Three Reasons to Teach Your Hobby Right Now

Teacher coaching an adult student

Teacher coaching an adult student

Are you itching to share your passion with others? Teaching is a great way to share your passion and receive benefits in return. And now is the best time.  Why? Because if you are reading this post, then you likely have a passion and maybe need some encouragement to take that first step. So here we go.

  1. 1. You have a passion, whether it is to cook, write, play an instrument, or perhaps a passion that is unique, a technique that you’ve developed and no one else, no one else on the planet knows how to do. The best way to take your skill level to the next level is to teach it to others. In doing so, you will find that you will be challenged to explain your techniques and processes to the uninitiated. Some of them will quickly grasp your ideas and methods, other students will require two or three different types of explanations, perhaps written text followed by a visual demonstration. These various explanations will strengthen your ability to communicate your ideas to a wide audience in the future. You will probably find that you are answering questions that you never thought of before, which can lead to new ideas and new techniques.  Think of it as a circular process, in which you help others, which in turn, helps you get better. Who can argue with this win-win proposition?
  2. Folks who are retiring or are unemployed are looking for new avenues for earning an income or increasing the amount of money they bring home. Can the skills you have help others achieve their goals? The recent changes in the economy are causing people to look for new ways to earn money. If you know how to help folks by helping them develop skills that make life more enjoyable or survivable, then do it. Your returns will be the look in their eyes as they see a way thru learning what you’ve taught them.
  3. Organizations that host programs are looking for new content, new classes, and new instructors. Take a look at recent catalogs of organizations where you might teach. Is there an opportunity for you to bring your expertise to a new group of students? Take a chance and do the analysis and you may find a new venue to share your passion.

There you go, three reasons to get out there now and teach your hobby. Now it’s up to you to do it. Let me know what steps you’ve taken toward your goals in the comments section below.

A Wonderful Economy In Which To Teach Your Hobby

So the economy is still in recovery, like a patient with a lingering illness. Many folks are hard-pressed to make ends meet or at least want to have another iron in the fire in case their current occupation dries up.

How you can leverage as an opportunity? Back to basics – folks want and need skills to enhance their current occupation or to pick up a new skill set to keep them active in the marketplace.

How can you help?

How to Design Wickedly Good Flyers

Experimental Group Voice flyer: singers2

Image by yugenro via Flickr

One of the best ways to market your class is through flyers. Flyers have the power to grab eyeballs that will read your message, get hearts excited about your class and get minds committed to taking the next steps to enroll in your class.

To make flyers work for you, follow these four simple steps:

1. Attract People to Your Flyer
2. Excite Folks about the Class
3. Inform Them about Class Details
4. Direct Them to Action

But first let’s talk about how you can create an effective flyer. You could create a flyer by hand if you are an accomplished artist or you could pay a professional printer. Fortunately, these days, you can design and print an effective, eye-pleasing flyer yourself with a simple computer program.

I like to use
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The Top Five Teaching Qualifiers for After School Programs

After School Program Staff Training Buffalo NY...

Image by michaelcardus via Flickr

In our continuing series on teaching in an after school program, we’ve looked at the budget crisis in our school that is limiting after school choices for children. We’ve also looked at two outstanding after school programs as well as read about how I started after school clubs which involved bringing in instructors from the community to teach. Each of these articles documented the opportunity presents to you as a potential instructor.

However, before you can recommend yourself as an after school instructor, there are five key questions you must consider when considering teaching in such a program.

1. Is your area of expertise Child Relevant?

Kids are interested in many topics. Great subject areas for classes include science, math, sports, and music. Really, virtually any appropriate topic can be kid-ized. You just need to make sure you teach the class at level of your audience.
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Do After School Programs Offer Job Opportunities?

Playing the Shogun (2006) board game

Image via Wikipedia

In part one of this series on How Your Hobby Can Help Our Schools , we looked at the overall crisis facing our schools, including the increasing shortage of after school programs to keep kids engaged once the formal school day has ended., Let’s start with a model program that was started by the wife of Chicago Mayor, Maggie Daley. After School Matters is a large, nationally recognized non-profit organization that provides after school and summer programs for Chicago youth.

