Monday, February 10, 2014

Three Card Teaching Reading: Planning and Fulfillment

I'm about to hop in the shower in preparation for errand-running and volunteering at my daughter's school, but I really wanted to post. It seems like a long, long time since I've posted! I'm so accustomed to posting daily, sometimes more, that it seems so foreign when I only do it once or twice a week! Anyway. I'm a little annoyed with the PicMonkey editor. I need to renew my membership so I get all of the features, and I am feeling kind of lazy so I just used an app on my phone rather than a physical deck. But anyhow.

This three card pull relates to my thoughts about teaching some workshops this spring and summer. Actually, I first thought of teaching last year, when my daughter went to school for the first time in the fall. However, I spent most of the year worrying about how my daughter was going to do in school and she didn't actually go to school until the fall, of course. So when it came time to visit the idea of teaching in 2013, it was really too late to do so very well. It was around that time of year when the holidays are starting (October-December), and the weather is turning colder, and everyone is busy and distracted, including me. I actually DID take the initiative anyway, researching places to possibly teach, considering various options. I visited the local museum/gallery and talked to one of the main head honchos of programs there about teaching classes but after contacting the person who coordinates the classes I received a reply (quite some time later) apologizing but that there were no teaching opportunities for me. I was, admittedly, a bit bummed that she didn't even bother to say, 'Maybe in the spring!' Or anything...nope. Nothing of the sort!

But at the same time it made sense to me.

Planning classes should be done well ahead of time. Often, especially in art centers, museums and the like, classes have to be planned months in advance. I know this because I taught classes 10 years ago, before my daughter was born. The downside to this, obviously, is planning several classes months in advance only to have most of them fall through. I experienced this for the couple odd years I attempted to teach art classes locally, with limited success. This was, I believe, largely due to many people not wanting to commit to 4-8week classes. I noted that even the people who signed up for classes would only show up for about half of them.

So that's where we come to my current idea! Not wanting to be bound by the financial and time-related constraints of teaching classes in an art center, where you have to do a hell of a lot of planning and brochure-printing months in advance, and you only get about half the money, I have decided to use a free venue (in this case, a local coffee shop with a large table that can be reserved) and only hold workshops. These 2-4 hour classes would only require a small commitment of time and money from the people attending.

I thought of this at the end of last year, when I casually spoke of the idea to a couple of my former students who I happened to run across at a holiday art show and sale. They seemed somewhat interested, but I didn't really feel it was something anyone cared much about. And I suppose I kind of let it slip my mind. When I ran into another former student recently I mentioned the idea and she seemed interested. Then it happened again, meeting someone I didn't know but who knew mutual friends that were former students. Then again. It happened maybe half a dozen times when I started thinking maybe I should follow through with my idea.

But...amazingly...I still didn't follow through. I posted a query on Facebook asking former students and current local friends if they had any interest in workshops of various topics, and several people replied. I guess I was feeling a bit gun shy. Finally again last night, after letting it lie for a couple more weeks, one of the participants in the discussion asked when/where this was going to be happening. Whoops. I guess I have to plan something for it to go ahead. I think that sometimes I don't realize that anything can happen if you give it the go ahead. Otherwise, not much will happen.

Sooo...the challenge here is for me to get over my teaching nerves (it's been 10+ years!) and just go for it. Set up a few workshops between March and September (while the weather is decent) and not sweat it. In any case, I'm more of a facilitator than I am a teacher. I do assist when I can, but I'm so casual of a teacher, it's really more of a peer relationship, like a group of women getting together to socialize in a creative context. And that's how I like it!

These three cards I pulled last night after getting the nudge from one of the friends commenting on the topic. They seem pretty positive overall. There's the 6 of Pentacles, which, oddly, is more like the 6 of Wands in this deck. Kinda. It seems less reserved. The image shows a man standing on a balcony looking over a path with trees on either side. Beneath him (though you can't see it in this picture) are the words, 'Material and Spiritual Prosperity'. I find this odd because normally I think of this card as 'give and take'. Plus this card confuses me because the colors of this deck for the minors are a bit odd. Red is the earth element and not the fire element, for instance.

Anyway. So the next cards are the 9 of Cups (Fulfillment of Wishes) and the 7 of Earth (Patience and Planning). To me this makes sense. If I actually plan the classes out and follow through with it, posting the information for interested parties, then I will get the fulfillment of my wish to teach workshops. Otherwise...well, I guess that won't happen. I have to be patient with the process of planning something out.

I guess this is a good way to use this mercury retrograde period. Working on setting up a project I've been thinking about for a long time. The workshops won't actually start until March and beyond, so this planning period this month will be necessary to disseminate information about the workshops and their various details. It feels weird but also right to return to teaching after 10 years. When I began I felt young and super nervous. I was in my early 20's and very new to it. Of course, I am still super nervous, so I don't think that has changed, but maybe the past 10 years have given me a perspective or appreciation of teaching that I didn't have before this point.


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