Teaching Opportunities Can Boost Your Income
A guest post by Victoria Rose Martin
Do you like sharing ideas with others? Do you have a knack for explaining things in a clear concise way? Perhaps you would make a great instructor. From personal experience I can tell you that teaching is one of the most rewarding career paths out there. On a daily basis I get to share what I love doing with really cool people and the best part is: I get paid to do it.
Regardless of whether you have a college degree or just a passion for a certain subject, there are teaching opportunities available to almost everyone. So, where do you get started?
1. If you have a Master’s degree send out a packet to the Department Chair at a local college or university. Approximately a week later send a follow up email restating your interest in teaching at their institution. Attach a cover letter that clearly describes your abilities, courses taught and courses you wish to teach. You might also visit the college’s website/human resources and see if they have an online application just to get the ball rolling.
And if you feel like a change of scenery, try researching The Chronicle of Higher Education or Higher Ed Jobs for openings full and part time all around the world. While colleges and universities are always on the look out for part timers, full-time college or university teaching position are very hard to come by. Just don’t get discouraged.
2. Don’t have a college degree? Don’t give up hope. Most colleges and high schools have continuing education courses where a Master’s degree may not be required. Community colleges have traditionally been places where people go for job skills. A skill or hobby you may take for granted such as drawing, knowing how to use an Adobe program or Microsoft Office are highly sought after and if you are skilled you just might get the job.
3. Got a local art center nearby? Why not submit a proposal to teach a workshop? Be specific and let them know how many days maximum number of students and facilities required. If you have handouts be sure and include with the packet. The art center will want to see images so either provide a link to a website or other photo sharing sites such as Flickr or Picasa. Remember, if you have a style or technique that makes your work unique or desirable be sure to play that up.
Not up to teaching a workshop yourself? You could always ask an artist you admire if they’d be interested in hosting a workshop in your area. Perhaps doing the legwork would result in you receiving a discounted or free tuition to the event.
4. Art and craft stores such as Michael’s regularly offer classes. Perhaps you could teach one?
Research the store’s website, find out who the manager is and inquire. Make the proposal as specific as possible and include a supply list. It could be helpful to include items the store regularly carries in stock. Knowing the store may garner a few sales could make your proposal that much more tantalizing.
5. And finally, none of the options above fit? Why not approach a local coffee house or similar business and ask them if you could host a weekly craft gathering? Most proprietors will happily oblige if the workshops are held during normally quiet times during the workday. Charge a small fee for each person covering materials and who knows, you might discover teaching makes really great business sense for you.
So, if you have a passion for something and want to share that knowledge, why not teach? On a personal note I can attest that sometimes The Squeaky Wheel Does Get the Oil. As the Department Chair at a college it’s my job to hire new adjuncts (part time professors). It can be tough combing the HR site looking for candidates in between teaching, advising students and attending meetings. What I find funny/ironic is when I tell myself I need to hire somebody for a particular course out of the blue I receive a packet, email or a phone call from a person wanting to teach that very class. A lot of the time they wind up being hired simply from the act of being at the right place at the right time.
So why not give it a try yourself? The worst they can say is no. And if you do try any of the above techniques, remember to mention them on your blog or other social media and be sure to include a lot of great photos.
Victoria Rose Martin is an artist and designer currently living in South Florida. She is the Department Chair for Fine Art and Graphic Design at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida. You can visit her website at: VictoriaRoseMartin.com.
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