sweetsuccess Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:31pm
post #1 of

Hello Eveyone:

I am currently being screened to be a Wilton Instructor at Michael's in Staten Island, NY. I' know that some folks have had good experiences at their local shops and others do not. So, I'm asking all of you to help me be the best teacher I can be--if selected--Tell me if you LIKED your Wilton Course I, II, III or Wilton specialty courses or if you DISLIKED your Wilton Course I, II, III or speciality course and WHY. Any tips are appreciated as well.

Thanks for your help!

Medina usaribbon.gif

26 replies
Schmoop Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:34pm
post #2 of

I think the instructor makes all the difference in the world! I took course 1 & 3 (was not really interested in what was included in course 2, since I prefer to use fondant and I already do colorflow).

sweetsuccess Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:36pm
post #3 of

[quote="Schmoop"]I think the instructor makes all the difference in the world!

What about your instructor did you like?

FunCakesVT Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:39pm
post #4 of

I enjoyed them all, but not my instructors so much. It is the luck of the draw, and in a small town no options. It was good to have dedicated time, and other folks to share pointers with. Good luck and have fun with it!

caboose_970 Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:42pm
post #5 of

I took course 1, and after having my teacher bring her son to class everytime I decided I would teach myself. I am slowly learning new things from researching and reading on here. If you are lucky to have a great teacher the classes would be well worth the time and money.
I am currently helping my DIL with her bakery, I love baking and am constantly learning new things.
If you do teach a class.... think of how you approach it, as if you were the student... Best of luck!
Tina

Schmoop Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:42pm
post #6 of

I liked my instructor for course 3 because she was prepared, knew how do everything being taught, knew exactly what we were doing wrong and how to correct ourselves and had good personal experience tips. My course 1 instructor cut corners, was not able to do everthing being taught which did not help when we had difficulty with something. She also did not show / cover everything that was in the book.

MariaLovesCakes Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:43pm
post #7 of

I like the classes too. The two instructors I had were a bit strange. I ended up complaining about one of them to the store manager. They finally got rid of her because of future complaints and missed classes.

I decided to stop at course II and learned about fondant on my own.

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mrboop Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:44pm
post #8 of

I loved taking my Wilton classes. But I work at Michaels and so I knew the instructor. But the instructor does make the class. She would go around and individually help each person in class. If you were having problems with a specific technique she would sit next to you with her hand over your hand and move your hand around while you would squeeze the icing bag. She would also show us cheater ways to do things. All in all I loved the classes.
Ray

clinical88 Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:46pm
post #9 of

My instructor in Virginia was the best! She would teach the "Wilton Way", but she would also teach you her way if it made it easier, (like Wilton's daisies really don't look like real daisies, but hers did everytime!) and she was practical in that she wouldn't tell you to buy things if you really didn't need them. My friend took course 1 at another store, and her teacher was horrible. She read the course book word for word, as if they didn't know how to read, and she would set a timer for each part that they were doing, and when the timer went off, it was time to move on. My teacher, on the other hand, was willing to stay until the store closed if you wanted her to, and every class I was in, all of us would stay late each class because we enjoyed her so much. She actually has received the "Instructor of the year" award for 3 years in a row and the store I took the class at was in the Top 10 for the eastern region I think, so she must have been pretty good! Hope this helps you out!

playingwithsugar Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:48pm

On the plus side -

They were conveniently located for me.
The classes were inexpensive - the store constantly ran specials.
The store I went to gave 10% discounts to students on all supplies.

On the minus side --

The supplies, outside of the course kits, are expensive. If you do not have a coupon, you're out of luck.
The basic program, courses 1, 2, 3, cram too much into 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
There were 12-15 students in my classes. Too many students, too little individual attention, and not enough elbow room.
Not enough time to concentrate on certain techniques.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

sweetsuccess Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:49pm

Thanks everyone! I will try to apply all your tips and suggestions, and I definitely won't be bringing any children to class icon_smile.gifbirthday.gif

ncdessertdiva Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:49pm

I had the same instructor for all three Wilton classes that I took and she was very good. She explained the concept, showed it to us and then she went around to each student to help us individually if we needed it. She had been an instructor for a long time as well as she worked in a commercial bakery and did cake decorating so she had shortcuts for us as well.
Good luck! I'm sure if you convey your love of decorating and the skills that you have to your students you will be fine.
Leslie

AmyBeth Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:54pm

If you make the class fun and you have confidence in yourself the class will go more smoothly.

