Report Teaching Ceramics to Adults in Educational Approaches and Resources Posted January 29, 2013 Can anyone speak to the difference when giving private lessons? I have been giving private classes (an hour and a half) once a week for quite a few weeks now (for adults). My teaching experience is minimal, as I had one other student for a few weeks (who was keen and enthusiastic), and now this student for several weeks. As she is the only student, and paying more for private classes, I try to let her lead the direction of the class. I know my throwing, and other techniques, so I thought it would be great. But her attitude is defeatist, and her patience is... low. She points to my own work in the studio and says that she wants to make that. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but I'm having a hard time getting her to think for herself. And unfortunately, I can't hide everything I've ever made in the studio. Any suggestions for building her confidence in this environment? I think her self-esteem is very low, and I feel a little bit more like a psychologist than a pottery teacher, at the end of the class! I think she might benefit from a little more structured teacher-student relationship, but I find this hard to maintain in a one-on-one situation. Any advice would be appreciated! You say she's been your student for several weeks but that's only several hours of class time if you only meet 1.5 hrs/week. She has just enough time to forget most of what she has learned by the next class. Copying is one way people learn. Since you don't have any pictures in your profile gallery, I don't know if your pots are worth copying or not, but there is nothing wrong with a beginning potter copying other potters. If she is intelligent and creative she will only use that as a way to grow and find her own way with clay. If she's not then who cares? Surely you aren't worried about people mistaking her pots for yours! Look at the stuff that comes out of Steven Hill workshops. Almost everyone tries to make Steven Hill pots. I assume he doesn't discourage it. After all, they are there to learn his techniques--not only throwing but using slip, spraying his glazes, and once-firing. But, no one who knows anything about pottery would ever mistake anything that comes out of those workshops for a Steven Hill pot. Jim Perhaps I didn't explain myself very well. I'm not worried about her copying my work. I was hoping for suggestions on how to boost her confidence when her current skill-set doesn't allow her to make the things that she wants. Because there are no other students in the class, she doesn't get to see that everyone struggles at the start, that it takes tons and tons of practice, and I think she feels discouraged. I wondered if other teachers found a difference in a one-on-one teaching environment, because the student has only the teacher to compare themselves to (despite how many times you remind them that you've been doing it for years). And if this might affect your teaching style, or the type of projects that you did with the student. But I think I've figured a few things out, just discussing it "out loud." Thanks.