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Homemaker

really cool, yet frightening opportunity for me...

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My husband and I went to the chiropractor on Friday together. They have just moved into their new building and were giving us a tour of the place. The lady, (one of the assistants, not sure what her title is,) asked me to give a class on seed saving. They have a conference room and want to start giving classes related to health and well-being. I always bring in my gardening and chicken books when I go and she had asked me about my seed saving book. Ever since I told her about the situation with Monsanto and the fact that they are buying up open pollinated seed varieties in order to eliminate competition for their patented hybrid seeds, she talks about it every time I come in. Then the doctor asked me to do some classes while he was giving me my adjustment. He said I could teach on other subjects as well, like organic gardening. Of course, my husband was there saying, "You should do it. I can see you doing this."

 

The frightening part is I have never taught adults before. My fear is that people will come and find that they know more on this topic than I do. The last thing I want is to have to continue my presentation in front of a class of bored people sitting back in their chairs with their arms crossed, falling asleep. I know I can gather lots of information and arrange it in a format that flows well. I may just read it, but I could have handouts that they could fill in the blanks on. I'm pretty new to seed saving and I don't save all of my seed yet. Just the ones that are easy and don't need as much isolation. This fall garden will be the first one that I save seeds from for the bi-annual plants. I don't even know if I'll be successful.

 

I know several of you here on the forum have taught classes on canning and other topics. I also have Aint2nuts for inspiration in that class she was asked on short notice to teach about food storage. I want to do this, but I doubt myself. How have you all overcome your doubts and fears?

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Practice by giving a class for the family first or neighbours. Just to get used to the expectant eyes watching you.

If you´d write your own material, you can adjust if you see people already know a thing or two. Next week´s class could be upped a bit.

 

When you truely think you do not know enough yet, it might not be time for it. If you know what you´re talking about and others could benefit, go for it.

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Ummm... If they already know it, why would they be there? :shrug:

 

 

I would assume you have REAL newbies, and plan accordingly. Better more info than less.

 

And you can ask at the beginning how many have gardened, and then of those, have they ever tried saving seeds before? If not, you're good to go, launching into the benefits, etc. If they *have* tried it, everyone can learn from their success or failure, and you know how to maneuver the lesson.

 

Some don't understand the differences between hybrids and heirloom seeds, and should know there's a BIG difference!

 

 

 

PSSSSSSSSSSSSSST........

 

(Why don't you practice on US first?????)

 

:D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:bighug2:

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Great idea Cat! I'll post my outline here and let you all give me suggestions. It'll be a while before I get to it. Probably won't have time to pull anything together until winter closes me out of the garden.

Since my husband was so supportive, he gets the privilage of typing up my handouts!! That will make up for all of the lab reports I typed up for him on our rickety old electric typewriter when he was going to school when we were first married!

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I'm looking forward to your outline as saving seeds is something I know practically nothing about! Thank you!

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I've taught gardening classes in the past. It's great to allow everyone to chime in and share what they know also. I always learn something new. Have fun.

Carol

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You know, what I find the hardest is the person who says, "I've been canning for years, always done it (canning) THIS way, I haven't died yet, and the new ideas and methods are bunk."

 

Oh yes, Violet knows this too. We've had a few people do this. So, we just assume that no one has ever canned before and start from square one. Even if people have canned before, there's always someone who says, "Hey, I learned something new!"

 

About the seed saving, do post on here! I've never done it before.

 

Can't wait to hear how this goes!

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You know, what I find the hardest is the person who says, "I've been canning for years, always done it (canning) THIS way, I haven't died yet, and the new ideas and methods are bunk."

 

Oh yes, Violet knows this too.

 

 

 

LOL I wasn't THAT bad, but I confess to thinking "What's up with this Violet chick" when I first started reading here AND THEN I realized I was using old canning books, and it had never occurred to me to consider that things might get updated since I learned. What's even worse is that I was writing about contamination control in the food industry and knew full well that THEY get updated all time, LOL So even the "smartest" canners can learn a LOT.

