ways to reach an audience. My language skills became very useful as I could easily reframe or rephrase things when my audience wasn’t getting it. I noticed in a class of international students how difficult it was to search on the internet if you didn’t have a depth of language options for a word, concept, product, etc. It has become easier, but it made me really think about language. Those same international students showed me how they were able to see things in our language that native speaking student peers didn’t see because they hadn’t had to “study” the language.
How I Can Help You!
I like to teach. I’m good at it. I’m funny and irreverent, but I know my stuff! I have been focused on learning what I know since I was 10 years old. I’ve been to trade school. I’ve been to design school. I worked. I taught at fashion schools. I pursued my passion for fashion, and didn’t stop when I focused on knitwear. I now have dual passions: fashion and knitwear.
My Areas of Expertise
- design (as a discipline),
- design (practical application)
- garment and other construction (knit and woven),
- fiber and fabric use,
- creativity (using it and corralling it), and
- clothing as a transformative tool (I’m also really good at accessories).
It is rare for me to teach in yarn shops, or at retail knitting shows. I could, but I prefer to spend my weekends with my beloved spouse, so I don’t. I do teach online! To present my in-person, online classes, I currently use GoToMeeting or Ecamm. It is interactive, which I prefer.
I don’t really like doing download classes (where the material is not presented in person) because I think it breaks the link between the instructor and the student/participant. I know it is all too easy to just drift away when someone isn’t expecting you to show up, because I do it myself. Time is our most precious resource, but using it for education is a very valuable and valid use of our time. Do yourself a favor and try a class!
Try an Introductory Video
There is not currently a webinar available to view to see me presenting, but you can watch Introductory Videos I’ve done. There are more recorded, and it is my hope to someday get them uploaded! Nearly everything at Jill Wolcott Knits is done by me, so if the camera is rolling, I’ve set everything up. Editing video makes me crazy, so you just get the raw me! I think about fixing my makeup or hair when I look at the results, but I have to just go with it or nothing would ever get finished. Whatever I’m saying I’ve thought about, but it is extemporaneous!
Try an Online Learning Experience
I recently put on a Knitter’s Math Webinar to allow potential students to see what it was like to learn from me, and from me online.
Currently Available Online Instruction
Knitter’s Math (in-person, February 6 & 13, 2020)
Knitter’s Math (Downloaded class, February 6, 13, 17 & 20, 2020)
A System of Grading Introduction (two 1-hour webinars) (in-person, February 18 & 20, 2020)
A System of Grading Section I: Essentials (four 1-hour classes) (in-person, February 18 & 25, March 3 & 10, 2020)
Without missing a beat we will move into:
A System of Grading Section II: Application (four 1-hour classes) (in-person, March 17 & 24, 2020, resuming April 28 & May 5, 2020)
Notice that there is a month-on hiatus during Section II. I’ll be traveling. I will give you something to do while I’m gone, but that is also when Easter & Passover and most school holidays occur.
A System of Grading Section I: Pattern Generation (four 1-hour classes) (in-person, May 12, 19, 26 & June 2, 2020)
Memorial Day is May 25, so the May 26 session may have to shift to another day.
A System of Grading Section I: Real Applications & Shaping (six 1-hour classes) (in-person, June 9, 16, 23 & June 30, 2020)**
As of 1/15/2020, I haven’t written the product materials for this new iteration of this class. It will be a total of 20 hours of class time. At least an equal amount of time is needed to do the homework.
**You will receive a certificate of completion after I grade your final project. I will likely offer this more than once over the summer so students can pick up classes to fit their schedule.
An IRL Learning Experience
I’ve got a class scheduled for Yarnover in the Twin Cities on April 25, 2020! You could join me and learn about Yoke Sweaters for Real Bodies. It is an all-day (6-hour) class. This will mostly cover adjusting or creating a yoke sweater for the body underneath it, but I am likely to give a lot of fashion and style tips too! If the class goes, I’ll be at Yarnover and maybe a local yarn shop that weekend. If you are located where this is a possibility, it is very well-priced, but you do need to join the Guild that sponsors it.