Tuesday, 19 January 2016

How to Succeed with Chugim / Courses in Israel

After a very hard and unpleasant experience in trying to do a beading workshop at a hobby store, I decided to share a few tips on how to succeed with taking a Chug / workshop. The teachers of the class I had signed up to take were shop assistants in a hobby shop and clearly have no clue how to teach. So, in order to turn a sad situation to good, here are a few tips.

If you hear about a workshop taking place, especially in a hobby shop or venue that is using the workshop or course to encourage sales, you need to find out the following up front before starting:

- Will you be joining an existing class or starting with a new class i.e. will the teacher be teaching you from the beginning. If the teacher is ending up a series of 10 sessions and plunges you in at the end, keep in mind you will miss out on crucial basics. Remember, in general a human being can not walk before they learn to sit or crawl meaning that there is a sequence to the developmental process. The same is true when learning any new skill, learn at the beginning not at the end. 

- Is the teacher going to be there or will she be going away

- What is their teaching method. If you are paying to learn how to do something, presumably you want to learn how to do that specific task, skill etc. Ask the teacher if she keeps on topic. If the teacher is one who is more interested in discussing her upcoming trip than teaching you how to do what it is you are learning, you will be wasting your money. So find out the teaching method and tone of the workshop / course

- Ask for references and phone numbers before you pay and sign up and make sure to call 2-3 before you part with your money

- Make sure that the teacher respects your finances and materials. If the teacher has no problem wasting the materials you have just purchased then you will learn very quickly their motive is to make more sales and not to teach you how to do whatever it is you have signed up to learn.

- Make sure that all items for the course, materials etc are written down for you in a receipt and double check your change. If you are not careful, you can end up being short changed and losing more than just your time and materials.

- Lastly, if you do sign up for the course and the teacher is clearly just wasting your money and thinks it's fine as it's just "For Keff" meaning for fun, ask for your money back and get out while you can. A teacher who does not respect his or her students is not one to learn from, at least not positively. Of course we can learn from everything and you can learn that it is wrong to waste another's money or time or materials or resources. You can learn that and if that is what happens to you then please do learn so and follow Hillel not to do the same to others. Still, if you sign up to learn a skill, the goal you would have is to learn the skill not to learn how not to treat others.

Hatzlachah. I hope you have better experiences than I just had. 

Shoshanah Shear

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