How Was Your Wilton Class Instructor?

Decorating By Daniellemhv Updated 10 Nov 2006 , 7:35am by RisqueBusiness

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Daniellemhv Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 12:07am
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I just got hired as a Wilton Method Instructor at A.C. Moore. I am THRILLED!!! Its not a ton of money and only a few hours a week but teaching about cake decorating is my dream job. I'm kinda nervous about it because I myself just finished the courses in August! And now i'm teaching people eager to learn cake decorating from an expert. My instructor was THE BEST. She had like 40 years of cake decorating experience, and all the tips and tricks you could ever want. She was from the country and was very sweet. Then theres me.... I'm 20 years old! I think I have alot of talent and know alot of tips and time-savers, but i'm afraid people are going to walk into the classroom, see me sitting there and think "you have got to be kidding me" "She's the teacher?!" What makes it even worst is I look like i'm 16. haha. I would like to know what your teachers were like. what you liked, what you disliked. One thing I loved about my teacher was that she encouraged creativity. I read that some teachers were so strict and by the book. I don't want to be like that. So please, if you wouldn't mind, tell me your horror stories and your good stories.

My teacher told me I could be the next Collette Peters!
I said YEAH RIGHT!!! hahaha, but what a compliment.

17 replies
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Jopalis Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 12:22am
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The older I get the younger everyone looks anyway..LOL... Maybe that will be their first impression but I'm sure you will replace that with your good nature and expertise. Sometimes the experts go too fast and find it hard to come down to level of newbies. Be yourself. Be friendly. Assure them that you know how they feel and how much you love what you are doing. Make your enthusiasm contagious.... They are nervous too. Take control of the prepared and try to not digress too much. So, I just started Wilton 1...If I had instructor who looked 16 yeah I might think ...oh brother.... but then if she was personable and understanding and patient and knew her stuff.... I'd forget about that. My current teacher is a professional baker and is going to pastry school. She may also teach at local college coming up. You maybe be young but you don't have to look or act immature and giggly. You can do it! Just the fact that you are worrying about it shows you care.... Everybody has to start somewhere....

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vww104 Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 3:12am
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I agree that you must take and keep control of the class. My instructor was also brand new, it was her first class, and she was very good. The only area in which she was weak was control. We as the students tended to talk a lot and although it was about cake, we ended up wasting a lot of time and at the end of the class we were rushing to fit everything in. Make sure you continue to keep the class moving because sometimes its a lot to cram into 2 hours. Good luck!!

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missyek Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 3:41am
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My instructor was great. She picked on me a lot for be VERY anal, but I loved her anyway. icon_lol.gif She ahd over 15 years experience when she taught me back in 2003. Apparently, despite the fact that I bugged her weekly via email and phone out of class and was so darn anal and frustrated with myself in class, she thought I was pretty good so she recommended that I become an instructor. Now, there is something to make you feel good! So here I am almost three years of teaching under my belt and I love it! My instructor and I still chat via email and now she has deserted me by quitting! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif I am an instructor that loves creativity--mostly because I lacked it so much when I took the classes. My instructor did not say eihter way how we had to do our cakes, but I was a "strictly by the book" kind of student. Yeah, I got the comment once, "So, did you count the number of shells on that cake to get it just right?" icon_razz.gificon_lol.gif Yeah, did I mention I was anal and no, I did not go that far!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif I love watching my students come up with their own grand designs and if they follow the book, that is just as great! I am also a rather loud person and tend to laugh, A LOT--one of my many nick names is "laughing girl"... Anyway, we have fun in class. And it shows. I don't know how many times I have had Michael's employees come up to me after class saying something like, "well, you guys were having WAY too much fun in there" or "Is cake decorating REALLY that fun?" And I have had the managers tell me that they have had customers stop to ask what class was being taught because we all looked like we were having a great party in there and they wanted to join. icon_lol.gif I don't understand the strictness of some intructors that I have heard about. This is supposed to be fun and a learning experience. I've heard of some instructors tell students that they are only allowed to use parchment bags? Why? Wilton sells three different kinds and they get two types in their kit--none of which are parchment. icon_confused.gif I would freak because I hate parchement bags. Do I use them, sure--they are good, but definitely not my first choice, hmmm, or second..... icon_lol.gif

Anyway, enjoy what you are doing and it will reflect in how you teach. Even if I have had a super horrible day, I can come into class, put on that big smile and have fun and laugh--it is what I love!

