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Classes at Joann's
I just got the job, wondering if anyone else has taught there
birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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Date: 4/16/12 1:09 PM

Our local Joann Fabrics recently tripled the size of the store and is going to start offering classes. Just wondering if anyone has ever taught there and the quality of your experience.
I met with two employees today who interviewed me for position of instructor and they seem like they'll be nice to work with. Apparently they are contracted by Simplicity to offer specific classes and provide the curriculum. I was a little worried that it would be too slow or boring, but after reading the paperwork, it seems ok and they assured me I can add whatever I want.
The nice thing about it is that once we get a base of people interested and word of the classes spreads, we can offer any additional classes we want and the woman in charge was completely amenable to everything I suggested. I'd love to do a class on fabric alone as well as seam finishing, etc.

SouthernStitch
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SouthernStitch  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/16/12 2:45 PM

It's good that they've contracted with Simplicity and are allowing you this freedom. I signed on to teach at my local Joann also.
However, we have to sign a contract stating that we will teach exactly as the curriculum is written. The person in charge did say she was open to new classes, so I have no idea about that. But, she's leaving and they have not replaced her yet.
Otherwise I don't know anything, as the first class I was scheduled to teach isn't for a while. I do know we are expected to make up the item in the class, and we get it back later.
Good luck!

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Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
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When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

Sweetsong

Sweetsong
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Date: 4/16/12 3:04 PM

What sort of training do you both have? Are you certified public school teachers? Our Hancock's is looking for instructors, but it's all on one's own. I would have no idea where to start!

Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.

birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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Subject: Classes at Joanns Date: 4/16/12 4:42 PM

No training other than a pattern making class and what I taught myself. I showed up for the interview with a pile of things I'd made and that was good enough for them.
We do have to teach what's exactly on the paper, but it is all very basic information that I'd have covered anyway. My only problem is that the sewing 101 material would have taken me an entire 6 weeks' worth of classes to cover if I had it my way. Now I have to condense it into one class, but that's ok, because we can offer additional, more specific, classes later on.
A lot of it probably depends on the people running the show at that particular branch. I can see some people being really inflexible and making sure you follow the Simplicity curriculum to a T while others would probably give the instructor more latitude.

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to birdmcfarland <<


Date: 4/16/12 5:20 PM

Hi Bird...I am now teaching classes at our new "large" Joanns. I've taught a few 101 basics and a Beginner knitting. This week's skirt class was cancelled because the "one" person signed up for it forgot to come the first day and called in sick the second day. I'm suppose to have a tunic class tomorrow and one of the two signed up for that one, has cancelled. We are waiting to hear back from the other person. I do only morning classes, because that is my choice. I spoke with the coordinator this morning and asked her if any of the sewing classes(morning/afternoon or evening) were taking off successfully. She said the only thing happening is quiliting...very sad. I've had good response from the 101 beginner classes and would think they would be signing up for more.

I just wrote a letter to Joann corporate this past weekend, complaining about the pattern choices for the classes. They are awful. Now that you have said they have a contract with Simplicity, I see why we have so few choices. In the last month, I've made two blouses, an infinity scarf and a skirt, for the display wall. I'm now working on the dress and possibly the capri pattern for the summer months. Problem is, I don't get reimbursed for the material I put in to my display pieces. I do get the items back, but unless I do all my personal alterations(FBA, foward shoulder, narrow shoulder, petite etc)I can't wear any of them. Some of the patterns are just so butt ugly, I won't go through all that trouble and end up giving the items away to store personel.

I'm a private contractor. I knew better than to go in as a Joann employee. They will end up using you in the store, if they need extra help. This way I call my own shots. My coordinator like my suggestion of offering a fitting class in the Fall. If we can't get more people involved in garment sewing, there won't be a need.

birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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Subject: Classes at Joanns Date: 4/16/12 5:59 PM

that stinks. I hope we have more interest here. I posted about it on my facebook page and 4 people were interested but those are all friends who've been looking at my sewing projects for the last few years. It's not like I can keep recruiting friends for this.
I agree, their pattern choices are kind of a bummer. We have a simple top, an elastic-waisted skirt and then one of the Simplicity Lisette jackets that's actually kind of nice. The skirt sucks and wouldn't be flattering on anyone. I'd rather show them how to do a proper faced waistband rather than waste time on a skirt nobody will wear. It would take slightly more time but we'd get a whole lot more mileage out of it.
I don't understand why they dictate exactly what you teach. I think it would make more sense if they required something like students have to purchase X pattern at full cost in order to meet class requirements and then allow us to take it from there. That way they get their stuff sold and we can tailor our classes to what the students want or need.

birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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Subject: Classes at Joanns Date: 4/16/12 6:02 PM

You know what else I thought was kind of lousy? That they require you to make a sample and do it on your own time with your own materials. That right there wipes most of one's earning down the toilet. Plus, I care so I am going to provide a lot of extra handouts and things that I make up on my own time which further dilutes any pay I'm going to get.
Fortunately, I'm not doing this to feed myself but rather because I like it and can't understand why more people don't sew. But it's definitely not a great deal.


-- Edited on 4/16/12 8:04 PM --

dresscode

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Date: 4/16/12 6:21 PM

I would keep track of the prep/sewing time you are doing outside class. You may find you are only earning a few dollars per hour. I passed on an offer in IL years ago. Maybe they are paying more these days.

JTink
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In reply to birdmcfarland <<


Date: 4/16/12 8:03 PM

Bird, you are right. We can't do this for the money. As a matter of fact, when I was first approached to teach, I thought it was volunteer. Was actually surprised that I would be getting paid to do something I love One situation we have had here, our new Joanns is offering 1/2 price classes during grand opening...this cuts back on our paycheck, as well. My coordinator gives me a choice to accept or pass on making the display pieces. The short skirt was a lot nicer looking than the long one they have in the line up now. I did alter the blouse (with the infinity scarf I'll never wear) to fit me after it's not needed for display anymore. The Lisette jacket does make up real cute(several reviews here on PR). The lady who did the one for our display, said it took her an hour to do the ruffling around the collar!

Save the receipts you get when buying material for the displays. You can take that off on taxes. I'm also not worried about where I pick up the patterns or the material/notions. If I have coupon for Hobby Lobby or Hancocks, and can get a better deal than at Joann's, you can bet I'm going there for my supplies!

I think the powers that be, are under the misguided impression that elastic and pleating accommodates "all sizes"...we know differently.

lisalu
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lisalu
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Date: 4/16/12 9:10 PM

I have taught crochet at Michael's and some other LYS but its been a while. However, not too long ago I was in JoAnn's and looking at their fairly poor samples of knitting/crocheting that advertised their classes. Yes, I can do much, much better! I stopped by and asked the class coordinator if they were interested in knitting/crocheting instructors and told her I could bring in some of my work to show. She answered me with a very blunt "No". Period. End of discussion. Not even "thanks, but no thanks".

Okey, dokey then!

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Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

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