the Scrapbook and Papercraft Expo in Brisbane was a huge weekend for me.
It was the first time I have taught classes to more than 5 people at a time. I was nervous each day. I try to promote Zentangle as best I can but I am often intimidated by crowds and kind of want to crawl into a hole. So although I might appear comfortable and confident, I'm usually dying inside.
My classes were a mixed bag. I felt on the Sunday that there was some connection lacking. That came through in the evaluations. The other 2 were better and that also showed through. Many people loved it. Some didn't. I guess you win some and lose others. I try my best.
Some said I talked too much. Some said I told too much about myself. I'm sorry about that - I often talk a lot when I am nervous. I do talk about my artistic background because I want to reassure my students that I am qualified to stand in front of them and teach. Some people must not like that.
Some also felt the class was not value for money or they did not get enough in their kits. To that, I can only say that if you think I get the full $50 you paid, think again. I get about 40% (or $20) per student for the 2 hour class you took. The supplies were not sponsored - I paid for those out of my own pocket. If I was getting $50 per student in my pocket, the class price would have been closer to $80. Students are entitled to think they didn't get value for money but if they know the breakdown and ask themselves if they would teach a 2 hour course for $20 per student, they might re-think. Maybe not. I don't know. I am happy to wear that criticism. I don't know what more value I could have provided.
The only thing I will object to is when people use evaluations to make personal, mean comments about me. If you hated my class, OK. But when you barely know me and you make nasty, anonymous comments about me... please remember: I am human. I put my heart and soul into my classes and what I teach. I am not perfect. But I try my best. And being mean is not in the spirit of art, craft, Zentangle or friendship.
In what was an otherwise fun weekend, it really put a dampner on things for me and left me feeling hollow. It will not beat me though.