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Discussion Forum

Topic: Class etiquette question?
golden32 10/05/2012 2:00 AM
I attended my first class tonight and was very excited to start learning about cake decorating. My excitement quickly faded as my class seemed to devolve into some sort of circus. Just to give you an idea:

1) Half the class has already taken the course so they kept side tracking the instructor by asking questions about techniques we won't even get to in this class or telling stories about how this is the way it was done in the bakeries they worked in.

2) The other half didn't know they were supposed to bring anything to class so they were completely unprepared. They spent most of the time talking to each other only to then make the instructor repeat whatever she said while they were busy talking amongst themselves.

3)One lady (who attended the same exact class earlier in the week) brought her dog to class and I believe was told it wasn't allowed in. So she got up in the middle of class to go check on the dog who she left in the car. Then when we were finally getting to decorating she packed up and left early, only to then bring her dog back in.

Now granted this is my first time taking a class outside an academic setting so I know I will have to make an adjust to a "fun" vs formal learning environment. However, I felt like this class just went completely off the rails. We barely got to play with our cookies and quite frankly by the time we got there I no longer cared. The instructor looked at me at one point and asked if I had a question since I'm sure I had a shell shocked look on my face given that the conversation had somehow changed to whether people native to our area tend to be hotter or cooler indoors. I tried to get us back on topic, but I just couldn't bring myself to say what I was really thinking! I'm frustrated that so much class time was wasted on discussing things that mean nothing to beginners or by the instructor having to repeat things so much. So I guess my question is this, was I expecting too much when I hoped the instructor would tell the experienced decorators that she would be happy to address their advanced questions after class or ask people to listen so she didn't have to repeat so much? If the situation doesn't improve, is there a polite way to broach the subject with the instructor? Or is this just how these classes work? Thanks for any thoughts!
mommy1 10/05/2012 6:28 AM
That doesn't sound like a good class to me. We had fun but kept at the project at hand. We had the list of what we needed to bring and had the instructor's # so if we needed to ask a question. The lady with the dog, thumbs down!! Do you think talking with the instructor would help? If not I'd go the mgr at the location of your class.
Kattykake 10/05/2012 12:27 PM

Totally unacceptable! Go to the store manager and get credit to take class w/different instructor. IMHO.
dietcokenoice 10/05/2012 1:45 PM
The instructor is supposed to stay on topic with what's in the course book. I'm sure it gets hard for them when they get a person that already knows some of the basics and keeps asking questions that don't apply to the class. Before going to the manager, I'd approach the instructor and nicely tell her your concerns. I'd say exactly what you said here, that because of these other people that she's spending alot of time talking about more advanced topics. Me personally, I always try the nice approach first. During the class you should also speak up and ask for help, have her watch and show you. I would also not leave each class until I had the method down that you're supposed to practice at home. Some times, the chatty people get the attention so unfortunately you may just have to become that person and lure the teacher over to you. Good luck. If all else fails, I'd complain to the manager and get your money back.
tmana 10/05/2012 7:34 PM
Our course 1 class had a mix of people from beginners to pros looking to brush up and modernize their skills. The banter included the cakes they had done that weekend (which did include fondant cakes), but it didn't interfere with the lessons; the instructor was good about bringing things back on topic. (That said, we didn't really go over writing in lesson 4.)
golden32 10/07/2012 3:04 PM
Thanks for your responses! I'm hopeful that this week will be better, but I wanted to be prepared with what I should do if things don't improve. I'm hoping maybe it's just because the first class is lecture based that people were so squirrelly. The lady sitting across from me could tell I was frustrated when we seemed to be covering any topic but cake decorating and suggested I have a glass of wine before the next class (she took Xanax before class because she knew it was going to be crazy!).
BakingByDeb 10/16/2012 1:44 PM
There is NO excuse for the craziness that you had to endure. I would most definitely bring it to the attention of the store manager, and if nothing is done to your satisfaction, take it straight to Wilton. I hope your next class is better, but as an instructor I am appalled at what you went through.