Hi! I'm new to this site and wanted to drop in and see what was going on. I am a culinary student at CHIC and I'm always looking for helpful hints on surviving practicals and my instructors!Any hints?!
Well, so far I am really enjoying school, the only problem I have come across are, not brutal chefs, but rather, one or two who seem great at what they do, but are very scatter brained when they lecture and demo, or constantlyy leave lab and you have to basically ask the student next to you if you are doing something right. Problem is, they are aking me the same thing. This late in the semester it's not a problem, but the first few weeks of a class when you NEED them, they disappear! Other wise, Everyone has been great and very helpful. The hardest thing for myself is undoing bad habits that I haved been using since I began cooking! Oh well...only time will tell.
Yup, had teachers like that. Sometimes you have to make a REALLY stupid mistake for them to notice you!
Often when I was in a lab making something that I was less familiar with, I'd make sure to get there early enough to have a chat with the teacher. I'd explain that I'm not sure what the end result is supposed to taste/look/feel like, or that I'm so-so on a technique and for them to please keep an eye on me when we get to a certain stage in the recipe. If you do that, they'll see that you're one of those students who is actually trying to learn something, and they will pay attention. Don't ask the students around you; it's usually a waste of time. Either take initiative, or wait for the teacher. Make sure your methods are understood the day of the demo, and ask your questions then. That way, you won't have to wait 20 minutes in the lab to ask the teacher if your soufflé is done!
Interesting spin on teachers--I try to be available to my kids (high school), and I know some behavior problems come from kids wanting attention. I just never thought of the situation in this way. Hmmm...interesting.
It seems odd that people who paying good money for a course should have to feel overlooked. Now that IS interesting.
Good luck with your classes.
It seems that cooking schools are less consistant when it comes to the quality of their teachers than high school or university are. There are only a handful of attentive teachers in my school, and the rest are there as a sort of pre-retirement from cooking. Good money, less effort. They really try to do the minimum. No one complains and students tend not to take teacher evaluations seriously so the problem persists. It's a shame when students need to use psychology (eg: stroking their egos) on their teachers to get their attention, but that's often the reality.
I've actually been pretty luck with teachers. There are a few who actually are good at what they do and want you to learn. It's probably pretty rare though. For the most part my experience has been good. I have one that is always having the students prep her demos and she still can't seem to find time in lab to make the rounds through the work stations to see if we are doing anything. You'd think for 30K they would screen the chef/teachers a little better.