You have to remember that no matter what you do, someone isn't going to like you.

There are things that a Wilton instructor is told to do in order to keep the class moving along smoothly. I have heard people on this website complain about those things, while others didn't mind them.

You just can't make everyone happy.

You just have to do your best and do whatever you can to know as much as you can about what you are teaching.

Make sure you get to every instructor meeting that they offer. The training meetings are invaluable!

sweetsuccess Posted 20 May 2006 , 5:59pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyBeth

If you make the class fun and you have confidence in yourself the class will go more smoothly.

There are things that a Wilton instructor is told to do in order to keep the class moving along smoothly. I have heard people on this website complain about those things, while others didn't mind them.

You just can't make everyone happy.

You just have to do your best and do whatever you can to know as much as you can about what you are teaching.

Make sure you get to every instructor meeting that they offer. The training meetings are invaluable!




Thanks AmyBeth, I will keep your suggestions in mind also. I realize mentally that I can't be all things to all people, but sometimes emotionally it bothers me.

playingwithsugar Posted 20 May 2006 , 6:05pm

Something I noticed when I was taking Wilton classes --

most of the students expected to immediately become experts at each technique, and would get very frustrated when they did not achieve perfection after two or three tries. This was especially true when they went to do the buttercream rose.

My second Wilton instructor (I took the classes twice) told us that until we have done 100 roses, or 100 of any flower, we should not complain about how they are turning out. It sounds harsh, but it was an incentive to practice when we got home. It was advice that worked for me.

Remind your students that they are there to learn, and just like learning to walk or ride a bike, they are going to fall a few times before they get it right. Then tell them your individual story of what pitfalls you faced when you were first learning.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

angelas2babies Posted 20 May 2006 , 6:26pm

I'm in course III now, and I've had the same instructor for all three classes. She was great, but what made the BIGGEST difference is the class size. We have too many people in our class now and it's frustrating because some people monopolize all her time, and she can't help all of us.

If there is a way to limit your class size, I would consider it. She was much more effective when we had smaller classes and could really focus on individual technique.

Other than that, I loved all three classes. I'm going to miss cake class!!

Good luck to you
Angie

sweetsuccess Posted 20 May 2006 , 6:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelas2babies

I'm in course III now, and I've had the same instructor for all three classes. She was great, but what made the BIGGEST difference is the class size.

If there is a way to limit your class size, I would consider it. She was much more effective when we had smaller classes and could really focus on individual technique.

Other than that, I loved all three classes. I'm going to miss cake class!!

Good luck to you
Angie




I will definitely keep your suggestion of limiting class size in mind. Thanks, Angie!

Price Posted 20 May 2006 , 6:43pm

I took course 1&2, same instructor. She was very knowledgeable and very good at decorating. My main concern was that she was left handed, so everything was backwards. She was very aware of the right hand, left hand thing and would at times try to do it right handed. I kept getting everything backwards, ex. spinning nail wrong direction, holding bag backwards etc. It was hard for me to convert!! Now I know how a lefty feels when a right handed person trys to teach them something!

sweetsuccess Posted 20 May 2006 , 6:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Price

I took course 1&2, same instructor. She was very knowledgeable and very good at decorating. My main concern was that she was left handed, so everything was backwards. It was hard for me to convert!! Now I know how a lefty feels when a right handed person trys to teach them something!




Never thought about that, Price. I'm right-handed, but I could have left-handed students from time to time. Hmmm. Have to think about this one.

tiggy2 Posted 20 May 2006 , 7:50pm

Being a lefty I know your frustration Price. I hade a great instructor for I & II but just finished III with a different instruction. I was very unhappy with courseIII. We didn't make a tiered cake, only the bottom layer, and didn't cover much else that was in the book. Every time I asked for help she told me I was going the wrong directions---hello, left handed. She just didn't seem to get it. The class was so big and the room had so much junk in it you couldn't move. The instructor would get several cell phone calls at each class and dismiss us 30 minutes early. Needless to say no more classes from her. I'm looking into non-wilton classes at another craft store.

