So Disappointed In Class...

Decorating By JenFailla Updated 20 Mar 2011 , 12:14am by hrnewbie

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JenFailla Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 9:43pm
post #1 of 13


I've been decorating cakes for a while now and want to eventually make it my full time job. I've been self taught (with the help of trial and error, you lovely CCer's out there and youtube) thus far and have done fairly decent fondant custom cakes. However, I can't pipe a BC flower to save my life! icon_cry.gif

So, I enrolled in my local wilton class at Michael's. I was so excited to go and learn new things and boy was I ever disappointed!!! I signed up earlier in the week and purchased the supplies that I didn't already own and made up my sugar cookies, etc. like a good little student. I get to the class and the instructor tells us that Michael's was supposed to tell us that we didn't need anything on the first class and we wouldn't be needing the cookies at all. UGH!

Then we proceeded to sit there while the WMI basically tried to upsell us on all things Wilton. It felt like when the time share salesmen try to corner you into listening to their presentation while you are on vacation. I was so deflated.

I was at least hoping to do SOMETHING in the first class- I know this is for beginners and I'm not exactly that- but geesh! And I felt bad for the mother who brought her twin daughters to the class- she's spending a FORTUNE on things needed for this thing NOT included in the student kit. Luckily throughout the last year or so, I've purchased most of this stuff little by little. I'm wanting this to be more than just a hobby for me- but if it was just for fun?!?! Pretty pricey!!

Here's hoping that things pick up on the next three classes. I'm a busy mom (is there any other kind of mom? icon_rolleyes.gif ) and I just hate feeling like I left my house where there was PLENTY to do to sit and try to be sold products for 2 hours. Sorry- vent over. Putting it in a bubble and blowing it away! icon_wink.gif

12 replies
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m_willford Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 10:09pm
post #2 of 13

Wow, different from my first Wilton class. But that was 5-6 years ago! We didn't actually make anything that time, but we did learn about how to make cakes and get the frosting right, looked at examples of her frostings and whatnot. Went over all the equipment and what it would be used for. We went through a hole mess of information about flowers and colors, all sorts of things. But she didn't try to sell us extra Wilton stuff. The next 3 classes were packed full of frosting fun!

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threeforhim Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 10:10pm
post #3 of 13

I'm sorry that your class was like that. I teach CD courses at our local technology center. They're based on the old Wilton bks. I took the classes there several years ago and that's what the previous instructor based her classes on. Wilton has changed their books though and I hated it so I went back to the old books.

Each time I teach course 1 I make one layer of cake for each student ahead of time. I have them bring icing. They think they'll come to class and learn flowers the first night using their icing. However, they're always surprised when they get to take a cake home the very first night even if it is just one layer. I show them how to cover a board (larger than the cake) so that it's decorative and/or coordinates with the cake and discuss various things to use on it then cover it in plastic. Depending on the time of year, the students make a big sunflower w/choc. chips in center (it was on the front of a magazine several years ago) or a pumpkin. Closer to Christmas they might do a Christmas tree or stocking. We also discuss using various tools that one wouldn't think of as cake tools. I hope the people taking the course always get something out of it - even the first night.

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Stephy42088 Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 10:13pm
post #4 of 13

I was really disappointed in the wilton classes too, i only took the first one and never took another because the whole thing was basically a sales pitch

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JenFailla Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 10:17pm
post #5 of 13

@threeforhim- can I come to your class? icon_smile.gif lol. You sound like a really good instructor. I know Rome wasn't built in a day and likewise I'm not likely to master all of my piping deficiencies in one class, but to do nothing??? Geesh! And the teacher is really nice too- but it was WAY boring- keeping fingers crossed for next week. Now- I'm off to eat all of the sugar cookies I made for this class that we didn't end up needing!!! thumbs_up.gif

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Justforfun751 Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 10:46pm
post #6 of 13

Wow! Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. I stopped teaching at Michael's about the same time Wilton changed up their classes (due to family health issues). It sounds like your instructor was still teaching from the "old" method (prior to June 2010). The newer method had you bringing cookies or cupcakes and some Wilton icing (until you get the standard recipe for the class and see it being made to help with consistency) on the FIRST night.
Now, Wilton still is supposed to have a soft-sell approach, but you are supposed to still get a lot of good starting info out of it. I wonder if they changed it or if you had a teacher who didn't even come close to changing. Hopefully you will still get what you wanted out of the series. Was your course called Flowers and Cake Design or a different name?
You should also get a chance to report to Wilton on how well you thought your instructor did. You should be given an internet website to complete a survey.

