I am a Teacher

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I love teaching knitting.

There, I said it. I love teaching knitting!

I’ve been teaching now for nearly ten years, formally. And for many more than that informally. My first class was held in Blue Ash, Ohio in my living room. Many of my friends had gone to the yarn shop nearby and bought this, what was then the most beautiful yarn I’d ever held in my hands. One hank of it made a lovely soft, silky, furry scarf. The yarn stayed furry and silky-soft for about a year before it got really gross. Anyway, the first class I taught was in my living room with several of my friends, all of whom wanted me to knit them a scarf. I was the mother of three little kids and there was no way I could have done that. So, I taught them to knit one themselves.

When I moved to Florida, I had some trouble finding a job and decided to take the time to finish my undergraduate degree. While in school, I became certified by the Craft Yarn Council … first, as a knitting instructor and then as a knitting teacher. The training was good although I thought the certification process was pretty easy and somewhat redundant because I had so much experience. But I needed it to teach for Michael’s Stores.

The gig at Michael’s was short-lived. Mostly because I could only teach the classes that they wanted and only with their projects. Most of which were not appropriate for the warm Florida climate. I spent a lot of time doing the paperwork and having no students. And when Michael’s was sold, it changed again and became even more restrictive. Not my idea of a creative process where the teacher is trusted to teach (hmmm, that sounds familiar!)

At some point during this time, I became friends with the owner of my LYS in Orlando. We met (at least formally) at a puppy training class. I happened to be wearing my yarn-patterned clogs and they turned out to be a great conversation starter! Shortly after that, I started teaching at the Black Sheep Shop. I had a blast! Finally, I could teach classes that were allowing me some creativity and that my warm weather students wanted to take. I loved the shop and the people there. We shared a love of fiber and teaching our art and a level of customer service that was top notch!

And then we moved to Maine. I think that the most difficult thing about moving is leaving my  friends. It had taken me a lot of years (five, I think) to find friends who I really had something in common with. My Thursday night knitting group, my Knitting Guild, a few at work and Anne. If you’ve ever moved to entirely different place as an “older” person without having a job to jump in to, you’ll understand.

Fortunately, I have a bunch of summers of knitting at the Yardgoods Center. And when I was asked to pinch-hit during the summer in the shop and then to teach twice a week, I was thrilled. What I love most about teaching is when the lights go on! A student will struggle and struggle with something and then, all of a sudden, they get it. I can see the relief and pride wash over them at that point and the excitement is palpable. So far, I’ve had two beginner students who have “gotten it” in class and they’re doing so well. I love helping them to get to a place with their knitting where they are confident to try new things and they feel wonderful having accomplished a goal (or two!)

Sarah can Knit Mittens! Goal #1 Achieved!
Sarah can Knit Mittens! Goal #1 Achieved!

So, this knitting teacher is super happy to be able to teach. To share what I know. And I am also learning that I am a knowledgeable and competent knitter, too. It makes me feel more confident and more comfortable in my own skin every time I teach. If I can teach it, I must be good at it, right? I am learning too. To feel better about myself. To give myself credit where credit is due. To pat myself on the back for a job well done. I am a good knitter. And I am a good teacher.

Gone knitting.

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