a few thoughts about teaching scrapbooking

Many moons ago I was a teacher of scrapbooking classes. I'm not really one to enjoy standing in front of an audience of people for any other reason, but I loved teaching scrapbooking. Loved.

Being a good scrapbooking teacher requires more than the ability to say "glue this piece to that piece". That, however, is a topic for another day.

These days I am a taker of classes.

For a good class, I am willing to drive a long way and pay a good amount of money. I enjoy being around creative and crafty co-horts and I like the process of creating while letting someone else do the thinking, the planning and preparing and the clean-up. (I might be a lazy crafter.)

However, I have one rule. This rule came about through great disappointment, on several occasions. When deciding to take a class in scrapbooking or card-making, I have but one rule: I will not sign up for a class without having seen some part of the actual projects being completed in the class.

Will. Not.
Under any circumstances.
Not gonna do it.
Ever again.

Why should I make the risky investment of my money and time, when the teacher can't be bothered to invest a photo or three of the project?

There's a rather popular teacher in my area who offers classes on a regular basis at a local church. She sells products from a direct sales organization. She regularly has 45-75 people in attendance at her day-long events, and charges $60-$75 for the day of crafting. (Hello. What a sweet gig.)

I have met a few of the people who attend her events pretty regularly and they rave. "Her stuff is always so cute!" they say with such glee. "You should come!" And their excitement makes me want to attend...but I have this rule.

And when I go to her website, it's out of date. Woefully. Months. Almost a year.
When I email her, I get no response.

When someone on Facebook asks about her next event, she gives them the date. If they ask for pictures, she claims to not be that technologically advanced. But hey, she can use Facebook.

Her newsletter tells you how to sign up for her class and gives a brief description. Something along the lines of "Come have a great time making 16 cards with fun and fresh designs using XYZ product!" Ummm, yeah. That tells me nothing.

Oh wait. It tells me she's not interested in growing her business with new people. Maybe she has enough business. It's like she can't be bothered. And that bothers me. How hard is it to finish your project, take a picture and slap it up on Facebook or your blog?



Barbara Eads said...

As a scrapbook teacher too, I have finally gotten away from "teaching" layouts. I'm more "in" to the stories anyway. But I know why she doesn't post pictures. It's one of two reasons:
1. She doesn't finish her projects until right before the class.
2. She doesn't want people to decide they can do the projects on their own without taking the class.

I'm pretty sure that's it. Plus, now she has a following and isn't worried about growing her business.

TracieClaiborne said...

I'm one of the ones guilty of not posting pics of my cards and the only reason is because I don't make time to do the cards until 2-3 days before. I buy the supplies AFTER I see how many people are signed up. Thankfully, I show enough of my work online that people know what to expect from me and I've continued having sold out classes every month without showing preview images. But I'm with you - I don't trust someone enough normally to take their class without seeing it. I'm just blessed with a faithful follower. It's the favor of God, I guess!