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icer101 Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 10:57pm
post #7 of 13

I am a wilton teacher. Your teacher was not trueful that nite. I am sorry to say. WE DO let the students decorate cookies. This was started last June. If her supervisor at wilton knew this, she would not like it. Michaels has nothing to do with it. My manager at michaels doesn,t even know all that we teach. Since last June , all the students in basic cake decorator , decorates their cookies at end of class. She probably told the cashiers to tell that , but she was wrong to do that. I could go on and on, but i won,t. We are suppose to teach ALL that is in each lesson each week. I do that. I don,t skip anything. Plus i tell a little extra.

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joyfullysweet Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 10:57pm
post #8 of 13

I was so disappointed with my first Wilton course. Never returned. I had a really bad instructor though. I think it all depends on the quality of the instructor. I know that some WMI are on here and when they post about their classes, they sound in no way like the experience I had. I didn't leave a single class with a completed cake. What a waste!

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miasmom82 Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 11:05pm
post #9 of 13

I am the first class now too. I am also self taught. I love the class and learned a lot the first day. My teacher rocks and we did do the sugar cookies. I am sorry you had a bad exprience. I love the class and teacher so much I am now taking the other classes. I need the help. I can do soemthings but just need a little extra help.

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platinumlady Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 11:29pm
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by Justforfun751

Was your course called Flowers and Cake Design or a different name?

It was Decorating Basics that is the only class that ask to bring cookies.
As I told the OP in a PM the curriculum is supposed to be the same across the board & it's crazy to me ... why would you not give the students a chance to start practicing from day 1...that is why the courses were changed


You should also get a chance to report to Wilton on how well you thought your instructor did. You should be given an internet website to complete a survey.

The only thing about the survey now is that it only ask what was the instructors name... at the end it ask for any comments but doesn't really give a forum to discuss classroom experience. I emailed my supervisor to see if there is another way to get this information to the company. It really isn't fair to the students

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Larkin121 Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 11:39pm
post #11 of 13

I teach the Wilton classes, and yes, you are supposed to get to decorate the cookies the first day - with a star tip.

To be honest, Wilton one is incredibly slow until the 3rd lesson. If you already know a decent bit about decorating, I'd move on to the 2nd and 3rd classes. I know they say you are supposed to take Wilton 1 first, but I've had several people just start with a higher level because they already knew the other stuff and they were quite happy being able to do that.

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Teecakesandcookies Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 11:57pm
post #12 of 13

I totally understand your pain my Wilton instructor was not good and half taught the class saying everything is getting ready to change and u will need to retake the class she was just not good. She said that we would get a survey in an email and we never did and she is very very lucky that I never got that survey because I dont like to pay money for nothing and I was driving 2 hours one way so I would have had alot to report on the survey. I'm lookin into some classes anywhere I can if I have to get on a plane and pay the big bucks I am, I want to learn something!!! icon_redface.gif

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hrnewbie Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 12:14am
post #13 of 13

I think Wilton classes can be helpful for someone that has zero baking experience but IMO it's often used unnecessarily to sell products and for someone who has an aptitude for baking it drags out what could be a quick 5 minute discussion into 2 or 3 classes.

I took the 1st class a few months ago and was able to decorate cookies, etc. as some have mentioned here. But I watched my co-students really struggle with how to hold decorating bags, how tips work, etc. and so the speed of the class makes sense for them. I personally struggled with it.

I signed up recently for the one on flowers and am kind of regretting it. The course itself wasn't too expensive but I pay $30/week to the babysitter so I can go to the class and that's killing me. Especially since this week we practiced how to make a rose base and won't do the rose petals until next week. (I taught myself a few months ago by watching YouTube in a matter of 30 minutes or so. Two weeks, really?)

So while the effectiveness of the class is debatable, I am sad to hear that your instructor is so bad. That's not acceptable regardless of the overall Wilton experience. They need to get your feedack.

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