HOWTO Teach a Class at i3Detroit
So you want to teach a class? Great! Here are some instructions to help your event go flawlessly. (They look long and hard but they're just very detailed and pretty easy and some are optional and the Vice President of Activities and Classes is there to help you all along the way so don't get discouraged.)
- 1 VP of Activities and Classes
- 2 Create Your Class
- 3 Judge Interest/Create Buzz
- 4 Schedule and Advertise Your Class
- 5 About a Week Before
- 6 Class Day
VP of Activities and Classes
Talk to the Vice President of Activities and Classes (VPAC). They are there to assist you in creating and executing a successful class, workshop, or other event. Even if you don't need help, it's polite to just let them know what's going on.
Create Your Class
First, you have to decide on your subject and define exactly what about it you want to teach. Be specific. Follow these guidelines:
- Target Audience. Who are you teaching? A class for complete beginners is different than a class for those with a passing familiarity or familiarity with something related is different than a class for those with intermediate skill in the subject matter or related subjects. This affects class size as well.
- Class Size. Be realistic about how many students you can successfully teach at once. If it is a very hands-on class, or something difficult and confusing, or your students are complete newcomers to the subject matter, consider that your students may need a lot of personal instruction. If it is more lecture-oriented or not as unfamiliar to your students, then you can comfortably teach more students at a time. Remember that your students are your guests if they are not members so you can only sign in 10 at a time by yourself. Talk to VPAC if you really think you can handle more. They can help.
- Time. How long is your class going to be? If it's very long can you break it up into multiple sessions on different days? Be mindful of your students' physical and mental limits. Add breaks (more on this later).
- Scope. Define what is and is not part of the class. Avoid scope creep. Be mindful of the above.
- Curriculum. Define a specific curiculum. Outlines work well. Or try creating a rough PowerPoint presentation that captures the main points you want to teach.
- Resources. What resources is your class going to need? i.e. Do you need to reserve the classroom, space in the commons, or maybe a Zone? What do you need tools? Supplies? Materials?
- Cost. What are the materials costs? Are you providing the materials or do the students need to bring their own? If you're providing the tools and materials then what is a reasonable reimbursement cost? Don't forget about things like the cost of machine time. Try to keep the costs as reasonable as possible.
- Do a dry run for practice, to judge timing and to identify gaps. VPAC is usually available as a test student.
Don't be afraid to talk to VPAC. They are a great person to bounce ideas off of or to offer suggestions to improve the class.
Judge Interest/Create Buzz
- Go to a meeting and mention that you want to teach a class about x. See how many people are interested. Get names.
- Look over the i3Detroit calendar and pick times that are relatively free and that fit your schedule.
- Send out a whenisgood or a Doodle to the names you got above to see when the most people are available.
Schedule and Advertise Your Class
Make a write up with the following information about your class:
- Name of your class
- (append "(CLASSROOM)" if you're reserving the classroom)
- (append "[MEMBERS ONLY]" if you are not accepting guests such as for machine authorization classes)
- Date and Time
- Find or take a cool photo pertaining to your class (2:1 aspect ratio [twice as wide as tall] or as close as you can get)
- Class Description (a short description of about 1 or 2 paragraphs, make it enticing, include information about all the stuff included in the class such as tools, materials, and takeaways)
- Max Class Size
- Eventbrite URL (see next step)
Create an eventbrite for your class. Use the handy writeup you created above. If you don't know what that means or how to do it, see VPAC who will give you access and walk you through it.
Eventbrite charges a small fee for each ticket sold. Note the word "sold". There are no fees for free tickets so feel free to use them to set your class size and get a list of students ahead of time (but people will still show up at the door asking if there's room for "just one more"). They charge a fee whether the ticket is paid through Eventbrite or you use the "pay at the door" option. The "pay at the door" fee is a little smaller because there is no credit card processing fee involved.
Who pays this fee? It depends. You can set your tickets to pass the fee on to the purchaser or you can set them to you eat the fee. People being people (human nature and all that) would rather pay $35 (more money) for a class than pay $33 for a $30 class with $3 in fees even though it's the same class. Therefore, you should just cover the cost of the fee in the price and set the tickets to the "eat" option. (Round off to the nearest $5, it looks nicer.)
