Years ago people started asking me to teach them leatherwork. My answer was always no. I didn’t have the time or the patience. That was the story I told myself and others.
Time (years) went by and still people were asking me to teach. Then, one day, I was talking to a very talented mosaic artist – Brett Campbell who also teaches mosaic. He laughed when I gave him all my excuses for not wanting to teach. “If only you knew how rewarding it was, you would have done it years ago”, he said. He was right!
Within days of speaking to Brett, I started getting my first workshop together. I spent days putting a workshop booklet together, setting up a better work space and telling myself that I could do it. Then I took the big step and advertised it on my website. That afternoon I went to the Chiropractor and was talking to the receptionist. She asked how I’d been and I told her about my new venture – running leather workshops. She signed up straight away and within two days I had the other two students booked in! It was just like it was meant to be!! 🙂
I was amazed at how well that first workshop went. Of course there were things that I did then that I have tweaked, or changed completely, but the main thing was that the workshop was a success. I did have the time and the patience and I loved it! I loved sharing my passion for leatherwork and seeing my students getting excited about creating their own leatherwork pieces.
I thought about what Brett had said and completely agreed. If I’d known how rewarding teaching was, I would have done it years ago. Instead, I let fear hold me back. I was worried that I didn’t know enough, scared that people might ask me a question that I didn’t know the answer to, or – even worse, maybe I was doing it all wrong! I never had any leatherwork lessons myself so this last one was a huge hurdle for me to get over. To be honest, sometimes those fears still try to ‘get’ me but I refuse to let them win. Now I know I can teach and I know that I do it well.
Only a year and a half later, I have run 20 workshops! Teaching has become a huge part of my life and I am SO grateful that I faced my fear and gave teaching a go. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. From wanting to create the most amazing opportunity for my students to learn, I have learnt more myself. From answering questions that my students have asked, my way of thinking has changed. When I first thought about teaching, it was all about what I was going to give my students. I never imagined that my students would give me so much in return.
I’m so grateful for the students who have already joined me on my journey and for the gift they have given me. I look forward to the road ahead, meeting more amazing people and sharing the gift of teaching.