The SCA covers 'roughly' the time period of 5th to 16th Century that is a space of 1100 years. This fact can be intimidating..for how are you supposed to be able to teach, share, collect, understand or, even begin to comprehend data for over one thousand years. I wish I had a quick and easy answer..I am sorry I do not. Instead, all I can offer is some unasked for advice.
- TAKE IT IN SMALL BITES.........TAKE IT IN VERY SMALL BITES
Do not try to teach a class on Music of the Middle Ages. That is broad a subject that will keep you up nights doing research. Instead, a class on String Instruments of the Middle Ages or better yet, String Instruments of the 15th Century.
- GO WITH YOUR STRENGTHS
You can cook so teach coking; you like to fish, how did they fish. Take a skill you already have and expand on it. If you are good with cards than teach gaming. Pick an area you feel comfortable with and share.
- HAVE FUN
If it is boring to you ..than it will be very boring to your students. Look at the material in a new way. Example, instead of just giving castle terms....build a castle.
- LET THEM PLAY
While listing to the `Comprehensive Study of Clay Jars and How They Were Affected by the Economic Landscapes" sounds very poignant its significance will be better understood if you tell them while they are making a jar.
Do not tell them everything..leave them wanting more..asking more questions. We can never hope to know all there is to know, we can only try. Never, let them think that this class or any class will answer all the questions...inspire them and yourself to keep searching.
- TEACH IT
If you wait till you know everything there is to know on the subject before you teach anything than you are doing a disservice to your self. If you feel that you have to be an expert before you can share a piece of the puzzle than you are doing a disservice to the rest of us. If you feel that you can not share the craft or the wisdom till you know it all than you are doing a disservice to the craft and dishonoring the wisdom you have gained.
- IT IS OKAY TO BE NERVOUS
You are not being judged. You are not expected to be a professional educator. You are sharing what you have learned with people who want to learn it. It is ok to be nervous.
- LIMIT YOUR CLASS
Understand the limits of what you can do. If you can effectively teach blackwork to only 6 people than limit your class to 6 people.
- DO NOT GO BROKE
Understand that it is ok not to provide each student with 10 pages of color copies...it is ok to ask for a small donation to cover cost. Look at it this way...if you have a 10 person limit and you ask for $5 each that means you have spent $50 in supplies. No one expects you to provide more than you can. It is ok to cut cost.
- ATTENDANCE IS NOT A FACTOR
If one person shows that you can teach one person....even, if that one person is you.