This should all be checked with the Fundraising Committee.
- Create an event in your personal Google Calendar on the appropriate date at the appropriate time.
- If you don't have one, get one, they're free.
- Or talk to VPAC, they'll put it in his.
- Put the Class Name from your writeup as the event title
- Put i3Detroit in the where field
- i3Detroit, with the address, should pop up. Choose it.
- Put the Class Description from your writeup in the Decription field (called Note in the mobile app).
- Also append the cost and the eventbrite URL.
- Attach the cool picture you found/took
- Put email@example.com in the event's guest list.
- This will invite the i3 calendar and it will get included anywhere people access the i3 calendar.
- NOTE: The calendar's address has changed. It is no longer firstname.lastname@example.org MAKE SURE TO USE THE NEW ADDRESS, NOT i3detroit@GMAIL.com AND DEFINITELY NOT i3detroit@GOOGLEGROUPS.com
- If you've used the old calendar before then autocorrect/autofill could get you here, double check.
- Using the gmail address will put your event on the old calendar and nobody will see it.
- Using the googlegroups address will spam the entire members list with invites. Many people will be very angry.
- Check one more time.
- Save your event
Post a message on the appropriate slack channel(s). Start with any specific channels about your class topic, if any. You can also include any relevant zone channels. But don't spam.
i3's Google Groups
Post a message to i3Detroit@googlegroups.com and another one (if guests are allowed) to i3Detroitemail@example.com Use that handy-dandy writeup you did above. Feel free to elaborate on the details over and above what's in the writeup description.
Put a post on the blog. That writeup will probably come in handy again.
Put your event on the instasnap books. (Hello again writeup.) Talk to VPAC as there is no wiki page for i3Detroit social media yet.
You could write a press release. Aim big.
But really, just add to the TV Bulletin Board.
Come to the member meetings and help VPAC advocate your class. Maybe even answer some questions about it.
About a Week Before
If it's been a while, send a reminder message to the Google groups and another message on the instaface chats.
Go through and make sure you have all the supplies you'll need for the class.
Check the Eventbrite to see who has signed up.
Show up early and set everything up. Try to be completely ready as much as an hour before class time if possible.
Include the donation jar in your setup. Put it somewhere visible but not obtrusive. Maybe put it somewhere slightly obtrusive if the class is free. Then feel free to be a little more aggressive in soliciting donations.
If you are teaching in the classroom and planning to use the whiteboard or the TV, you might want to make sure you have accessible whiteboard markers and that you can cast to the TV.
If your class is open to guests, be sure to be there to sign them in. (This would be a good time to check that we have blank sign-in sheets available.) Remember, they are your guests (unless you get someone else to sign them in) and you are responsible for them. Also, if this is their first time at i3Detroit, they need to fill out a waiver as well as the guest log. If they show up early enough, maybe give them a tour.
Give the Class
Please be ready to start on time. If several students are running late, consider waiting a few minutes but don't waste 5 people's time because of one person's tardiness.
If your class is an hour long, don't worry about it. Two-hour or longer classes should have a short break every 1 to 1.5 hours. A two-hour class with a ten-minute break in the middle seems like a good fit for many classes. A long workshop might be 4 hours with a five-minute break at the one- and three-hour marks and a 20-minute one in the middle. Adjust as needed depending on the strenuousness of the class activities.
During the break (or the big one in the middle if there are several) you should give any guests a quick talk about i3 and its nonprofit mission, ask how they're doing, mention the donation jar, answer any questions, show them the Snapple machine and the bathrooms, etc. In other words, be an affable host.
After the Class
Remember that the space needs to be returned to normal after your class. It doesn't hurt to ask the students to help you clean up but remember that the ultimate responsibility to clean up the space rests with you.
If you've kindled the hearts of a guest or two, give them a tour of the space.
Talk to VPAC and give them a bit of a status report and generally how it went.
If you incurred costs, email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange reimbursement from the ticket sales.
Congratulate yourself and put the proper merit badge on your wiki page.