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Loucinda Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 4:15am
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My story is a lot like Missyek's ~ my instructor was GREAT! She knew her stuff, and was fun to be in class with. I took all 3 classes with her. We kept in touch after my classes were all done, and she is the one who approached me to take over her classes. I have only been teaching since 02/06 and like Missy - we have a blast in class. We have fun while they learn. I do not make them go by the book - I give my students the freedom to do cakes that they can "do their own thing" with.

Being prepared for each class, knowing what you are teaching, and being "approachable" I think are some of the keys to being a good teacher.

I have a small album that I can show the ones who are interested what some of the cakes I have done look like - so they know I do have the skills to teach the class. I do not "whip it out" and make everyone look at it, but I have it with me ~ and if one of them is interested in seeing some of the work, I can show them. I think sometimes they have heard that there are some Wilton instructiors that really don't know what they are doing - and it puts their minds at ease when they can see you really DO know what you are doing! icon_wink.gif

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sweetcakes Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 5:10am
post #6 of 18

i think having just a small album of your cakes will prove your abilities to the students, until you can show them pictures of your students cakes. cause that will also show your ability to teach. there is also a wmi only message board that will help you a great deal.

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mmunzmarie Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 4:04pm
post #7 of 18

Hello! My instructor was not very professional or helpful at all. She would always talk about her personal life and would always want the class to spill their personal issues as well. She never offered to help and if you needed help she would ignore you or make fun of what your mistake was. I had even brought in pictures of my 2 daughters cakes I had made for their birthday (my first too big cake in which I was very proud of!) to show to her and she laughed at them and said oh, yeah, thats nice.

I would just say to be very helpful and listen to your students needs, I just think that is so important. I feel like I have some skills down but feel I could have learned so much more!

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Daniellemhv Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 4:48pm
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Thanks guys. I am definitely not the giggly type. and I will remember to Control the class. Thats a very helpful tip. I'm gonna have wear a bracelet or reminder of some sorts to remind myself.

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anoldhippy Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 4:59pm
post #9 of 18

Congratultions. My insdtructor was a gabber-box always talked about stuff other than class. The classes cram a lot of information, too much for just 3 classes IMHO and even tho we are supposed to practice at home, if you didnt get it the first are in trouble for town the road later. I still can't make butter cream roses! ALSO-if you have lefties in your class, remember that it is completely different angles to use and hand positions. I was the only one left handed.She even was a leftie too but decorated with right hand. I loved the class but never really felt we learned much. Good luck

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cakegurl06 Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 5:06pm
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You'll do fine. The fact that you thought of doing this post and asking this question shows that you think things through carefully and like to be very prepared. You are obviously a mature 20 year old so I'm sure you will have no problem.

My teacher was nice but, like mmunzmarie's, she talked a lot about her personal life and wasted a lot of class time with that. She was only somewhat encouraging when people did something well, or when I showed her pictures of cakes I had done outside of class. I got the feeling that she didn't want any of her students to be better than her. My only advice would be to prepare yourself for the fact that you are gonna have those students who need a lot of help and maybe just don't have the knack for it, and you have to be really encouraging, or you may have a student who really shines and you should not think that because they have talent, you don't have to tell them they're doing a great job. Some people produce incredible cakes and they think they are bad. We're always our own worst critics. So encourage everyone and don't be threatened if you get another Colette Peters who outshines you.
Also, keeping control of the class and keeping a good pace is important so you aren't running out of time at the end.
I also felt that my teacher wasn't real clear on what we were expected to bring to each class, even though the books say so, she would change it. She also had us doubling the icing recipes from what the Wilton book said, and then I always had way too much icing and it seemed like such a waste.
Good luck!

