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Topic: If THIS is the Wilton standard. Count me out!
Aumie 08/08/2012 9:46 PM
I'm so disappointed that this is my first experience with a Wilton class, I am truly hoping this was just a bad first impression, and forgive me for going on a rant but it's going to make me feel a whole lot better lol...

So, I have heard amazing things about these classes, I heard they were a lot of fun and the things you learned in the first class alone was worth what you pay for the entire course.

So naturally I was super excited when myself and a friend of mine signed up together. I do have a good bit of cake experience but my friend has none. We wanted to take all the courses together so naturally we need to start at the basics. I know i'm lacking a good foundation since i'm self taught so I figured I'm bound to learn a good couple of things. Paging through the lesson book the potential to learn with the Wilton material is there, but the instructor is horrid! She is the most unengaging and uninformative "teacher" I have ever seen. She was nice and and courteous but The class started late, she didn't bring any of her own materials except for the lesson book and opted to demonstrate with other student's tools, took a phone call during the class and her playing/texting on her cellphone while we practiced the basic star tip technique was just ridiculous to me.

I walked away learning maybe 2 things and my friend who can't bake her way out of a paper bag even felt she hardly learned anything.

she made a point to mention she has a lot stress going on, So I am trying very hard to chalk up her family situation to this very bad first impression. But if things don't improve over our last few classes. I will just be buying the kits and lesson plans and teaching myself and sending a nice formal complaint to Wilton because driving a half hour from home and paying for courses that range between $20-45 depending on if there is a discount going on to watch someone play on their cellphone is unacceptable.
mommy1 08/09/2012 6:47 AM
I'm sorry you had a bad experience. If she was having issues then she needed to cancel the class, IMO. I'd complain to the store and let them know what happened.
Leucippus 08/09/2012 8:07 AM
I'm sorry that you had this experience. It sounds like your instructor has issues and might not be cut up for the job or at least needs some time to work out her problems. You are absolutely right, texting/phone calls in class are unacceptable, and she should have had her own equipment for the very first class. If she's having a bad day, then cancel class and reschedule it or find a replacement.

If its any consolation, it is likely an isolated experience. I have taken many Wilton courses in the last 4 years with several different instructors and while all have their strengths and their own weaknesses, I was always pleased with what I learned and how much I learned. That's why I keep going back.

I did have a problem similar to yours for a "project class". The instructor was not prepared at all, it was her first time teaching it and she was not able to demonstrate the techniques. She also took some calls in the class. I was extremely frustrated.

If I can make a suggestion, I would follow-up with the store manager and Wilton (their contact info is on their website). It might even be a good idea to do it now, so that something can be done for the remaining 3 classes. I unfortunately waited until the end of my project class to complain and while they did speak to the instructor about it, they couldn't do anything concrete to fix it for me since the course was done. If they know about it now, they might be able to do something for you for the other classes/nights.

I hope this helps. If all else fails, I would try finding a different instructor or a different store for a class (mention this to the store manager to see how they react to that prospect, usually managers don't like to lose customers!).

All said, everything that you heard about Wilton classes is true (in my experience and opinion), unfortunately sometimes a few bad apples spoil the whole cart.

Good luck and keep us posted on how things work out.
Aumie 08/09/2012 11:57 PM
I guess I'll wait and see how my next class goes before complaining about her to a manager and wilton, I checked the store's class calendar and she's currently the only Wilton teacher for that AC. Moore So if i decide to continue on with the other courses, I won't likely be there. Although I'll end up having drive even farther, which is mostly why i chose that ac moore. I live rural and they were the closest. =/

The class is too costly to just decide to stop going. I guess if talking to a manager does not "fix" her I'm prepared to try and make the most of it by practicing the lessons ahead of time then I could just seek her help when i hit the things that stumped me come class time - most particularly writing and those freaking roses! ugh they are the vain of my existence! Otherwise I'm already somewhat well versed on just about everything else in the basics course. but I feel really bad for my friend Amanda, she was really looking forward to learning the ins and outs of cake decorating, I talked her into these classes and I feel like I mislead her.

I'm tempted to get all the classes under my belt just to help me qualify as an instructor, so other people don't have to be stuck with instructors like her.
Buttercream_Queen 08/17/2012 1:45 PM
As a WMI I am so sorry that you have had such an unpleasant experience and am disheartened that you are left feeling unhappy with your class. I too suggest that you talk with the store manager regarding your situation. He/she may be able to give you the contact information of your teacher's Wilton supervisor so that you can relate your story to him/her personally. I know it must be equally as frustrating for your friend. I think you should become an instructor yourself! Please do not lose your cake love because of one inadequate instructor!
dietcokenoice 08/17/2012 4:37 PM
It's disappointing to hear stories like this because I know there are some very good instructors out there. It's very rude of the instructor to be on their cell phone. It would be hard to say something to her about it, so I would suggest making her help you and your friend. Say something like "could you please watch me while I make this xxx" or "can you tell me if I'm doing this right" or "it's really so helpful when you watch me" or "can you show me how to do this". Unfortunately it sounds like you may have to get the instructors attention and ask alot of questions, kiss up or brown nose your way into getting what you should be getting out of the class. Jokingly tell her "I'm not letting you leave today until I can make a decent rose (or whatever)"

