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Teaching More Than Reading

A few weeks ago, one of my students, a gal I taught last year, told me that she’d found a couple of her grandmother’s knitting books.  I invited her to bring them in and show me.

She did…a couple of weeks later…but we were so busy that we didn’t have time to talk about them.  I set the books aside and assured her that we’d chat.

We finally had that chat, and she told me that she’d watched her grandmother knit years ago.  Her grandmother passed away a few years ago, so the knitting books make her feel close to her.  She then told me that she wanted to learn how to knit.

My student knew that I knit because she’d seen the shawls and socks I wore to class last year.  She knew she was asking someone who could help her.

I took in a set of the first needles I’d bought myself along with a skein of yarn (heaven knows I have plenty).

On Friday, she came to me at lunch, and I did something that makes every knitter happy…

I taught someone to knit.

I cast one, and explained, very simply, what I was doing as I created each knit stitch.

I knit an entire row, and she watched my every move.

Then, it was her turn.

She was nervous and giggled a lot.

I helped her position her hands and walked her through the steps.

I watched her grow more comfortable, and it didn’t take too long before she’d finished her first row!

She allowed me to take a picture of her.

I suggested that she knit another row, which she did.  I was able to give her some pointers, but really…she caught on quickly.

I told her that she could take the yarn and needles home with her, and she excitedly told me that she would take them on the bus to her band competition the next day.  She had a two and a half hour ride ahead of her.

Then, she asked if she could come back after school…just to make sure she hadn’t forgotten how to knit.

I told her yes, of course.

When she came back, she told me that she’d texted her dad after she’d left me earlier and told him that I was teaching her to knit.  She said he was happy because he enjoys crafty activities as well.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.

Teachers do more than impart academic knowledge.

We transfer parts of ourselves to the children we are privileged to spend time with each day…all of our talents that might not necessarily be considered education-related.

I had a rough week, so ending it by teaching this sweet student of mine to knit really helped me find my groove again.

I’m looking forward to teaching her how to purl next week and have printed out a dishcloth pattern for her to make.


One Response

  1. I love it.

    High five to you and this eager student!

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