The following post comes from Debra L. Karplus at partner site The Dollar Stretcher.
Everyone has something they do well. Sometimes it’s a job-related skill (editing) or a hobby that others find intriguing (vegetarian cooking). Teaching is a great way to stretch your dollar while helping others. There may be local places where you can share your expertise – and an advanced college degree often isn’t required for teaching adult classes.
“Adult-ed” and even some child-class teaching works differently than traditional teaching. Instead of finding a job opening and applying for it, if you want to teach, you just create the idea and write a proposal. It’s reviewed by a committee and hopefully accepted.
Teaching adult classes is fun and casual. Instructors aren’t bound to the same conformity as in public schools. Several places might welcome your proposed class…
1. Check your park district
Your park district may offer an array of special interest classes for adults or children. Peruse their online class listing and consider an appropriate topic that you could teach for that venue, such as bicycle maintenance or kick-boxing. You may be amazed at the wide variety of park district offerings.
2. Adult education programs need adult educators
Since these classes are often held in public school buildings, you’ll have access to actual classrooms, as well as tools like computers, DVD players, LCD projectors and screens.
3. Churches and temples need teachers for children and adults
Though you won’t get paid, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your skills. Teach genealogy, Ellis Island immigration, or religious music classes to adults or children in Sunday School. What a terrific way to become a more integral part of your religious community while learning and sharing with others!
4. Fitness or recreation centers offer a variety of classes
Teach an aerobics class or nutrition basics at your gym. Whether your class is an active exercise session or an instructional class on developing healthier habits, your skill and experience is needed. Talk to the director to learn which classes are requested.
5. Community colleges choose part-time staff for special courses
Community colleges like to employ part-time teachers – they don’t have to pay benefits. It’s a win-win-win deal for the teacher, student, and college. Check out their needs for part-time employment. You might have adequate credentials to teach basic algebra or rhetoric, for example.
6. Kids’ programs need experts for teaching
Your community may have a cultural arts or sports center for children. It’s a great place for you to teach classes such as drawing, pet care, or babysitting essentials. Find out how you can get involved in teaching kids. Most places where you work directly with children require a background check, which usually involves some paperwork and fingerprinting.
7. Kids’ summer day camps need instructors for a wide variety of daily activities
Summer day camps offer diverse activities daily for campers. It’s a great opportunity for you to teach nature, arts and crafts, or tennis. Learn what activities need instructors.
Checklist to get started teaching adult classes:
- Have an idea of a class you want to teach, and a setting that would be appropriate.
- Look through the listings of this setting. See if your class is already offered and if it would be appropriate for that setting.
- Contact the program director with your class idea. If they’re not interested, ask what classes they’re looking for. You might be able to modify your idea or simply teach a completely different topic. Find out what they need you to do to get started.
- Write a proposal. Most of this information will be used verbatim in the course offerings, so choose each word carefully. Create a catchy title. Write a short biography about yourself with only relevant information. Write a short class synopsis. Include an outline or syllabus.
- You’ll also need to determine if your class will be one time, several sessions, or all semester. Check your calendar. Select dates and times for offering your class. Will it be weekday, weekend, or evening?
- You might be asked to determine minimum and maximum students you want in class, specific needs for supplies and classroom setup – desks or tables, computer or screen for slideshows, or other specific audio-visuals.
- Although people are trying to “go green,” most adult students enjoy receiving “how-to” handouts. Prepare something that will be useful to students after class has ended.
Teaching adult classes may be a new experience. You’ll be wonderfully surprised how satisfying it can be. Get started today.
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