Every month we spotlight one of our fabulous members! This month we have been getting to know more about Matilda from Knitilda (great name!). See our previous blog post for a recorded interview with Matilda. Matilda runs Knitilda from her home in Twickenham, London, where she lives with her husband, two youngest daughters and two cats and two dogs! You can find out more about Knitilda on her Knitting For All teacher page and on her own website. We are delighted to share this blog post written by Matilda about her experience managing large knitting clubs for children.
Managing larger knitting clubs in primary schools! By Matilda Johansson
I started the ‘Knitilda’ knitting clubs September 2022 and after a little bit of a slow start, I soon had great responses from local schools that were interested.
One of the things I encountered straight away was the request for accommodating large groups. Most of the local primary schools wanted to make sure that they were offering the opportunity to learn how to knit to larger cohorts than I had anticipated.
This presented an immediate challenge but fortunately one of my adult daughters (a knitter herself) was available to help, and as I have been teaching knitting to adults through Adult Education, I was able to reach out to some of my former students to ask them if they were also interested.
I was in luck and quickly gathered a team of wonderful assistants who were ready for the job at hand!
When we first started I (we) were quite overwhelmed as everyone needed help all the time and although I managed to maintain a maximum ratio of 1 adult per 8 children, it was very stressful and I often felt that I was not doing a good enough job to properly support each child.
However, as the term proceeded we developed techniques through trials and errors, and a lot of reflection!! The bullet points below have really helped me to get my knitting clubs off to a good (and strong) start from the beginning:
I am sure there is plenty more but I think this will do for now. What we do find is key with running larger groups is to keep reflecting as the children are all unique in their own way, and they have different learning styles - so what works with one child, may not necessarily work for another!
Happy knitting all!