First of all, I have to own up, I'm a rightie, now, I've said it! ;-)
However, I teach crochet and obviously come across the usual proportion of lefties in my work. When I first started I tried the "sit opposite" method, but I never felt I was giving the lefties proper guidance, so much so, that it was coming between me and my sleep. I felt I was letting the lefties down and went about teaching myself to crochet left-handed and I succeeded, I'm not fast but I am accurate! As a matter of fact, I have taken so much to working left-handed that I sometimes apply the method to my tapestry crochet a la Carol Ventura.
I also find that the whole "having to reverse patterns" aspect a bit of a bind and try to encourage lefties to just treat any pattern as if it was made for lefties, the result is the same when it is a pattern that works back and forth on the row. All that's often needed is to remember that the right side is the left and vice versa.
Having said all that, I would really like to hear what is the greatest help you, as a leftie, has ever had from a rightie teacher. What are the no-nos and what are the musts?
The best help I got from righties was when I had a tiny but of skill under my belt. They would read pattern steps aloud of what I was trying to learn, and I would do as they spoke. This would work I think after a discussion of the anatomy of a stitch (back loop, front loop and so on). They would look after we completed a step and it was fine. My method of getting there was just a little different.
Kim, learning to read patterns is a main stay in my classes and I usually try to get my pupils to read the pattern silently first, of that doesn't work, we go with the "spoken" method, which often works. It's interesting, actually, to experience how different people learn different things - lefties and righties. Some people LOVE charts, some people LOVE written patterns, some people LOVE pictures and some people LOVE to be shown. I do all of the above in my classes - and then some! ;-)
I love teaching lefties as I always feel you guys have are given the "just reverse it" treatment, with very little help to actually learn to "reverse" things. Not good enough, in my humble opinion!
I'm a leftie who's taught mainly righties so far, and I usually go with the "sit opposite" method. I did have a student that this didn't work for, so I grabbed a mirror, sat it in front of us, and had her copy what she was seeing in the mirror. It was like a lightbulb went off for her at that point. I did have someone early in my crocheting career try to convince me to switch hands to "make it easier on everyone else" which rubbed me the wrong way. That would be my only no-no.
I love that you taught yourself to crochet left-handed! I've tried a couple times with the right hand, but I feel super awkward. Maybe you've convinced me to try again...
Rachelle, I have tried the "mirror method" and it worked with only one of hundreds of people, but I prefer to avoid it as I always feel the mirror gets between me and the person learning.
As for the "make it easier on everyone else" remark - that is a real no-no indeed! The only person that is easier for is actually the teacher!
I'm really happy that I taught myself to crochet left-handed - I can teach lefties with confidence and conviction and thereby hopefully convey my deep love of crochet to them too - although, as I say, I'm not fast but I'm accurate and that to me is the most important. Speed comes with experience. Give it a go with your right hand, it might just work! Just go slow and forget about speed... Let me know how you get on!