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ChrisJ Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 5:18pm
post #11 of 18

I had 3 different instructors for each phase. The first was very experienced, second less experienced & very nervous, the third had only been decorating 6 months but she was an awesome decorator & teacher. Turns out she had her teaching degree so that explained why she was so good at teaching IMO. They were all younger than me, the last having children the same ages as my grandchildren but to me, that does not matter. Remember, you know more than everyone there since you've taken the classes & they haven't LOL so you have an edge there. What I learned as a supervisor & trainer was to 1) explain 2) demonstrate 3) have them do it themselves and 4) always be available for questions.

I'm sure you'll do fine, good luck

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rsaun Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 5:30pm
post #12 of 18

I had the same teacher for all three courses, and really enjoyed her. In fact, she is a wedding coordinator and has asked me to do the wedding cake for a wedding she's coordinating. We have stayed in touch, and she is available to answer questions, and even loaned me a cake display for a wedding cake for this weekend.

I would say that if you act confident and experienced, your class will believe in you. I think if you go in apologetic and saying you're new at this, that may affect your credibility. Obviously, you know your stuff or you wouldn't be teaching this class, so hold your head high, be sure of yourself and you'll do great. Who cares how old you are? icon_lol.gif

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AnythingSugar Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 5:47pm
post #13 of 18

My instructor was great! I had the same instructor for all three courses. She covered everything in the books very well and our class was small so we got individual attention if we were having trouble. I am glad someone mentioned left-handed students. The instructor was very good and would even practice with her left hand in order to show the left-handed student how to hold the piping bag.

There is a lot of material to cover in two hours and especially in course two when making all those flowers. My instructor talked with us about other things but she knew how to say that we needed to move on in order to complete our work. She had a great personality but handled the class very professionally.

I became friends with my instructor and we stay in touch. I enjoyed the class so much that I am even considering taking them again.

Congratulations on your new job and you will be fine. You will be doing what you love and that makes all the difference in the world.

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malika Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 6:53pm
post #14 of 18

My instructor was great also. She let us be creative, and that worked for me because I never copied the book exactly. For my Course III cake I made a lime-green cake (tinkerbell green) with dark purple, fuschia, and teal flowers.
She was very friendly and gave us tips and advice. I can't wait to take the gumpaste class next year.
You'll do great! I was looking at your cakes and I am in awe! You are young, but clearly talented! If they have any doubts about your abilities, show them your portfolio. Good luck!

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nglez09 Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 6:59pm
post #15 of 18

My instructor for my first two courses was a great teacher! She was very able and good at explaining and correcting. She taught me courses I and II.

Now. . .

My instructor now SUCKS. She is horrible; she doesn't even teach! I am better at what she is teaching us. . .it's like she just woke up and she's like "Alright. . .um. . .let's see what I'll 'teach' today". . .

So I get to have her for course III. :/ Maybe I'll go to the other Michael's for course IV.

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RisqueBusiness Posted 9 Nov 2006 , 7:02pm
post #16 of 18

the first time I taught, I was referring to the instructor's manual too

That's the only complaint that I heard.

There were a LOT of people that took my class and broke out on their own to bake, decorate cakes for sale!

That was the HIGHEST complient I got..just how many of my students started their own business!

I too brought in an album of cakes...but...mine was a little different.

I had my beginner cakes, my cake dissasters and then progressed from there to some of my competition cakes to show them what they could do with a little hard work.

I didn't get too many before or after class phone calls...I wonder why? lol

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Daniellemhv Posted 10 Nov 2006 , 5:10am
post #17 of 18

Thanks. You guys have been very helpful! RisqueBusiness, thats a good idea with the beginner to advanced cake album. I actually have a cake album full of beginner cakes that i put together after i finished my classes, I was so proud of them. when I look at them now they're all so ugly, lol! I've improved! They were lopsided, the buttercream was no where near smooth.

When people see my cakes now and I tell them I'm teaching the class they always say "Oh I could NEVER make those". I always say if I didn't take the class I would never be able to make 'em either. Which is true.

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RisqueBusiness Posted 10 Nov 2006 , 7:35am
post #18 of 18

That's the reason for the show them YES YOU CAN!

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