May 16, 2007

Class Coordinators

One of my personal challenges is to teach 50 classes, but, to do so, I need venues for my classes. The Good Gentles who coordinate classes, be they for demos or Kingdom Universities, are the heroes of the A&S world. I have three stories for you about their trials and tribulations:

I regularly teach at local events and Pennsic, but somehow I have never taught at a Kingdom University. I somehow had it in my head that the roster would be full of Laurels, and that the Chancellor would have no use for me; she asked me "are you KIDDING?", and that she would love to have me teach; it seems she doesn't have enough teachers! I am thrilled. We will see if she and my students are thrilled *after* my classes!

A local Lady is running a Collegium here in the fall, and I certainly hope that I can fill some teaching hole in her schedule. HER problem is that folks aren't telling her what they want to learn. Sometimes I know what I want to study, and can ask for it, but other times I see a class listed on the schedule and think "wow - I'd LOVE to learn that!" (One of the best classes I ever attended was completely on this kind of whim; all about folding letters in period appropriate ways; sort of like European origami with words! Even better? It was taught in persona! Hurray!)

Lastly, I have caused a MAJOR headache for the class coordinator of a Royal Progress we have coming up; I have become a scheduling nightmare. I consider myself a very adaptable and accomodating person generally (don't laugh!), but having a family is apparently changing that. Trying to coordinate things so that my husband can fight and my kids can always have a parent available AND I can teach more than one class is proving to be a real tangle, and *I'm* not the one trying to juggle the schedule! I really hope that the coordinator decides that my classes are worth the hassle I have caused her!

In summary,
* Let folks know what you are interested in and want to learn about; maybe your interest will be just the kick in the pants someone needs to get them to teach for the first time or to prepare a new class to meet your need

* Volunteer to teach, even if you haven't done it before, and even if you aren't an 'expert' on the subject. You you could host a roundtable, and create an opportunity for folks to share their experiences and knowledge with each other.

* People do have legitimate scheduling conflicts, but please be as accomodating as possible as to when and where you teach; not everyone can have the best room or time, and sometimes teaching means missing classes you would like to attend as a student, but, if everyone was super fussy, there wouldn't be many classes to attend in the first place. Offer to NOT teach if meeting your scheduling needs is becoming a real headache to the coordinator.

And, lastly, gentles usually thank the teacher of their classes, but not often the person who arranged for them; say thank you (or make a toast at feast, or write a letter to the Royals) for the efforts of your Class Coordinators. Even better: volunteer to be Class Coordinator yourself; offer to apprentice to someone, then take on a small event or series of workshops in your local group, you'll be helping to create learning opportunities for everyone!

Thank you Class Coordinators!

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