You know how they say that you should do something each day that scares you? I totally did yesterday… I taught my first class for Laneway Learning!
I wrote about them a while ago when I took dad to a chocolate tasting class for Father’s Day – if you’re not familiar with Laneway Learning, start now! They’ve been around for a few years and you can learn with them not only in Melbourne, but also Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and even Singapore! The team behind it decided to make use of CBD cafes after hours, by using them as a base to host a ragtag series of evening classes taught by ordinary people with extraordinary passions. These classes are amazing because they are super accessible (generally costing only $14) and anyone can teach, which means you have the chance to learn anything; upcoming classes include Making Sense of Food Labels, Vodka Alchemy, Balloon Artistry, A History of Digital Games, Classic Music 101 and Up-Cycled Jewellery. You can literally learn it all here!
Anyway, I got in touch with the lovely Lucie who encouraged me to take some of my recipes and turn them into a class, which ran last night – Quick & Easy Breads. The idea behind it was that we’ve gotten so conditioned to buying bread from supermarkets and bakeries, without giving any thought to doing it ourselves – bread is essentially flour plus a few other ingredients. It can be pretty cheap, fun and rewarding to DIY, and I wanted to put that out there. I know that a lot of people will shy away from the idea of baking their own bread because yeast can be scary, and not everyone has time to sit around and wait for dough to proof and rise and then knead and rise again and bake and blah blah blah. My class wasn’t about that traditional type of bread. I went with non-traditional, easy, cheat ways of making bread – fried flatbread, soda bread and Italian piadina bread.
That was the easy part. The hard part was the week before the class when it sank in that my humble little idea had sold out within a few hours of it being posted on the website and I’d be teaching something personal and important and special to me to a class of 20 odd adults who I didn’t know. I started to panic a little bit – I’m not the teacher, that’s my husband. And sister. And sister-in-law. And a few friends. But not me. What if they didn’t like the food? What if it wasn’t what they were expecting or wanting? What if I couldn’t answer all their questions? Worse yet, what if no one had any questions?
The morning after the night before, and I’m sure there were some people who didn’t like what we made. I’m sure I didn’t meet everyone’s expectations. I certainly couldn’t answer everyone’s questions, not that there were a heap of them. The equipment we had to work with wasn’t what I’d expected. It didn’t all go to plan. We had to rush through a bit of it. Nothing went drastically, horrifically wrong, but it certainly didn’t all go fairy-tale right. The things I was so scared of happening happened, and you know what? That was ok. I actually had a fun time being scared out of my wits and too far out of my comfort zone to be rescued. It was a great night and I can just about guarantee I learnt more than the “students” in my class did!
If any of those students are reading, I’m so sorry it didn’t all go to plan and thank you so much for sticking by me with my first-time teacher nerves! Will I teach there again? I hope so, if they’ll have me back! Should you consider putting your hand up to teach a group of strangers about something you’re passionate about? ABSOLUTELY!