 

You'll do great C4C....you go, girl! (and once more, thanks to Violet for keeping my family alive and well)

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Like her or not..on her tv show Martha Stewart usually assumes that her students(the tv audience) don't know anything. She starts from a clean slate. I think that's a good approach for a good teacher.

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Homemaker,

I cannot tell you just how scared spitless I have been at times. You have to just keep on doing it to get better and better.

I think what you are doing is very important. I am proud of you !!!

Keep reporting back on things. I am looking forward to hearing more.

 

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Homemaker, I've taught a few hundred or more adult classes/ seminars in my time. Most of them I was comfortable with my own knowledge but occassionally I would be put in charge of teaching a subject that I 'knew' well but was not experienced in. I was always up front in those classes, telling my 'students' where I stood on them, mentioning that I was there to "share" my knowledge and experience and that I would be encouraging them later in the class to add their knowledge and questions. I would always tell them that if I couldn't answere their questions we would find the answer together. It always worked and brought a feeling of togetherness in the whole class.

 

I always bring along the pertinent books, not only for them to peruse through before and after class but to use as reference if I didn't have an answer. Handouts are an important part of adult education classes. Adults, more so than children (I've taught both) tend to keep the handouts for future references and as a start to their own collection of info on a subject. If you have your name and addy on them for future reference be prepared for people to call you as if you were an expert.

 

Another piece of advice is humor. Be prepared for injecting a bit of humor into the lecture. Make sure it's appropriate though, perhaps some story you tell on yourself to make you seem more approchable, but anything that lightenes the mood. Watch your students. You can often tell when they are starting to be bored with the presentation. They will let their eyes wander around the room instead of focusing on you, they might start fiddling with their papers and you'll hear rustling, perhaps it will be they just look sleepy instead of alert. Sleepy can come from too warm of a room as well though. Watch that they are comfortable. Don't use them setting back and crossing their arms as a sign of boredom though. Many people use that gesture as a protective divice, meaning stay out of my space, it can be because the room is too cool, but it can also be a means of concentration on the subject that makes them do so.

 

Don't worry about someone knowing more about the subject than you. There most likely won't be more than one or two at any rate and you can use that person at the end of the class for references and for answers to questions you don't know if you become aware that there is such a person. An important thing to remember is that your knowledge was respected enough for them to ask you to teach the class. That person might be knowledgable but YOU are the one that was brave enough to stand up there and share what you know. Maybe that will enbolden the person to teach a class of their own, thereby furthering the subject even more. In otherwards, don't be intimidated by their knowledge but encouraged that others share your love of the subject.

 

You will do fine and by all means, be sure to share your knowledge here at Mrs. S. I'd like to ask that you share it in the appropriate forum though so more people will see it and be able to add their knowledge of the subject. That way you'll have more info when you do go into the class. It's a shame you can't get into the class earlier than winter though. Now is a perfect time for people to save seeds and though I know that saving seeds often means prior preparation, the students are always more eager to learn if they can go right to doing. Think about stepping up your schedule for the sake of your students, not only in your class but here at Mrs. S.

 

((((((Homemaker)))))) You will do just fine. (oh and a little bit of humor for yourself as taught me by my speech teacher years ago......If you are really nervouse when you first stand in front of the class,,,,,,just picture the students setting in silly attire, such as old fashioned bathing suits or even goofy underwear,,,,when you feel a smile start to form on your lips, you will know you are ready to talk because your lips will be in the right position.. ;):)

 

:bighug2:

Edited by Mother

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Thanks for the encouragement Mother, and every one else as well.

It is a shame about having to wait till next year, but since my in-laws have decided to move in with us, our plans have all changed. I haven't even had a chance to tend the fall garden I started. The bugs are getting to enjoy it instead! I've turned from gardener into carpenter as I build storage and purge belongings.

Next year's garden should be great, because the in-laws said they would help with the housework and cooking so I could spend more time outside! :cele: I'm thinking... live-in-maid and butler!!

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