I kind of had a "bad hair day" today with my ceramics class of senior citizens. I have taught this class twice a year for six years now and the sad thing is that most of the people I have taught, do not have an interest in learning ceramics. They want to roll out a slab, turn up the edges and call it a platter.. and that is as far as it goes. I seem to have to push them even to make a box. So after three weeks of "platters, I blew it and told everyone "NO MORE FLATWARE!"
I know that some of these people never did any art before and that the class is just for entertainment, and to kill time while waiting for God, but I have people who have repeated this class three or four times, and are still making platter to give to their friends!
I don't want to try an force them to do something that they don't want to do but on the other hand, it seems if you are taking a "class" you are supposed to maybe progress a little???
So what do ya think... just let them be or push them a little?
I feel for you Bob. Not sure where the line is for "seniors", but I go to an "over 50" class. If I'm there the average age is around 70, if I'm not there it's closer to 80! The tutor is fighting an uphill battle to get the ladies (only one gent out of three groups of 15) to do anything at all with clay. She casts statues, figurines, vases etc and some of them paint with acrylics, while many are happy to "paint" - their words - with glaze and rush it to get it done ready to "paint" another one next week.
Whether they are learning anything or not, without them there wouldn't be a class at all for those who do want to learn and be creative - or a "job" for the tutor.
So, I guess I'm saying: if it pays and there isn't anything more productive/profitable you could be doing instead, accept and let them be happy making platters, but satisfy yourself by making sure you encourage them onwards