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5 Tips for being a good student (and get the most out of class!)

I love teaching. And I truly believe that anyone can learn to knit or crochet. My own sweetie learned to crochet a duck in just one weekend:

Tim crocheting at Pittsburgh Knit and crochet festival

I’ve taught oodles of students, and I’ve discovered that the ‘good students’ typically demonstrate some of the same strategies… and you can do them too! Here are some tips for making sure you get the most out of your class!

1. Ask questions

If you don’t understand something, ask! There is no shame in admitting that you’re confused about what’s going on. Raise your hand, even if you don’t know exactly what to ask. Even if you say, “I’m just not getting this part”, a good teacher should be able to guide you.

Of course, do the class (and teacher) a favor and wait until an appropriate time for your question.

2. Ask yourself, ‘could I do this at home?’

It’s all well and good to follow the teacher’s instructions, but if you can’t do the same thing on your own, then how are you going to keep practicing? The teacher isn’t coming home with you!

Once you follow an instruction, ask yourself if you could do the same thing by yourself. If not, take notes or ask the questions you need to get it straight. And then, if possible, do it over again to test yourself.

colorwork crochet class Stacey Trock Stitches

3. Take notes

I know… you had been hoping to leave the notepad in high school. But, if you want to learn a new skill, it helps to jot down notes in your own words. Or, for a tricky stitch, maybe take a photo of your hands (but be mindful of a teacher’s photo policy). Do whatever you need to do so that you can replicate the results at home, later (see #2).

4. Sign up for the right class

This one happens before you even step into the classroom: sign up for the class that’s at the right level for you. It’s tempting to sign up for a super-advanced class, thinking that you’ll learn more. But getting in over your head will really just leave you frustrated. You will probably even learn less, since the teacher will be unable to slow down an entire class to catch you up.


5: Set a realistic goal

What’s your goal for the class? Information in the class might be flying left and right… and it can be difficult to catch every tidbit. Maybe your goal is to learn a new technique. Focusing on accomplishing your task (as opposed to trying to remember every word from the teacher’s mouth) will set you on the path to success!

Happy stitching!