I am excited to share that I have enrolled in Being Tea Teacher Training. It is a 7-month professional development program, and I will be sharing my journey here on the blog. To get started, I’ll talk a bit about why I am taking this course. Then we’ll dive into my experience with the course so far.
Why am I taking this course?
I’ve written about tea for over a decade, but I’ve often struggled with finding my place in the industry. One day I asked for advice about this in a blogger support group. It was not a tea-related group, but they were supportive and asked a lot of questions. An insightful commenter then summed it up in a way I never would have on my own. She called me a tea educator.
That title really struck me, especially because it was just after leading my first public class at the Chicago Tea Festival. I never thought of myself in those terms but educating is what I have been doing through this blog all along. I connected with the name, but at the same time, I had doubts about being qualified to call myself an educator. That is why I was excited to see Suzette Hammond offer a teaching program for tea educators.
I’ve been enjoying her classes through Patreon for some time. Her Teacher Training seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop my skill set and grow as an educator. Each module of Being Tea Teacher Training consists of a workbook with written assignments along with personal and group video sessions. Once we reach the end, I’ll need to prepare and present two different tea classes.
Module 1 – What calls you to teach?
The first section of Being Tea Teacher Training focused on identifying your audience. I hadn’t put much thought into this topic before, but it is an important one. Going through the workbook on my own got my wheels turning in the right direction. Suzette covered the different types of audiences a tea teacher might work with and what their needs are.
This exercise was a good reminder that there are groups outside of “the industry” who might need a tea teacher’s services. Knowing your limitations is essential, but you also don’t want to limit yourself either. Evaluating my strengths and weaknesses was probably the most challenging part. I learned a lot in the process, though.
My private video session with Suzette took about three hours. We went over all of the topics in the workbook but in a more in-depth way. It was extremely beneficial to hear about her real-life experiences from working in the tea industry. In comparison to other online courses I’ve taken, this one feels very personalized. It was nice not to feel shoved into a particular box.
The group video session was also about two hours long. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. I tend to be quite shy when meeting new people but, Suzette leading the discussion helped me to feel at ease. It helped to talk through these topics with others since most of the course is an independent self-study.
I don’t know exactly where this path will lead. It is only the beginning, but I am feeling energized and inspired. Sharing my passion for tea with others is what I love to do. I’m excited to explore doing that in new and different ways.
Stay tuned next month for module 2 of Being Tea Teacher Training!
Who would you define as a tea educator? Have you ever considered taking a course like this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!