Here are some tips on how to be a good student and how to get the most enjoyment and learning from your basket classes:
* Always check the weaving level of the class before you sign up. If it says advanced, then it means advanced in that style of weaving, not just that you have woven lots of baskets. You should have woven or taken classes that were intermediate level in that style already and be familiar with the techniques of that style.
* Stop what you are doing and pay attention when the instructor speaks. You may not be as far along as others, but you will need the instructions and information when you get to that point in the basket. Watch what she/he is demonstrating.
* Be open to learning new things and try to weave in the manner and with the methods that the instructor demonstrates. It may not work for you and you may like a different method better, but you took the class to learn. You may be surprised at how changing one little technique can improve your basket and your skills. Give it a try!
* Do not be easily frustrated. There will be others in the class that will be faster (or maybe slower) than you are. The instructor is there to help all of you. Slow down, take a deep breath, ask for help. Often there are many students in a class and it's hard for the instructor to notice everything. If you are not sure of the next step, ask. But, be patient if she/he is working with another student. You will get your turn.
* Arrive early or on time for class. It's frustrating and time consuming when the instructor has to repeat the introduction and beginning instructions several times. If you are late, you have now lost valuable time that you have paid for. The instructor is not required to stay after the class to continue to teach. Many will stay, but many will not.
* Respect your neighbor's space. Sometimes there will not be extra room between students. Place only what you need on the table in front of you, the rest should go under the table or in the hallway or other open space approved by the instructor. Be caustious when wetting reed with a spray bottle. Be sure you are not wetting your entire surrounding and your neighbors belongings.
* Respect everyone around you by watching how much perfume or other strong smelling products you use that day. Strong odor can quickly fill a room and strong smells can be hard for some people to be around. This includeds the fabric softener you might have in a spray bottle. You may love the scent but others may be chokling everytime you spray your reed.
* Be sure to turn your ringer off or on low/vibrate.
* Clean up after yourself, this includes any drink containers or food wrappers. Look for recycling bins for cans and bottles. If you have large pieces of reed left over, see if the instructor wants them back.
* Always be considerate of your other students, the instructor and the people and building hosting the class.
* Know which class you are taking as well as the day and time the class starts.
* Know how long it will take you to get to the class and leave extra time.
* Check the required tools and supplies list, each class is different. Make sure that you have everything listed or that you can purchase them the day of class.
* Mark your initials with a woodburning tool or permanent marker on everything you bring to class. If you leave something behind, it will be much easier to return it to you.
* Know what the lunch plans are: will there be a break or will the teacher expect you to pack a lunch and eat and weave. Know if there is a refrigerator available or if you need to pack a cooler and what type of restaurants or take out is available locally.
* Relax, learn and have fun!
Here is a good list of tools and supplies to bring to classes/conventions if nothing specific is listed by the instructor:
Angle (flush) cutters
Lashing tool/flat awl
Water container, sponge, towels, apron
Wonder clips/rubber tipped clamps/clothespins/alligator clips
(toothed)/Micro clips (smooth) for mini baskets, ash, birch bark, etc.
Large eye needle
Badge/name holder (if you have attended a convention previously)
Return address labels & cash for raffles