Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Who Needs Teachers...

...when we have each other."

I am quite sure this comment on a chat group was not meant to denigrate 'real' teachers but was instead a heartfelt expression of gratitude that the members of that group were willing to answer newbie questions and share their experience.

But as a 'real' teacher, one who relies on a part of my income from teaching, it left me feeling...redundant, at the very least.  That my decades of research into, learning about, experimenting in and attempting to pass that knowledge on to others via published articles, workshops and seminars was in some way invalid.  That in the age of the internet, all that was needed was a few chat groups and a willingness to pass on freely one's experiences, as shallow or deep as they may be.

It was especially discouraging as I am about to embark on the effort, requiring dozens of hours, of turning two of my presentations into media formats (two different formats, two different learning curves).  It will take literally hours of my time, time when I could be at the loom weaving all of the lovely painted warps like this one.

Instead I will be devoting much of my coming days to writing outlines, trying to find visual aids that I can include (or generating them myself), weaving examples, collecting the equipment required, travelling 600 miles (and back again) in the one instance, all to try and share what I have learned in the 35+ years I have been studying this multi-layered craft as a profession.

But I'm not needed because "we have each other".

And then I found this review:  It was a lovely validation and reminded me why I spend the time to prepare teaching topics, battling air travel and jet lag.  Thank you Suzi for inviting me to Atlanta, and Isabel for your review.

I will be adding Rochester, NY to my schedule in the next few days - they have asked me to give presentations prior to the EGLFC conference this October.


Laila said...

Maybe it depends on how well you want too learn things. Do you just want to be able to do them or do you want to know how, why and in what way's you can mod them etc. And with a real teacher at hand you don't have too invent the wheel again. Or do some of all the mistakes that are lurking out there...

Oh, and I love the scarfs you are doing, they look so nice and soft.

Suzanne Anderson said...

Ditto to everything Isabel said about the SEFAA class in Atlanta! I have incorporated many of Laura's techniques into my weaving and have seen some tremendous progress. Thank you Laura for teaching and sharing your experience with others!

Countryside Reflections said...

The Internet will never replace a physical teacher's information and help. It might answer a few questions and solve a few problems, but the insight gained from someone as knowledgeable as you can't be replaced. It's like trying to learn from a book as opposed to taking a class.

I wish I could meet you in Rochester and at EGLFC because I live in the area, but unfortunately I'm a caregiver for my mom and I can't leave her. I hope to take a class from you in the future though.


DebbieB said...

ME! I need teachers! Keep doing what you're doing, Laura - though we've never met, you've already taught me much through your publications and your blog, and I am grateful.

Peg Cherre said...

Me, too - I need teachers! Given where I live (2 hours from anywhere), most of my weaving is very solo, as has most of my learning been. As a result, although I can do a lot of things, I am woefully inadequate with terminology, and, in many cases, knowing WHY something works - or doesn't. I regret that my schedule doesn't allow me to come to EGLFC, but hopefully I can make a Rochester meeting; please keep me posted!

BTW - I, too, have learned lots from you - from your blog, your YouTube videos, your emails, and your publications. It's not as good as in-person, but it is something.

Unknown said...

Laura, I have been offline for a week or so & missed how all of your travels went. Hopefully all went well and you had a great and safe trip.
There are those of us who will always need the kind of valuable information that you have aquired over your weaving lifetime! You have saved me so many headaches and frustrations with the information you have willingly shared. Without teachers like you willing to sacrifice for the sake of knowledge for others this would be a very void and cold world. You insire me to continue when things go awry on my end. In short you never give up and seem to always find a positive out of what could be a negative. I hope and pray for a resorative peaceful time for you so that your creative energy will revive with vigilant vitality. Your knowledge is needed by others and your courage to pursue modern venues to share that knowledge is awesome. Rest, rejuvenate, and restore yourself. Your students are waiting my friend. (irishlassie1956)