Teaching Wilton For The 1St Time...

Decorating By whisperingmadcow Updated 9 May 2009 , 2:12am by TexasSugar

whisperingmadcow Posted 8 May 2009 , 6:16pm
post #1 of 14

So I had my first class last Monday and it didn't go at all the way that I thought it would.

First off, I was super excited that I already had 5 students sign up. While, one didn't show up (I am not even sure she paid because there was no info for her) and 3 of the 4 students that did show up were 12 years old! icon_surprised.gif The fourth lady looked like I betrayed her by not having anyone older in the class!

Everything else went alright. I think I went too fast because we were all done and "shopping" by 7:20 (Class starts at 6:00). The only real problem I had was that I ended up thinning the icing too much so when I put it on the cake all the crumbs got into it. icon_mad.gificon_cry.gif

All in all I am not totally bummed about the way that it went, I just wish it had gone better. I was so so nervous. I think its an alright start for my first.

But I do have some misc. questions. Do you make two batchs of icing (the book says bring one and make one in class)? Do you/can you use the icing tip (large tip) or did you just use your spatula to ice your cake? (Video showed icing with the spatula) Have you ever finished early on the first night or was I just rushing it because I was nervous? What is the age limit?

Any advise would be awesome!

13 replies
Donnagardner Posted 8 May 2009 , 6:29pm
post #2 of 14

I don't think there is or should be an age limit. They want you to use Wilton tolls so yes the icing tip would be perfrect to shoe in class. I always made sure to have extra time to show them things on the Wilton Isle the first night of class and explain how they are used and it really helped them for future uses of things. You can always call your students and have them bring icing to start showing them little things to practice for the second class but you should make sure they get the 2 hours for the class in some way. Good luck.

whisperingmadcow Posted 8 May 2009 , 6:39pm
post #3 of 14

Thank you very much for the info! I am always worried I am not doing something right. I totally loved my wilton teacher, and I want to give people that same experience.

mkm25 Posted 8 May 2009 , 6:41pm
post #4 of 14

Don't be so hard on yourself! It was your first night - use it as a learning experience. icon_smile.gif I had my first night teaching class not too long ago (September 200icon_cool.gif. I remember that I also finished early and my demo cake looked horrible. Don't worry. The students won't remember that. They're just so excited to be decorating cakes! You are like a god to them right now - you have all the information they want to learn!

I do not make any icing in class because it's just too difficult to bring my mixer and all the ingredients. I prepare 2 batches at home though. I usually pass the different consistencies around for them to feel while I'm icing the cake. To ice the cake, I just use my spatula, but I think you should use whatever you're comfortable with!

The composition of the class is also not your fault! You are there to instruct whomever is willing to learn (and pay). Sometimes classmates get along really well with each other and there's a definite camaraderie. Other times, the students don't really interact with each other too much. Either way, your job is to teach everyone.

Finishing early is not necessarily a bad thing. You give them a LOT of information on that first night - it needs to sink in! I usually finish class around 7:45-8:00 and then I take them out to the Wilton aisle in the store. I hang around and point out different products while answering lots of questions.

Anyway, don't feel so bad! I'm sure you were amazing and your students love you. I bet they'll be so excited when they show up to class next week! Let us know how it goes!

loriana Posted 8 May 2009 , 7:37pm
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperingmadcow

So I had my first class last Monday and it didn't go at all the way that I thought it would.

First off, I was super excited that I already had 5 students sign up. While, one didn't show up (I am not even sure she paid because there was no info for her) and 3 of the 4 students that did show up were 12 years old! icon_surprised.gif The fourth lady looked like I betrayed her by not having anyone older in the class!

Everything else went alright. I think I went too fast because we were all done and "shopping" by 7:20 (Class starts at 6:00). The only real problem I had was that I ended up thinning the icing too much so when I put it on the cake all the crumbs got into it. icon_mad.gificon_cry.gif

All in all I am not totally bummed about the way that it went, I just wish it had gone better. I was so so nervous. I think its an alright start for my first.

But I do have some misc. questions. Do you make two batchs of icing (the book says bring one and make one in class)? Do you/can you use the icing tip (large tip) or did you just use your spatula to ice your cake? (Video showed icing with the spatula) Have you ever finished early on the first night or was I just rushing it because I was nervous? What is the age limit?

Any advise would be awesome!




Hey Whispering!

First off, dont worry! icon_wink.gif The first night is ALWAYS the hardest. It's hard getting used to teaching for the first few weeks of classes. Once you get your first class under your belt it gets easier. You might want to consider joining our Wilton group for WMIs on Yahoo groups. There's always a lot of good advice on there and it's only for teachers. I really recommend it.

Ill see if I can give you some advice for your questions (although I have only been teaching 2 years... you might get better advice from someone who has been teaching longer)


>Do you make two batchs of icing (the book says bring one and make one in class)?

For Course one, class one I only make one batch in class to show the students how to do it. Then I pass it around with a spatula so they can all feel the viscocity of it; the thickness, the firmness, etc.. so they can try to replicate it when they get home.

