Friday, May 6, 2011

Dancing on my Soap Box!'s been one of those weeks of emails, phone calls and contracts.  Good, in that I'm still able to continue to work in something I have a passion for and that I'm good at.

HOWEVER........sometimes it's challenging dealing with people in volunteer positions that don't understand that I am a business and what I do is a job and not a hobby.

Case in booked a workshop with me then hired a non-professional teacher to teach the "same' workshop because that less experienced "hobby teacher" is less expensive.  Not only will those students not get the benefit of a teacher with 30 years experience, textile and art training but I lose income because I may not be able to fill that spot on my teaching calendar that they have occupied for months.

Case in point #2 - arrived 30 minutes before a guild meeting to set up my lecture.  Parking lot was full so I carried 3 hockey bags several blocks with no one assigned to help or greet me.  The Program Chair was 10 minutes late for the meeting where I had to find tables and carry them onto the stage myself to set up my lecture materials.  Oh yeah, when I asked for a glass of tap water, they said they only had coffee........I know I'm still wondering about that one!

Rules for having a teacher/guest speaker to your guild.
1.  Have a parking space reserved close to the door for the speaker so unloading won't be so difficult.
2.  If the teacher has to drive for more than 2 hours to get to your venue, you might consider asking her to come an hour early and have dinner with you.
3.  Have someone to assist the teacher with set up and take down.
4.  Have a glass of water available to the speaker.  You get a little dry talking for an hour.
5.  Pay the teacher immediately after her lecture.  With a long drive back home late at night she shouldn't have to sit through your business meeting.  Request an invoice when she arrives or have it emailed before the date of the meeting.

So......thanks for listening.......I just needed to vent........(it is my blog after all!) I still would rather teach/lecture that anything else but some weeks I just have to wonder why.


  1. Heather,
    I just happened upon your blog, and I would add one more rule for having a teacher visit your guild: if the teacher has taught all day elsewhere and has to drive two hours to get to your guild to deliver a lecture that evening, and then has to get up again the next morning and teach for you, please don't ask her to accept a billet that is half an hour's drive away in another town that will require driving in the dark in winter. And for heaven's sake, don't refuse to tell her where she is staying until she arrives. Teachers like to mapquest their route and leave contact info for their families. Seriously Heather, I agree with all you said, and find it funny (not in a hilarious way though) that you are complaining about one of the same things I am this very same week, and that is people who do not understand you are a professional teacher and working to earn a living. Check out my May 2 blogpost called "What Price Success" on my blog at
    Looking forward to meeting you at Quilt Ontario.
    Elaine Quehl

  2. Heather, those are great rules. As a former Program person I have made some of those mistakes because I just did not think about what stuff a visitor would need. You should definitely incorporate them into your contract. Pretend you're Lady Gaga, asking for her fresh ozone .