Saturday, 24 May 2014

Soapbox

 
I just thought I'd have a little rant about how success can go to the heads of the best of us - and by the best of us, I mean quilters!  And in particular, those quilters who see themselves as important and knowledgeable enough to do talks and teach workshops.  Recently I heard about a quilter who came to speak to a group and just brought photos of her quilts, as 'they were all being exhibited at the moment'!  Not good enough.  Then there was the speaker who showed slides of her work (wait - it gets worse!) and said partway through the show that she'd lost her notes so couldn't remember exactly what some of the images were 'but it's OK!'  It is certainly not OK, not when she was charging nearly £200 for her talk!  Add to this the speaker who wouldn't use a head mike because 'my hair is so soft, it'll fall off'' and the one who declined the mike because 'everyone will be able to hear me', or those who have to be asked to face their audience, not the screen, who read from pages of notes, who won't get on the stage because they are nervous, or have obviously done the talk so many times, even they are bored with it!  Then there are the teachers who are obviously very talented and creative people, but couldn't teach their grandmothers to suck eggs, those who are rude about people's sewing machines, choice of fabrics or work, have only one way of explaining something, and if you don't understand it's your fault, not theirs.  We don't expect to pay to do a workshop and be insulted, which is what it amounts to. 
Of course, the majority of speakers and teachers I have encountered turn up on time, properly prepared, are knowledgeable, generous and personable,  They carry out whatever has been arranged and leave us delighted and inspired.  They must get plenty of praise, but I feel we shouldn't be bullied into being polite about those speakers and teachers who aren't up to the job. 
What do you think?

5 comments:

Bekah said...

Well said!
Unprofessionalism is just unfair. I think people should only teach if they know they are going to give their 100% and really care about passing on their knowledge, regardless of the topic. Some teachers only do it for the money, but the truly great teachers are the ones who do it because they believe in helping others and sharing their knowledge with them.

loulee said...

Here here.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Well said...Unfortunately so many talented quilters think that they can teach and talk "just like that" actually it's hard to teach well and hard to talk well... And as soon as you call yourself a "Pro" you can charge big ££... What good teachers (and I include myself in that list) should do is allow students a forum to give good constructive criticism so that they can improve their skills as a speaker and as a teacher without taking it as an insult...

Debbie milne said...

Well said Lynda x

Sarah Jayne said...

I agree whole heartedly. There are some amazing artists who are poor teachers. I have described them as 'hands off' tutors as they are more concerned about working on their own projects rather than walking around the class assisting students. There are certainly some teachers I wouldn't attend any classes with again - but luckily there aren't many. The majority are enthusiastic and professional.