Be firm, good luck and most of all....have fun

It would be less stressful for your instructor if she stayed off her phone and focused on the students. Good thing I'm not in your class...I'd probably say something like "so, let's all turn off our cell phones and have a nice quiet class and have fun decorating and learning". ARGH, I'm getting mad just thinking about your class !!!!!!
Aunt Tilly 08/19/2012 10:11 PM
Aumie~ I'd also like to add my thoughts to the posts here about your unfortunate experience with your Course 1 instructor. I too am a WMI and the only comment I will make in your teacher's defense is that currently, new WMIs are being TOLD to not bring materials to class and to demonstrate using the student's materials. The reason being is that so many of us have 'lost' so much in materials during classes as we will loan out tips, bags, couplers, etc to students who have forgotten something @home and we put their needs before our own and more frequently than we know, the items to not find their way back to us. It's not intentional ~ students are just as busy as the instructor when it comes to cleaning/packing up. We forget who borrowed what and our items become 'gifts'. So, Wilton has now put forth the guideline for WMIs to use students materials. I continue to bring my own kit/materials to class (the way I was taught) and have no intention of changing that. Most WMIs I know are also continuing. We simply prefer it that way ~

I'm in agreement with the others who have said to consider making a comment to the store manager. Particularly if the behavior continues. A direct comment to the WMI may be the only thing necessary to bring her to know she's not giving her best ~ whether that's said to her alone or a comment in class (I'd try it alone first). All of us know that if we do not treat our students well, they will not continue to be our students.
MarieB217 08/20/2012 11:35 AM
Definitely report this to Wilton. I have an awesome instructor who will demonstrate as many times as necessary, will walk around the room and observe you working and give tips/pointers as she goes, and will even make up a class with you if you miss. If you have a good instructor, the classes are great. But, like any class/program, you get a bad teacher, and it won't be fun or a learning experience. My instructor did have to be out one week, and she called on the other instructor to fill in for her. The other instructor was also good, but a little boisterous for my taste (nothing wrong with it, just grated on my nerves after working a long day!). Every instructor has a different personality and approach, but taking cell calls while teaching is not appropriate. You paid good money for the course, and you should get all you can from it. I'd consider asking the store for your money back, too, or for them to give you a voucher for retaking the course. I get that the instructor has things going on in her personal life, but if those things are interfering with her ability to teach the class effectively, then she should step back until things settle down.

Good luck!
Aumie 08/20/2012 12:32 PM
Thank you everyone for your responses/advice and thank you for mentioning that wilton is suggesting they don't bring their own materials.

However, our second class was no better, we arrived exactly on time and she wasn't even in the class room, The class ran late while i didn't really mind it likely wouldn't have happen had she spent less time on her cell phone and delegated time more effectively.

we were also informed on our first class that there was a chance class 3 and 4 may end up being one big 4 hour class because of a family medical situation and that we should show up 2 hours early, why we weren't over joyed with combining the 2 classes especially since your supposed to go home and design a cake and make some flowers in advance after class 3. we accepted the possibility and figured it would work its self out. In the class just passing (class 2) she said she'd call us and let us know for sure if we were combining the classes or not, ...class is tomorrow, neither of us have heard from her. We aren't sure if we show up early with all the stuff in tow for class 3 and 4 or if we should show up at our usual time. If we show up 2 hours early and she is not there, we either take the half hour drive home, and then return, or sit around and figure out how to blow 2 hours hoping our icing doesn't turn to soup in the car. or we show up at our regular time, and assuming she may have showed up early may have left, and we miss out on our last 2 classes and is likely where I would lose my cool and throw a huge stink in the store.

I really didn't want to complain because she does seems really nice, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings by having a manager tell her she's teaching inadequately, the class is very small so it could be obvious on who complained, but she's being beyond inconsiderate to where I almost don't care if I hurt her feelings anymore.
MarieB217 09/03/2012 7:54 AM
Wow, that has to be frustrating. I seriously doubt Wilton would be thrilled with the way she's handling this. I'd go ahead and report it. You don't have to be nasty about it, but I doubt you're the only one unhappy with the situation. I know for me, showing up two hours early would be impossibly due to my work schedule, so I would be upset with that. If she can't do the class as scheduled, then you guys should all get your money back or get to retake it for free with a different instructor. It's not right to schedule a four-week class, then back out of the last session by doubling up. At the very least, she should get another instructor to fill in for the last class. Doubling up is hard, especially in course 1 because of the items you have to bake for class. It's not fair of the instructor to put that on you guys.
MHRobson 10/16/2012 7:08 PM
Wow, I really hope your next class goes better. I am enrolled in the Wilton couse 1. I have an awesome instructor, but I wish the classes were longer than 2 hours each. I feel like we are just getting started then it's time to pack up and go home. I will follow though with all of the courses...I hope the courses are advanced enough to teach us something.