Chef_Stef Posted 20 May 2006 , 8:05pm

I took all 3 Wilton classes 3 years ago with the same instructor, and I liked them a lot. I'm a lefty, but she was good about showing me the lefty way to do all of it, so that helped.

I'm taking a bunch of other different classes through a cake supply place this summer, a fondant class, a wedding cake class, and a gumpaste class, and I may *have* to take their 1st and 2nd classes to get into their wedding cake class, because they said that the Wilton method is different enough from what they teach that I'd have to go through theirs first...? Whatever--I'm open to learning anything, so I said I'd do it; can't have too much experience, I guess.

sweetamber Posted 20 May 2006 , 8:30pm

I think it's great that you are doing this "research"- I'm sure you will be a great instructor because you obviously really care!

I signed up for wilton classes a few years ago and the first class the instructor never showed up. She didn't even call to let us know she wouldn't be there! I had taken the bus to get there and missed the last bus home waiting for her to show icon_mad.gif . Needless to say I cancelled and have been teaching myself ever since.

So I guess my only piece of advice to you would be to make sure you actually go to your classes!

Amber

Granpam Posted 20 May 2006 , 8:57pm

I loved my clases and my instructor. She had the patience of a saint. Some in the class had to be shown thngs numerous times and she always took the time to make sure everyone knew how to get the finished prouct. She also gave us the best tip we could ever use. There is nothing that can't be fixed all it takes is a little icing. She was also instrumental in starting a local cake club of which I am now president of because she has moved to Texas. I owe all my expertise to her and my practice with demos from our club.

sweetsuccess Posted 21 May 2006 , 1:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetamber

I think it's great that you are doing this "research"- I'm sure you will be a great instructor because you obviously really care!

I signed up for wilton classes a few years ago and the first class the instructor never showed up. So I guess my only piece of advice to you would be to make sure you actually go to your classes!

Amber




Thanks, Amber. I would feel awful if people thought they hadn't learned much in my class. I will be sure to show up on time--I'm a bit obsessive with being early. How inconsiderate of your teacher not to call ahead to notify everyone concerned of the cancellation. Maybe it was an emergency of some sort.

THANKS AGAIN, EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT! I've been writing down all the suggestions and tips to incorporate them into my lesson plan--and to let the folks at Michael's know that I took time to find out how I could do my best as an instructor. birthday.gif

mushbug9 Posted 21 May 2006 , 1:27am

The best advise I recieved was to let the students know one fact.
There is no way in 2-2 1/2 hours to teach every technique to the point that everyone knows it perfectly. The key to learning with the class being so short is practice. I tell my students that every week. If they have extra icing, I tell them that is their practice icing for the week ect. I tell them that if they practice at a technique that we worked on in class, and still have a problem with it, they can call me or they can see if I have a few minutes before or after the following weeks class for me to go over it again with them but that if they don't practice at home, they won't know if they are having a problem learnign something till its too late. Good Luck icon_smile.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 21 May 2006 , 1:40am

I took my Wilton class 1 at a Michael's Craftstore.The instructor was excellent and a friend of my Moms.Class 2 and 3 were a bit disorganized as Michael's said the instructer quit and they had no one to teach etc...same story as a few others have stated.All the students in course 1 really wanted to take course 2 and 3 so we hired the same instructor as course 1 for 2 days on a weekend ...Saturday and Sunday and we had everyone over to one person's house..about 10 of us and we paid the instructor the same amount as Michael's or even a bit more... which was really nice and she taught us all day saturday and sunday.It was Fantastic!!! We had all kinds of nibbles and coffee and laughed and laughed.I really enjoyed the courses.

sweetsuccess Posted 21 May 2006 , 3:33am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I took my Wilton class 1 at a Michael's Craftstore..




Thanks for shasring Kiddiekakes. I had no idea Michael's was in Canada! Glad things worked out for you after all.

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