>Do you/can you use the icing tip (large tip) or did you just use your spatula to ice your cake? (Video showed icing with the spatula)

I start off showing them both ways. First I show them the coupler method... just making coils with my coupler, then smoothing the coils into the layer of frosting. About halfway, I dump icing and show them how to do it without using a coupler... how to go over the top edge like a waterfall and how to scrap my spatula and do the sides nicely. Make sure your icing is no firmer than medium for this. Also, only use one layer of cake, torted so your one-recipe will be enough.

>Have you ever finished early on the first night or was I just rushing it because I was nervous?

I have finished early on Course 1, class one. Its mostly a lecture class. It's the only one like that. Most of the classes you might even go over on time. Try filling in time by asking if anyone has questions. Also, try printing out a few cake recipes like WASC and doctored mixes, filling ideas, etc.. and go over that. My students like that I share ideas with them about fillings, recipes, etc... some other things you can mention are:

-mixing in black cherry Kool-aid powder as a base for very red red, or black
-starting off with chocolate to get black very black
-using the Viva towel method
-going over the extras. Pull a tray of Wilton products from the shelf and go over them. I am usually very honest and tell everyone which items I highly recommend, which ones are useful, and which ones they can buy if they really end up liking them only.

>Age limit?
There isn't one as far as I know. I'll take teenagers, but kids need to be accompanied with an adult who can stay with them. Ill take an eager 8 year old in my class. Some teachers won't... but as long as I have the patience for kids... and I love kids... and they really have the attention span, Ill take them. Make sure you talk to the parents and ask them 1) does your child have the attention span to stay in this little room for 2 hours with me? 2) will they want to make cakes every week for a whole month?

That usually weeds out the kids that just need to take a 2 hour Kids Klass on a Saturday with me. icon_rolleyes.gif

Caralinc Posted 8 May 2009 , 7:37pm
post #6 of 14

Hi, I also had my first night of teaching not too long ago. I started in April. My first night I too was very excited and I was not happy with how my cake came out as I could not get it as smooth as I wanted to with nice crisp corners and all and the students were too a little as they were asking lost of questions. I did indicate that the class time did not allow for the icing to crisp over so I could smooth over....

Any hoo the class ended a few minutes early - I was glad to get the first one over with actually.

You mentioned you had 12 yr olds. I know at Michaels were I teach we have a Kakes for Kids which is for children ages 8-14. So going by this I wonder if there is an age limit. For children I am not so sure they would be taught the rose and more difficult stuff. I know in the Kates for Kids class it is basically an introduction to cake decorating. Mabe ask your supervisor if there is an age limit for your store??? HTH

Caralinc Posted 8 May 2009 , 7:42pm
post #7 of 14

Oh to answer your icing questions:

I did use the Tip and informed them it was an easy way to avoid the crumbs. I also state that they may want to try both the spatula and the Tip to see which way works best for them.

I brought one batch of icing and made one in class. I know from experience that I need at least one batch of thin to ice the cake. So I knew I would need additional icing to show the rose, shells and other items.

Keep me posted on how your classes are going.

TexasSugar Posted 8 May 2009 , 7:54pm
post #8 of 14

Do you make two batches of icing (the book says bring one and make one in class)?

I bring a stand mixer to class, so I do a double batch of icing at the store. I hate the idea of making icing twice. I just always make sure to put out to them that they don't have a stand mixer to make sure they only do one recipe at a time.

Do you/can you use the icing tip (large tip) or did you just use your spatula to ice your cake? (Video showed icing with the spatula)

I do both. I ice the top with the spatula and then the sides with the icing tip.

Don't worry about not having a perfect cake. Something I have learned is that my students actually like it when my cakes aren't perfect. Chances are they aren't gonna come in with a perfect cake next week and I have heard many of times how I make icing a cake too easy. When you come in with a less than perfect cake in C1 it shows them that you are human too. I always remind my students I have been icing that same cake for years now and that I do have bad cake days as well.

Have you ever finished early on the first night or was I just rushing it because I was nervous?

I have finished class early and late. It all depends on the students. If they ask a lot of questions then it takes us longer. If they ask nothing then I finish a lot quicker.

What is the age limit?

As far as I know there is not an official age limit. Though I have known instructors to set one. Usually it is kids under a certain age (16) have to have a parent take the class with them. I usually warn mom's of kids under 10 that the child will probably have trouble doing some things (like the roses) and I do require mom's of the young ones to pay and take the class with them.

I actually enjoy teaching teens in most cases. I have a guy that took my class when he was 13 and he is doing wedding cakes. I've had some other great 12 year olds take the class. Right now my 13 year old nephew is taking my classes. Kids that age are still in the learning mind set and are almost have their stuff ready to go.

I did recently have a group of 3 12/13 girls that were driving me crazy, but that was because they wouldn't put their cell phones done. They were texting 'under the table'. Next time I have young ones with phones I'll make sure to mention no texting during class. I already ask people to step out to answer their phones.

loriana Posted 8 May 2009 , 7:54pm
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caralinc

Hi, I also had my first night of teaching not too long ago. I started in April. My first night I too was very excited and I was not happy with how my cake came out as I could not get it as smooth as I wanted to with nice crisp corners and all and the students were too a little as they were asking lost of questions. I did indicate that the class time did not allow for the icing to crisp over so I could smooth over....

