I've taught crochet for many years. Mostly for free. When I was going to college. When I moved back to Albuquerque, I wanted to continue this. But it got all sorts of complicated. Like people wouldn't show up. So I started to charge a small fee. $10 a class.
And for 2 classes it went well. Granted I wasn't teaching a beginning class. The ladies who attended, knew how to crochet. They were just interested in a certain pattern. Or technique.
When I started charging for classes, I felt so guilty. But you know what? People started showing up. They took it more seriously. A friend of mine had told me...if people have to part with their money...they'll be there for the right reasons. And it worked.
Ladies were learning a new pattern. I got a little money. At least it paid for my gas. And at times, something to eat on the way home. During my last class, I even used some of that money...to buy little things. Like crochet hooks, a book, a bag...and we did a little drawing. It was a fun class.
One thing to note, I try and do my classes in the winter. When the Markets aren't going and we don't have Craft Shows. Then I'm not worried about making stock for our shop...or orders. I'm 100% in the class.
But I'd been having so many people ask me about a Beginning Crochet Class. It got to the point, that I was being asked 20+ times a day...at the Markets. So I said why not? I picked a Tuesday...but was open for Wednesday. Settled on a library not too far from me. But that was easily accessible from the freeway. And thought we were set.
My first class was amazing. Way more students than I thought. 16! The second...a rain storm hit. And many people couldn't make it. To be honest, just my cousin made it. We waited around for 10-15 minutes. And then decided to postpone a week. About 5 minutes after she left...I was printing out a few patterns...4 ladies showed up. We ended up doing a mini class.
Now the next part...is sorta my fault. But not really. My uncle got really sick. Ultimately, he passed away. And I missed 2 classes. I posted on FB. But I did miss. Last week, I posted that we'd have class on Wednesday. Because before all this postponing, cancelling, and rescheduling...we didn't have a class planned on this week. And I had other plans.
On Wednesday, I had none of my regular students. None! And as I was getting ready to leave...4 of the nicest ladies came in. We had class. And actually had the BEST time! Laughing, joking, learning. It was a good class.
Fast forward to Saturday. I had 2 ladies...from a previously class...come scream at me. Because after one class, they wanted to make mermaids, unicorns, and ninja turtles. They had attended ONE class. I had taught the Granny Square. Basically double crochet. Not amigurumi. Not how to make a doll. I NEVER promised that we'd get to that point.
They kept screaming. And I just couldn't handle them. They demanded I teach them these other things. That I just HAD to teach them. Right then and there. I explained to them, that I could teach them a private class. Or they could attend an upcoming class.
Because I had put up a series of classes, that I wanted to teach next. After Beginning Granny Square, I was taking 2 weeks off. Then teaching 4 weeks of Corner to Corner. I would take another 2 weeks off. Then teach a class on How to Make a Hat and Scarf. Then I was taking a serious break. And after the New Year, I was going to teach an Amigurumi Class. This was and still is going to be my ONLY Beginning Class. It's just too hard.
At this point, a friend of mine came by. And told these ladies they needed to leave. The ironic part, the night they took my class...they didn't have crochet hooks. So I let them each borrow one. Never got them back. But honestly it doesn't matter. And they NEVER paid me. Again, I'm cutting my loses.
So on Monday, I get a call from those 4 nice ladies. They won't be back. It just wasn't their thing. Totally OK. Crochet isn't for everyone. I know that. Then a group of elderly women...who had convinced me to go teach them across town. During the day. Quit on me too. Because they found someone to teach them for free. I mean we were 3 weeks in. Only one week left. But it's all good.
1. Beginning classes aren't for me. I just can't. It's stressful. Not because of the teaching. But the inconsistency of the students. They're not 100% sure if they want to learn. They can't commit.
2. Don't accommodate the students. I mean, does a certain day/time/location work. That I'm OK with. But if someone wants me to go across town...let's pay up front. I know then...you'll be committed.
3. Beginning students have expectations, that far outweigh their skills. I had many students tell me, "By next week I'll be making toys." I had students go to our stand, and when they thought I couldn't hear, say, "I can make better things than this." I also had students who thought in a week's time, they'd be making 20 blankets. Let's take baby steps, before we run.
It is tough. I don't want to discourage anyone. If you try, you can make it. I promise. But I'm not sure about this teaching thing. It's the first time, that I've ever been so disappointed.
If you've noticed on FB...I've cancelled all future classes. I'm not sure how to go about this in the future. I was talking to some other Makers. I know I won't do a Beginning Class. If you want to learn...I will do a 1-on-1 class. Or up to a 3-on-1 class. But not another structured 4 week class.
As far as the other classes I had planned. I'm just not sure. I'm really not. I have 2 friends and a family member who really want to learn. So I've made arrangements. To meet them for a 2 hour individual classes.
If you want a lesson like that, leave me a message here or on FB. You can even email me at TCHCrochetClass@gmail.com. For now, that is what I'm going to try. See if things end up differently. More than anything, I'd like to be treated with the same respect, I give others.
I might try a Corner to Corner Class in the Fall. And maybe just charge a flat fee. Say $35. If weekly classes seem too much. I might just do 3 sessions. Biweekly. Class #1: Learn how to start and increase. Class #2: Learn to decrease. Class #3: Learn some edging. I'll probably have people sign up online...and pay that way as well. With a minimum of 5 students.
As much as I love to teach other people how to crochet, it also needs to be of some benefit to me. I mean the big box Craft Stores charge anywhere from $30-60 a class! So I'm not asking too much. Especially when some of their classes are 25 students. I also have a FB group and email, for my students to contact me later.
If you've gotten this far, great job! And I have a little deal for you. Once a month, I have Crochet Chats. I pick a place, and we meet up. Usually a restaurant, coffee shop, sometimes a store. And we crochet. Just bring your current WIP and come over. I've done this since January. Another one of those things, I used to do a long time ago.
Some months we have 20 people. Some months there are 2 of us. I pick a place that usually serves food. Because we usually meet at 6PM. It's usually the last Tuesday of the month. If you're interested...keep on eye on ourFB page. I'll start posting the events there.
Sorry for anyone that is disappointed in our classes. Or the fact that we have cancelled them. It makes my heart sad too. But join us for Crochet Chats. It really is nice to meet other Makers. 💕