After School Matters offers a wide range of quality activities in which high school students can hone their schools for the sake of exposure to activities or to prepare for college or professional level pursuits of their hobbies and skills.

What does the After School Matters program need to be successful? Students and instructors. This is where you and your hobby come in to help offer programs that keep students engaged in interesting activities and off the streets.

Here’s another example, the Elvana Project,
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A Hobby Teacher’s Second Most Valuable Asset

screenshot of an email inbox filled with spam

Image via Wikipedia

What’s a teacher’s most valuable asset? Skills, right? Well, I agree with that, wholeheartedly. A teacher must have a knowledge base to impart to others to make the experience worthwile for the student.

But what’s the second most valuable asset a professional teacher possesses? It’s a resource that a hobby teacher can develop over time. It is something that enables a teacher to continue to connect to students long after a class has been completed. It’s the same resource that you can use to reach out to folks who have never taken your class but just might in the future.

Have you guessed what that resource is?
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Are You Underestimating Your Ability to Teach?

Duke Ellington plays piano, Munich 1973

Image via Wikipedia

An acquaintance just told me a quote that sparked an idea that I thought was important to share. He said that Duke Ellington had said that the thing he hated most in this world was underestimation. That is, people underestimating their abilities or limiting themselves because others underestimate them.

If you have any doubts about whether you could teach your hobby, you should consider if you are simply underestimating yourself. Granted, there are hobbyists and professionals who may not be effective teachers because they are unable to go back to the level of their students. You may have your own doubts about your teaching ability but if the reason is “because I’ve never done it before,” then don’t cheat yourself out of the opportunity to try.

Frankly, I think most of us are teachers, whether we’ve had the formal title or not. If you are a
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Does Your Class Topic Have ‘Curb Appeal’?

Image of man out of work

Man out of work

If you are just getting started in the process of teaching your hobby, one of the first things you need to do is choose a topic for your class. Maybe that is an easy task for you because you are really great at a particular hobby or skill. Or maybe you’ve struggled over a topic because you are blessed with several skills that are viable class topics or aren’t sure if you even have any skills worth offering to others. There is a way to assess choosing the best class subject for you, but at some point you will decide on a topic.

The next and perhaps most critical step to ensure you have a successful class full of students is to evaluate the curb appeal of your class to potential students. It’s a simple matter if you are teaching a required course at a school and students are compelled to take the course to graduate or advance professionally. You have a captive audience and do not really need to market your class to potential students.

However, your class might be an elective or a class for adults or children who have not other reason to take your class than to because they want to. Regardless of the situation, there is a simple test you can use
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How Your Hobby Can Help Our Schools – Part 1

Teen playing the flute

Teen playing the flute

There is a shortage of after-school programs for children. Why? There are many reason, of course. Foremost are recent, almost continous budget cuts brought about by the current economic recession.

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis recently decried the impacts of budget cuts on school programs, including the crippling impact of after school activities.

The CTU also conducted a survey that noted that Cuts were reported to sports, art, music and, most often, after-school clubs — the kind of activities that keep some struggling kids in school.

The increasing concentration on standardized tests and school rankings has also added pressure on schools to allocate more of its time on providing academic support to the detriment of after school programs.

Another blow has come from
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Why an Artist In Residence Program May Be Right For You

If you have a skill or hobby that could be construed as artistic in nature, you should consider becoming an Artist In Residence. These are programs, usually set up by a  school, an institution such as a museum, or organization, such as a community group.

The goal is to bring in an artist of some accomplishment to mentor the development of budding students and to enable artists to further develop their own body of work. The skill you have doesn’t have to involve art literally, as there are AIR programs for many methods of human expression, including drama, music, pottery, and graphic design.

Artist in Residence opportunities abound, both in your own community, around the country, as well as overseas. An AIR program is a fantastic way to
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