Workshops - my love of teaching, connecting and sharing ideas for you as a teacher


This week someone asked me what I loved most about teaching workshops, and I was still on the delicious floating high from having been teaching at a weekend of gatherings / workshops at beauty-ful Atelier 34. So I was in the exact heart-place to answer that question.

It got me thinking about workshops, and being a teacher. And really really why I do love teaching, sharing, connecting and being in a place that I can guide and inspire others about what I love.

I’ve been teaching officially in creative workshops for about 10 years now. (I checked my old blog to see if my memory was correct in this random date, and yes it was… perhaps a little over 10 years). Previous to that I was in a position where I was teaching, guiding, showing others in my work place role. And as a child I was always the teacher when we played schools. Oh yes we did. On our weekends and holidays my sister, neighbours and friends & I would set up little desks out of boxes and cushions, and we’d make school work, which they’d complete and I’d mark.

My answer to the question, about what I love, was that while I’m teaching I’m actually learning and being open to experiencing what other’s have to offer me. Being a teacher, for me, is not about standing at the front of the room the whole class and dictating what to do, how to do it, or about making sure that students are copying / following along with me exactly.

It’s about holding a space where people can discover new things about themselves, tap into something that they previously might not have had the quietness or perhaps permission (that’s a whole other blog post to talk about) to think about. It’s about being a guide - walking beside someone and pointing things out to them; while also looking at what they point out to me, being open and aware and actively eager to see things from their perspective.

I think also I am putting myself in a space similar to where my own mother put herself. As a yoga teacher (amongst many other creative, heart-ful outlets) my mother was generous, giving, always offering more of herself than people anticipated or maybe had experienced to such depth before. {Even 16 years after her death I still have people talk to me about her with such honour and deep sense of connection).

Maybe I’m channelling her when I’m given the opportunity to share, connect, inspire, offer ideas & thoughts & insights that I’ve gleaned through my own experience. All these things are put into a rather simple word of teacher - which anyone knows with those teachers who touch our hearts, it’s not a big enough word is it.

The offical meaning of the word teacher is boring and limiting in the scope of what a teacher actually is, do you agree?

I want to, of course, also write about these photos and the weekend of magic where I was able to meet so many people, in real life, who I have known online for a long time. The warmth of these gatherings, at Atelier 34, are due to the woman who hosted me in your space. Generous, warm, loving, giving, kind, (immensely) hard-working, visionary woman Lisa. Oh my oh my oh my!!! These photos, while divine and dreamy, do not quite do justice to the energy that Lisa creates, brings and holds in her events, and her gorgeous self. Get yourself to one of her workshop / gatherings when you can!

While all my workshops are special, and (apart from one rare person over 10 years), every single student who comes along is AMAZING, the love that you gave me at both my book launch and weaving workshop during the weekend past was something that filled me up in ways I can barely describe. What I can say is that your energy, enthusiasm and words of caring, sharing, openly telling me how much fun you were having, the smiles on your faces, the hugs, the gifts you gave me ~ all combined to remind me, tell me solidly, that I am in exactly the right place that I am meant to be in.

I believe that I have grown as a person, a human, an artist, a woman, a maker, a writer, a speaker because I have been honoured to be a teacher.

a few of my humble tips for being a generous honest teacher

01 : Be open to listening & learning from your students

02 : You don’t have to know all the answers - being wrong is ok. Admit you don’t know everything and ask advice from others around you.

03 : Honour the generations past, honour the fact that you’re in a place to be able to pass on the experience, information, skills, understanding you have.

04 : Share generously - do not covet your ideas. If you’re not interested in opening sharing and giving of what you know, perhaps being a teacher (in an official capacity) isn’t the right place for you.

05: Not everyone needs to be a teacher. I believe the best teachers are the ones who can put themselves in the mind (shoes) of a beginner, and remember that first scary tentative time of learning something new.

links & extra photo to look at:

01 : You can find Lisa here: Web, Instagram Atelier 34, Instagram la papillon

02 : My upcoming workshops are here

03 : I’m excited about teaching at Fibre Arts Festival in October - are you coming?

04 : See beautiful photos from previous workshops here