Any hoo the class ended a few minutes early - I was glad to get the first one over with actually.

You mentioned you had 12 yr olds. I know at Michaels were I teach we have a Kakes for Kids which is for children ages 8-14. So going by this I wonder if there is an age limit. For children I am not so sure they would be taught the rose and more difficult stuff. I know in the Kates for Kids class it is basically an introduction to cake decorating. Mabe ask your supervisor if there is an age limit for your store??? HTH




>You mentioned you had 12 yr olds. I know at Michaels were I teach we have a Kakes for Kids which is for children ages 8-14.

12 year olds are fine for Course 1, even courses 2 & 3 if they are really into it. Ive had some very talented middle schoolers in my classes so far. I also have had an 11 year old and a 13 year old with a short attention span that would doodle with their icing, not pay attention to demonstrations and rules, and leave crumbs everywhere. Kids are more work, definitely... but if you have a mature young person (Ive had boys and girls) you should be ok. They can take both Courses and Kakes for Kids.

Kakes for Kids is good for the short attention span kids who want to learn really basic basics. Course 1 are for the kids who sometimes took Kakes for Kids and loved it. I've had kids in my Course 1 who said "I had so much fun.... what should I do now?" so I refer them to Course 1. If I don't teach them myself due to the month/day, etc... Ill call one of our other store's teachers to tell them, "hey you will have a child named so-and-so and he/she just finished Kakes for Kids and will be starting your Course 1". Usually this works for the other teachers.

Hope this helps!

sandykay Posted 8 May 2009 , 8:28pm
post #10 of 14

Don't be so hard on yourself, I remember my first night years ago, it gets eaiser.

I always make one batch of icing in class so the students get a full understand of each consistancy, and how much water to add to thin it.
I bring my medium and stiff already made so when I make that stiff batch (with a hand held mixer) I have them tell me how much water in it so I know they know where to find the info. It goes like this: make the stiff batch and put it in a cup to pass around, then when I get the cup back I add it back to the batch and add 3tsps of water re-mix and again pass around. I put that back and explain ok now look in your book and how much water do you have to add to make it then, remember we have 3 cups, some will say 6 and some will say 3, which 3 is correct since I added 3 to make it thin. I also ask them to put a star by the thin so they don't forget which one to use to ice the cake with.

I put a plop of icing on the top and show how to use the spatula to smooth it, just a small section, then I show the cake icing tip. That always wow's them at how easy it is.

As for the 12 year old, I understand, I had a 9 year old in with a 10 adults, they weren't to happy since most view the class as a way to have time away from their own children. Check with your store, I have actually written a note on my sign-up sheets "age limit ?" what every you are comfortible with. Some store require the parents to remain in the store if they are under 16.

As for finishing earliy always ask questions to make sure they understand, and just to get to know about your students. That can help to fill some time.

Hope this helps.

tamarawagner99 Posted 8 May 2009 , 8:34pm
post #11 of 14

Sorry I am of no help here, as I am just a novice decorator who's only taken the classes. But I was wondering if you guys could tell a. where all of you teach (besides those of you that already indicated Michaels), b. is Kakes for Kids specifically a Michael's thing, or a Wilton thing, or what, and c. do all of you as instructors teach all three courses, or do some of you only teach say Course I and II and some only teach Course III?

Sorry to hijack and ask so many questions, but I've been interested ever since I took the courses in finally becoming skilled enough to become a WMI. Too bad I didn't practice enough and retain what I learned. icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 8 May 2009 , 8:37pm
post #12 of 14

I meant to add, if you do decide to set an age limit be sure to talk to the Manager and Asst Manager about it. This is just so they are aware of it and your reasons, in case a could be student questions it.

sweetcakes Posted 9 May 2009 , 1:01am
post #13 of 14

all you newbies, are you on the wmi only message board? pm me.

TexasSugar Posted 9 May 2009 , 2:12am
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamarawagner99

Sorry I am of no help here, as I am just a novice decorator who's only taken the classes. But I was wondering if you guys could tell a. where all of you teach (besides those of you that already indicated Michaels), b. is Kakes for Kids specifically a Michael's thing, or a Wilton thing, or what, and c. do all of you as instructors teach all three courses, or do some of you only teach say Course I and II and some only teach Course III?

Sorry to hijack and ask so many questions, but I've been interested ever since I took the courses in finally becoming skilled enough to become a WMI. Too bad I didn't practice enough and retain what I learned. icon_smile.gif




Kakes for Kids is Wilton Project class, but I think it is only offered at Michaels, which is where I teach.

I offer all 4 courses every month. I have only taught all 4 at once like twice though. I usually have smaller classes, so the new/repeat rule of 4 is killing me. Before the rule I usually taught 2/3 courses a month.

What/When you teach depends on a few things. If there is another WMI at the store then you can each offer your own series of courses (if the room is free) or you can decide between the two of you who offers what. Being at Michaels I pretty much have free reign on scheduling my classes when I want them. I don't have to worry about someone else using the room when I need it.

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