This made me think of teaching classes myself and why I haven't taught many. People have asked me many times to teach classes. Especially when I was in the Guild. They have the idea that teachers just magically throw out their thoughts and instruction without preparation. Oh, how wrong they are! Maybe there is someone that has been teaching for fifty years and they can teach a class with their eyes closed. If there is someone like that, they are few and far between.
I recently taught a six hour class over two days. Preparation involved many things:
- I spent several sessions on the computer researching pastel techniques and history.
- I knew what I wanted to teach, but had to put the hows and whys together.
- I prepared some cheat sheets with ideas on composition, color, value, pastels, techniques for using pastels, supports, pastels, etc. This was about 6 pages of information.
- I made a lesson plan for how the time would best be used.
- I planned a short demo for each day.
- Gene helped me to cut foam core for folders and different papers to size for trying each kind.
- I gathered equipment and supplies.
- Gene and I carried my equipment to the studio and brought it back.
I would guess I put in 20 hours prep time for the class, maybe more, about triple the class time. This doesn't include my experience and knowledge that is stored to answer questions and give assistance. Or the time on publicity and coordinating with the interested artists. It was in a friends studio, so she did the prep time on the studio setup and cleaned up afterwards.
For someone that teaches regularly, I would guess that prep time would be similar. So if you have regular classes, that would require many hours of preparation time. Of course if you taught a weekly class to different people, your prep time would be less as you could do the same class over and over. This is probably rare also. I would guess that most students keep coming back to classes.
I enjoyed teaching the class and sometimes I wish I taught more. I learn from teaching. But .. I do not have the time or the dedication to be a regular teacher and do a good job. I would not do it if I wasn't prepared.
If you are a regular teacher, I applaud you. If you are a student, I encourage you to appreciate your instructor. (My students were very appreciative and kind.)