Worried About Teaching 02-20-23 01

Worried About Teaching

Actually a bit anxious and worried about teaching. Teaching knitting, no less. But then again I always get a little bit nervous doing something new.

What’s To Be Worried About Teaching Knitting?

First of all, I want to again declare how much I appreciate those who teach. In large part I am who I am because of dozens of dedicated, talented teachers, instructors, tutors, and professors over the years. Being a teacher requires such a broad set of skills and qualities. Many of them I don’t possess.

Here’s My Task

I have a good friend who teaches art at a Montessori school. She’s asked me to teach two of her classes how to knit. There will be two 1-hour classes this Wednesday morning and a follow up with the same two classes of students next Wednesday. The students are between the ages of 6 and 11 (I think).

What could possibly go wrong?

Yes, I’ve lead knitting workshops at the Men’s Knitting Retreats before. But to a much older, more experienced and smaller group of students.

I’ve decided to teach two skills this week. Casting on and knitting. In essence, I have an hour to teach 12-14 students how to do both these two things. And I will be doing it twice. I’ve decided to use a simple garter, rectangular book mark as the goal of their learning.

Demo Bookmarks for Montessori Class on Knitting

I know the concept of books are almost too antiquated in this day and age, never mind bookmarks. But I wanted to give them a project they could manage in the week between lessons.

I’m hoping to establish two “expert” students who can help others during the week. The art teacher is also a knitter and could lend a hand as well. I’ll be leaving two laminated pictorials. One for casting on and the other for doing the knit stitch.

Next week, I’ll answer any questions they have and show them how to bind off and weave in ends. Wish me luck! I’ll report back on how it goes.

Current Knitting

In addition to putting together all the teaching materials and knitting demo bookmarks, I did finish knitting another pair of Rose’s Fingerless Mitts using my handspun.

You can see how much more handspun I have left to make additional pairs.

Roses Fingerless Mitts 02-20-23 03

So I’ll be working on these for a while.

9 comments on “Worried About Teaching

  1. As a retired teacher, you go Joe! One of my colleagues asked me to teach a very basic knitting class. Oy! I prepared a highly specific lesson with Google slides, yarn, and needles. These were high school students, mind you, and we spent most of the session learning how to form a slip knot. Since your students will be in a Montessori setting, they will have a use for book marks to be used in their actual books. Great idea! I bet it goes beautifully. Best wishes!

  2. You could be that teacher that they fondly remember years from now as having an impact on their lives! You got this!

  3. Do you know the rhyme? In through the front door, once around the back, peek through the window, off jumps jack.
    Or the one for rebellious children: Stab it, strangle it, pull out its guts, push it off the cliff.
    I’ve taught many young ones with these!

  4. Rhymes are great! Also thick needles, not too slippery for the wee ones. The bones in their hands are not fully developed yet so they may have trouble. It’ll be lots of fun. Kids that age are soooooo funny. Retired teacher as well.

  5. 🤔 Will you be teaching continental so that they’re not switching the yarn between hands?
    Also, please remember that you are likely to have one or two left handed students, and to say ‘and all you lefties just to it backwards’ isn’t extremely helpful.

    1. I will not be teaching continental. As first-time knitters, I will let them wrap the yarn in any way that is comfortable for them. Perhaps in the follow-up visit next week when the audience is narrowed down to just those children who are interested, I may show them both methods of knitting.

      As for left-handers, I personally think it’s irrelevant which hand you use as your dominant hand when it comes to knitting. Knitting is a two-handed activity that feels awkward no matter how you learn it. While I’m right-hand dominant myself, most of the actual movement of knitting for me is done with my left hand. I know there are those who disagree with this, but I have never heard a convincing argument as to why you should teach knitting differently to left-hand dominant people.

      Don’t get me wrong, for those people that knit in the opposite direction of me, I wouldn’t say they’re doing it wrong. It’s right for them because that’s how they learned it. But I would never teach a new knitter to knit from right needle onto the left needle because of left-hand dominance.

  6. Joe!
    I’m going to teach medical students how to knit this month. I’ve taught many friends how to knit. Remind them they are learning and it takes a while for their hands to learn the motions. Good luck, I hope there aren’t any tears!

  7. Am I too late!?? Please don’t try to teach them knitted cast on!! That’s super fiddly for the uncoordinated. And really only makes sense after you have learned the k stitch. It will take the whole time. I taught elementary school for many years and have taught quite a few kids to knit. Just do the twist a loop on method! Draw a cursive lower case e and show them how to just twist the yarn so it looks like that and plop it on.

    The BEST knitting instructions I have ever seen for kids are in the book Kids Knitting by Melanie Falcik (not sure if that spelling is right)

    They will love it though. Mostly just be reassuring and don’t let them worry about holes (except you will need to fix their dropped stir aches so things don’t entirely unravel) or shrinking or growing edges. Try to help them be proud of trying a new thing not be worried about it being perfect. It’s a Practice piece.

    Enjoy! This age of kiddo is SO much fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *