Have you ever thought about teaching a class but you don't know where to start? Maybe you have friends that say "You should totally teach a class about that!" but you feel a little intimidated?
Crafting a Class is a masterclass in how to get started teaching your own classes. You are the expert in your subject matter; I will take you step-by-step through all of the parts that make up a great class, from writing winning class descriptions, planning out your timeline, compiling a supply list, finding your students, and even dealing with difficult and disruptive situations in your classroom.
Table of Contents
I've broken it down into sections so you can focus on one thing at a time, starting from your initial idea, all the way through doing some self-evaluation to continue to refine it once you've had some practice. There are nine lessons that dive deep into what you should think about when crafting your best class.
- Deciding what you want to teach and thinking about what you bring to that class that is uniquely yours.
- Writing goals to identify what students will get out of the class.
- Using the goals to write a timeline, so you can match activities to the outcomes.
- Creating a class description that captures the goals, activities and unique parts of the class.
- Compiling a comprehensive supply list and making it easy for students to understand and get the right materials.
- Running a practice session and reflecting on the responses you had from students and your own observations.
- Setting a teaching rate and making choices about hosting the class, partners and pricing.
- Crafting marketing strategies for reaching out to potential students including keywords and images to represent your class.
- Thinking about situations with challenging students and learning strategies for redirecting and managing difficult or disruptive situations.
Video: Why should you sign up?
Make the class your own.
This class isn't like a TV show; it's not a 30 minute video that you sit back and watch while you have some popcorn. I'll be honest; I don't like those kinds of classes and I don't think they are the best kind of learning experience for everyone. So, this class is more like an interactive book. There are nine chapters, each covering a different facet of creating your class. There are articles to read, videos to watch, worksheets to write on, checklists to check, links to click and questions for you to answer. (Fun fact: The class lessons have about 22,000 words, which makes it about the equivalent of a 70 page book.)
This format lets you customize and make the class your own. You can do it at your own pace and work on it anytime you want to. You can go back to a lesson any time or download the worksheets to use over and over. You'll also be able to get out of it what you put in. Throughout the class I will ask you to answer questions about your class, like brainstorming goals and hashtags, and I will respond to give you feedback and ideas. The more you participate, the more personalized this class will be for you.
I brought some friends.
I chatted with and interviewed a handful of other fantastic teachers, arts administrators and shop owners I know and brought their ideas and experience into this class as well. They shared examples, stories, lessons learned and their own best practices which I have incorporated into the tips and techniques I share with you.
Many of the examples I talk about in each lesson are related to fiber art and digital design because those are the topics I teach about the most, but these strategies and skills work for teaching any kind of hands-on art or craft media from painting to baking to calligraphy.
Get feedback on your class.
One of my favorite parts of the class is the opportunity for you to use me as a mentor. In Lesson 3, you may upload your class planning worksheet to me and I will give you one-on-one feedback about the description, goals and timeline for your class. You can read more about my background down below, but in my 12 years working as the head of education at an art center, I have read and edited a lot of class descriptions and I am confident that I can give you some new ideas and tips to make yours even better.
(Note: This is an optional step, but is included in the fee for this class.)
About Becka Rahn
It says right on my business cards "artist & teacher" because I am as passionate about teaching as I am about making art. I have a degree in K-12 Education and I worked for 11 years as the head of the education department at the Textile Center in Minneapolis. During my tenure, I coordinated all of the kids, teens and adult classes for the center, developed outreach and artist residencies in schools, was the staff coordinator for the mentor and artist fellowship programs, and edited and designed class catalogs and marketing materials for those programs.
I am based in Minneapolis, MN where I work as a full-time artist and teacher. My art work ranges from novelty prints to gallery exhibitions. You can see a gallery of my work at my website, as well as links to my Etsy shops specializing in knitting puns and digitally printed accessories. I have received a number of grant awards for my work and I partner with many other arts and non-profit organizations to do community projects. I am on the board of directors of Hennepin History Museum and served previously on the board at the Weavers Guild of MN, as the state rep for the Surface Design Association, and as a member of the international Etsy Sellers Advisory Board. You can find me, all of my social media links, and more at my website: www.beckarahn.com
I teach in my community as well as traveling all over the US to teach at conferences including the Surface Design Association, Handweavers Guild of America, Association of Sewing and Design Professionals, and schools including Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts and Touchstone Center for Craft.
I truly, truly enjoyed your class at the ASDP conference this year! It was my favorite class and I have been talking about it to anyone and everyone.— a student from a Fall 2019 conference session
This is seriously the best class I have ever taken. Tons of great information presented clearly and enthusiastically. Inspiration everywhere from Becka and Spoonflower!— a student from one of my Spoonflower Masterclasses
Technology & skills you need
Technology: You can watch the videos and read the class lessons either on a computer, your phone or iPad/tablet. Downloads are all in .pdf format so you should be able to open and print them easily.
Skill level: Beginner. You don't need any special skills or experience for this class. You should be comfortable with computer basics like navigating a website and uploading a file.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have access to the course?
Forever! Once you've enrolled, you'll have access to the course material for as long as you need and you can come back and refer to it any time. Do the class all in one weekend or on your own timeline. It's totally up to you.
If I have a question, how can I contact you?
I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at email@example.com.
Even though the class is available 24/7/365, please know that I am not online 24/7 and I haven't yet taught my canine intern to answer emails. I will do my best to respond quickly.
Can I get a sample? What if I don't like this class format?
Check out my free class "Spoonflower Step One". Even if you aren't interested in designing fabric, you can see what a lesson looks like, watch some videos with me talking and get an idea of what my classes are all about.
Scholarship for current teachers
I also want to offer teachers who are already out there teaching something a special deal. If you are already teaching a class and you want to take this one to build your skills and try to make your classes better then I want to help you do that! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with something that shows me what you are teaching (a screenshot of the class registration page, a photo of the class flyer, a link to it on a website) and I will send you a coupon code for 20% off your registration.