For two weeks we have explored many aspects of being a virtual quilting teacher with Lyric Montgomery Kinard. We looked at the history of online quilting education and explored the many advantages of teaching quilting online. It would seem that this approach will continue even when in-person opportunities resume. Savvy quilting teachers can increase their revenues and scale their businesses if they can repurpose their in-person content for online delivery. Aspiring quilting teachers who can’t travel extensively now have options. But the big question is how!
The Academy for Virtual Teaching
When Lyric was in the formative years of her business, her husband had a temporary work assignment for 2 years in the Chicago area. While living there, she sought out her support network and found it in the Professional Art Quilt Alliance (PAQA).
Membership at that time included notable quilting industry leaders such as Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Laura Wasilowski, and Melody Johnson. These generous women poured into the development of young aspiring quilt professionals like Lyric at PAQA and shaped the future of the quilting world. Lyric credits much of what she learned at PAQA with her future success as a quilting teacher. She knew then that someday she wanted to be able to help other quilters in that same way.
This dream of lifting up aspiring quilting teachers and pouring into them her years of experience is at the forefront of Lyric’s next big project, The Academy for Virtual Teaching.
The academy is being built around a robust virtual community of makers with a passion for teaching. The community will offer a variety of courses. The first course is designed to walk an aspiring virtual quilt teacher through all of the steps from course creation to teaching an online workshop for the very first time.
The Academy for Virtual Teaching Course Will Cover:
- Outlining an in-person course
- Understanding how to translate your in-person course into an online offering
- Developing on-demand and live virtual classes
- Using Zoom features
- How to select the right on-demand class platform
- Camera presence
- Fostering student engagement in the online atmosphere
- Website essentials for virtual teaching success
- Communication with quilt guilds
- Virtual teaching contracts
- Understanding how to use equipment you already own to get started
- Knowing what types of equipment purchases to make as you advance
- Video editing
- Creating a video-based advertisement to promote your class
The learning doesn’t stop after students have completed the course and developed their virtual workshop. Lyric will then organize small groups of about 4 teachers to teach each other virtually during a live Zoom session. Each student teacher will practice their virtual workshop and provide fellow student teachers feedback.
Once the student teachers feel ready, Lyric will reach out to her vast network of guild representatives from the Global Quilt Connection. The guild representatives will get to take the new teacher’s workshop at a reduced rate in exchange for thorough feedback. The teacher gets an opportunity to practice the virtual workshop and make a good impression on approximately 20 representatives from different guilds. In addition to the helpful feedback and exposure to potential clients, this also allows the teacher to recoup some of the money spent on the course immediately!
Virtual Quilting Teacher Certification
Quilt guilds entrust program chairs with delivering dynamic programs that don’t break the budget. When choosing a virtual teacher for their guild, it is understandable they would like assurances about the quality of the program. What if a teacher with a great reputation doesn’t handle the technology well? How can quilt guilds be assured that the guild is getting a first-rate program for their money?
After developing the Global Quilt Connection, Lyric realized a need to address this concern. In order to assure guild representatives they were hiring a quality teacher, there would need to be some type of evaluation of the virtual teachers. Now teachers can go through a certification process, whether they are graduates of The Academy for Virtual Teaching, or simply experienced virtual quilting teachers.
During this process, an adjudicator will sit in on a live class and evaluate a quilting teacher on a specific set of virtual teaching criteria. When the teacher has met the standard, they will receive a badge to display on their website. The designation will also appear in their Global Quilt Connection listing. Guilds will be able to view the standards the teacher has met by clicking on the badge.
You Can Be a Virtual Quilting Teacher!!!
Teaching quilting virtually is not a fad. Quilters and teachers have seen firsthand the many benefits of online learning. With a good internet connection and the right know-how, teachers and students from opposite sides of the world can connect and interact. Quilters can share the art of quilt making on a much broader scale than ever before!
Are you ready to get started? Lyric is offering a live 2-hour mini-workshop to learn the basics of what it takes to get your virtual workshops up and running on July 12, 2021. She will be hosting 2 question and answer sessions on July 14th. Additionally, she is providing her students 3 bonuses: an In-Person Workshop Chart, a Virtual Workshop Planner, and a Virtual Contract template. All of this great stuff is free!!! Head over to the registration page for more details and to get signed up.
Wait!!! I know you are in a hurry to grab your free course. Before you go, be sure and sign up for the Quilt Adjacent email list, so you never miss out on great info like this. As my way of saying thanks for connecting with me, you will get “The Ultimate Guide To Pricing Your Quilts.”