Class Etiquette – Fall 2011

As a courtesy to other students and instructors:  Read & Observe Joan McKenna’s Classroom Etiquette

Classroom Behavior

1.  Civilized, pleasant, and cooperative behavior is expected during class.  Any disruptive or hazardous behavior will NOT be tolerated.  Notification will be made through a personal conference or official
notification from the school.  It is prohibited to use cell phones, beepers, cassette players, radios, a Walkman, etc., while in class.

2.  Individuals that want to hold private conversations with other students need to take the conversation outside the classroom so that it will not disrupt the learning of other students.  The instructor will STOP class and ask you to hold your conversation outside.

3.  Faculty members will assign seats when deemed necessary.

4.  Respect the rights of other students, faculty, staff, tutors and their positions.  During lectures and discussions DO NOT ask for or OFFER personal assistance.  There will be NO SEWING MACHINE USAGE during lectures, demos, and discussions.

5.  Be prepared to work in class.  Bring your projects, sewing supplies, notions, notes, pens, text, etc., to each class.  The instructor can NOT be relied upon to supply you with anything.

6.  Be prepared to be an active participant in class discussions and lectures.  Take notes in class.  Jot down what you learned.  This will prove that learning is accumulative.

7.  If you miss a class or a handout, you need to obtain “hard” copies from a classmate.  Many times, the instructor gives handouts electronically.  ALWAYS carry your 2 Gig USB with you.

8.  The instructor truly does have a hearing loss.  Some names will never be pronounced correctly no matter how hard I try.  Ambient noise causes me to disconnect when I answer questions.  (As a flower child of the ’60’s I did really stupid things that caused this to happen.)


9.  Unless stated otherwise in class:  Student attendance AND completed project(s) are required for a Certificate of Participation/Completion in each course OR Program.  Make sure you sign in and out on the Class Attendance Verification Form (CAV).

10.  You may attend classes and NOT receive a certificate or be involved in any program.  In either of the above cases, it is required that you fill out and have on file an intake form if your course calls for one.

11.  Regular attendance is expected in all classes in accordance with the approved class schedule.  Any student absent for three consecutive class meetings may, at the discretion of the instructor, be dropped from the class.  Those students receiving financial aid or Veteran’s benefits must comply with the attendance requirements specific to those programs.  Some instructors may have attendance requirements that are specific to the class or program.  These requirements will be found in the class syllabus.  Students should direct questions regarding class attendance to the instructor at the time they enroll in the class.  Non-fee classes may be closed when student attendance falls below a required level.  Students are urged to be in regular attendance and to assume, through regular attendance, the responsibility for keeping the class in

12.  The California Community Colleges Board of Governors,,  has decided to limit the number of times
a student can retake a class.  For Continuing Education this means that the instructor must accept new students before accepting repeat students if there is room in the class.

TLC for the School’s Machines

13. TLC for the School’s Machines:  There is a wide assortment of home sewing machines, tucked away in Room 216.  Straight stitch:  Bernina, Pfaff & 1 Janome.  Sergers:  Imagine & Bernina, plus one Evolve set to a 3 thread cover stitch.  Dedicated Embroidery machines:  Decos and one Accent.  These machines will be SIGNED OUT to each student, each class period, along with their respective bobbin cases.  Ask the instructor where the SIGN OUT book is kept, if it is NOT next to the Class Attendance Verification Form (CAV).  The faculty and other sewing students expect the machines to be returned to room 216 in good working order when you are finished using the school’s sewing machines.

14.  TLC for ALL Sewing Machines:  ALWAYS carry sewing machines in their carrying cases from room 216 to where you are going to set up.  If you are going to be brining in your own machine to use, buy a carrying case or sewing machine luggage.

15.  TLC for the School’s Machines:  If you suspect that there is something wrong with the sewing machine you signed out, the first thing to do is rethread the machine.  99% of the time, threading is the problem.  If that still does not fix the problem, there are Equipment Repair Orders (EROs) in a pocket in the sign out book.  You will need to talk to the instructor and fill one out.  The machines are all numbered.  The forms are easy and fast to use.  Give the completed form to the instructor.  Do NOT put the broken machine away at the end of class.  NOTE the opposite:  If a machine has an equipment repair order (ERO) taped to it, DO NOT USE THAT MACHINE.

16.  TLC for the School’s Machines:  There will be a class coming up where the care, maintenance and threading of various types sewing machines is covered.  You are ALWAYS welcome to bring your own machine(s) to class to use.  MISSING THIS CLASS, INFORMS THE INSTRUCTOR THAT YOU WILL BE BRINGING YOUR OWN MACHINE TO CLASS TO USE.

17.  TLC for the School’s Machines:  You MUST clean up your workstation and the floor before leaving the classroom.  TLC for the School’s Machines:  The school’s sewing machines MUST BE carried in their cases & put away exactly as you found them in their properly marked spot.  Bobbin cases and extra feet need to be returned to the instructor.  Leaving early is no excuse for NOT doing this.

18.  There are 12 industrial sewing machines in room 209.  You may ONLY use them, if you have a Certificate of Training on file in the classroom.


19.  To insure that you get the help you need:  Please put your name on the whiteboard, in descending order under the word:  Help.

20.  The WCC room 209 computer is NOT for personal use.  In case of personal emergency, please ask
permission to use the computer.  The WCC computer lab computers (room 203) are NOT for personal use.  If there is a waiting list to get into this course, and you just want to come and use the computers to
surf, view your email, or chat on line, you will NOT be welcomed back into class.

21.  Due to the size of Room 209, layouts and cutting are done on the carpet outside the classroom when there are many students.  It is a good idea to get your layout approved by the instructor and then go home and cut on a table.

22.  Joan’s loaned books, DVDs, and videos are due back the following week during class.  No Exceptions!  Please ask and sign out any of these before taking them home.  Example:  If you borrow a book on a Tuesday, the book is due back on Tuesday the next week.

23.  It is a very good idea to label all your personal tools and supplies.  Colored ribbon is a good visual queue but a name permanently inscribed is strongly advised.  This insures that if something is left behind, it can be returned to the proper owner.  This should be done before the item is brought to class.

24.  I have attached my version of the Sewing Commandments, which will help you start, and accomplish a safe and honorable sewing experience.

The Ten Commandments of Sewing

(The first Ten are Too Good to Mess With)

©2011 Joan McKenna

XI  Safety First*

XII  Respect Thy Grainlines

XIII  Seam Lines are Second Chances for Perfect Fit

XIV  Thine Iron is Thy Friend

XV  Listen to Critiques & Opinions, Then Choose Thine Own Path

XVI  Mastery Cometh through Experience

XVII  Mistakes Present Opportunities for Creativity

XVIII  Expose Thyself to Historical & Technical Sewn Product Inspiration

XIX  Size all Patterns with Thy Client’s Name

XX  First  Sewn Product Collections Should be Kept Small & Manageable

SAFETY FIRST*: This instructor would rather yell and have you quickly stop what you are doing, than see you get physically hurt.  I do not want ANYONE to suffer bodily harm in this classroom.