February 15, 2021

Start Teaching Others Your Skills

Have you often been told you should teach others? Perhaps you have a valuable skill set or experience that others would find fascinating.

Imagine a world where you can take what you know — let’s use ceramics as an example — and you have finally decided people are right, you should teach others! You have the experience, the knowledge and perhaps even your own studio. You just need students and, well, help.

One of the potential headaches new (and old) entrepreneurs face when it comes to starting their own business — be it our example of ceramics or something else such as woodworking, mechanics or even the art of fly fishing — is the actual BUSINESS of starting up and managing their class and students.

Initial steps to consider for starting your own business and teaching a workshop or class:

  • Your skillset. Confidence is amazing and infectious in a teacher, but make sure your skillset is up to par for your course. Word-of-mouth, reviews and repeat students are key to your success and any lack of ability or knowledge could seriously hinder your future business.

  • Know your potential students. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what a new person taking, per our example, a ceramics class needs or what they might be interested in. Do online research to see if you can delve into your potential students’ motivation and gauge their enthusiasm. Ask others in your industry, other artists or experts in your field, for their opinions.

  • A lesson plan. Creating a lesson plan is key to making sure you have your students best interest at heart. Make sure you are balancing necessary theory vs. potential hands-on time. What do you want your students to walk away with at the end of your course? Plan in any needed breaks also. Your friends in the education system are a great resource for lesson planning advice. You can also find useful information and guides online.

  • Get ready. Prepare your “course” work, be it notes, handouts, books or needed materials. In our ceramics example, an instructor will need to consider what materials/tools a student will need prior to the class and what items the studio will provide, such as clay and glazes.

  • Workspace. Along with needed materials, it’s obviously important to consider the workspace. If you own or operate a studio already, you have some of the hard work done. Having a space for students is a priority of course. From the storage space, to extra wheels, to a kiln, all these will be key to attracting, teaching and keeping your students coming back. Don’t consider HOW MANY students you can fit into a space, consider how many you can fit COMFORTABLY. The atmosphere of your workspace will have a big impact on your students outcome and the success of your future classes. Poor planning and cramped spaces can lead to students dropping out or poor reviews.

  • Payment. It is important to determine the total cost of your class, from potential studio rent to materials to your personal expertise. What is your knowledge worth? You will need to consider class size, how to collect your students payment and what your bottom line is for your course to be successful.

From your own experience you might have a good guess on the necessities you need for your classes, how you would like to teach and what extra equipment you might need. One thing that might slip through the cracks is how to organize, track, accept payment and communicate with your students.

In the past, many adventurous teachers have used exhaustive spreadsheets, for example, to track the details of their class. Emails, phone calls and in-person meetings were the best forms of communication between teachers and students. These tried and true methods can lead to misunderstandings, missed payments and endless headaches for teachers and students alike.

Luckily, in the modern era, class organization and communication has the advantage of the internet, smartphones and apps such as BWISE!

Courses, such as those offered through BWISE, are a great way for people to take classes that are taught by teachers in a variety of subjects. It is a great way for people to learn almost anything and to meet new people with similar interests. And it is an excellent way for instructors to manage their classes.

From crafting to mechanics, painting to yoga, and more, BWISE is a sharing app to connect learners and teachers.

How does it work you ask?

  • Teachers, you create your class at BWISE.app
  • Approve (or deny) applicants
  • Message your students
  • Your class is marketed on BWISE to your community
  • Class begins and you start sharing your knowledge!

Teachers offer classes based on competencies and passions, and learners choose classes or lessons that have interest to them. While video and other pre-class reference material may be part of a teacher’s program, the real intent of BWISE is to have one-on-one face time with the teachers in a face-to-face/workshop atmosphere.

Instructors create their own profile within BWISE to help prospective students review their credentials and expertise. Teachers also have the ability to upload certificates, letters of recommendation and portfolio pieces via the App. This not only helps fellow BWISE users learn about each other, it is also an integral part of the BWISE rating system. As students and teachers complete courses together there is a rating requirement for the classes, so students will effectively vet the teachers and teachers will vet the students.

The BWISE app is set up to facilitate all the communication between students and teachers. You can share documents, discussions, online information, videos and more.

Class duration and related costs are completely up to the individual instructors. Instructors set all parameters of their classes. An instructor who is passionate about a subject can choose to share it with the world and the class could be free. A course could also require a fee in exchange for required materials and finished products. Course length is left up the instructor’s expertise – they know best how long it takes to master a subject. It could be a 5 minute class or a year-long course. There is no limit to what can be offered on BWISE.

Once the class is “full” with the number of students pre-determined by the instructor, the learning fun begins!

Don’t miss this gold-star opportunity to teach others and earn money right from your own home or studio! Start teaching today with BWISE!

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