I have always LOVED to teach.
When I was a little girl, I used to sit my twin brothers (1 year younger) and teach them to read and write, to draw... or even to do some mischief.
As a young student in primary and secondary school, whenever someone needed help with their homework I tried to teach them how to work them out. Of course, I gave them the answers, but I also made an effort to help them really UNDERSTAND a subject so that they wouldn't struggle with homework and exams any more.
When I entered university I fell in love with the first course I had to take: Anatomy. I admired my teachers and I loved the subject so much that I applied to be a teacher's assistant on my second year and I ended up teaching Anatomy until I graduated. Every year I was assigned a group of 12 students and I always took pride in how wonderful they were and what a great knowledge of the human body they had by the end of the year.
After I left my career as a physician and started looking for ways to earn some income with knitting, the first thing I did was to teach knitting lessons. My Mom and I would sit at her house with a group of 3 to 5 women every Thursday. I taught them all I knew: all my secrets for finishing, I taught them to read patterns in English, how to use Ravelry... It was something really great and I felt so amazing every time one of them finished a successful garment! This was during the year 2009. And shortly after, my life took a really quick turn when I started designing knitting patterns.
In 2015 I was offered my first teaching job in a foreign country. I still can't believe a company trusted me back then to travel to the US and teach 6 workshops. I still feel so humbled! But this event was the first of a very long series of travels and workshops and classes all over the world. I felt excited but also scared, confused and at times tired.
In 2018 I realized I was traveling too much, too quickly, to places I didn't always choose and I decided to hit the breaks. I stopped accepting teaching jobs abroad. My last teaching gig abroad was in May 2019, and I closed my teaching times by doing a round of classes in Buenos Aires. I hand't taught any classes since those days at my Mom's in 2009.
I have always had the honor of having such amazing, gracious, patient and grateful students. I honestly couldn't have asked for more! But it all happened too quickly, while my kids were growing up and I didn't have enough time to truly grasp what was happening and how fortunate I was.
Then, of course... only a few months after my last teaching job, and when I was getting ready to use all my energy to travel the world just for exploring... COVID happened. And it all shut down. I missed so many things, I won't talk again about how I felt physically and spiritually. All I can say is I really missed my community of knitters from all over the world. I missed these smiles, I missed the classrooms and the laughter and the sharing and everyone showing off my designs.
Gosh, HOW I MISSED IT!
Turns out that I was able to come back and teach again this year, and it was AMAZING. I was hired by Vogue Knitting Live to teach an extensive workshop on sweater making together with my best friend, Veera Välimäki.
And just like that, I was back at it. Teaching, surrounded by knitters, sharing what I know, what I love the most: to knit. The feedback, the energy from our students... It was just what I needed after all this time in isolation, and I can't wait to do it all again.
For this new era of teaching I want to take better care of myself. Build in time to enjoy the places, meet friends, eat good food, do more exercise in-between sessions and just ENJOY everything without so much stress.
Veera and I have developed a new workshop where we get to teach together and work with our students creating a perfect raglan sweater. Being together in the classroom definitely helps with our confidence! (it's a bonus that I think the content of the class is really worth it).
Who knows where my next destination will be... but I can't wait for it to arrive. I am ready now.
Thank you knitters of the world! Thank you for letting me teach and learn with you all!