Store Teaching Notes
A reader asked me to explain my teaching set up at my local store. Happily, I make a living from my painting sales, not teaching.
Linda’s Etsy Shop
I don’t have any expenses for teaching at my local store. They loan me their classroom. My students pay me directly in cash, so it is a once a month activity for me. They buy their own supplies at the store and get their framing there, so it is a symbiotic relationship. The store offers a prize for each of my two classes each month. Many of my students end up buying paintings from me at my studio parties, and the cash gives me walk around money. I usually make three-four hundred dollars a month for teaching. I only charge 20.00 per student, per class. If I were to really want to make a living teaching, I would have to charge more of course.
Testimonials from Collectors
I used to work for a store as a salaried painting teacher, but the corporate paperwork was annoying and working with their paint supplier forced me to follow their teaching methods and painting paperwork, meetings, etc.. I resigned. The district manager and general manager at the store got together and offered me the paperwork free option I now have. They know that I really bring in buyers to the store and my classes are popular. It is a good situation for me. I missed teaching once a month there. Going back has freed up my studio for my own use exclusively and the store is closer and more convenient for my students. I do everything I can to make the classroom experience fun and relaxing for my students. I love them dearly. When I don’t teach, I become too isolated. I’m not a social person and I hate openings and the art scene. My students and I have lasting and long friendships.
I’ve been told that other hobby stores offer their classroom in the same way I’m teaching. You would need to do your own advertising for students. if you need to generate real income, charge about 35.00 a class. I teach a beginning paint together class (my most popular) and an advanced class where my students pick the topic of study. That one is about half as full as the beginning class. In fact, several of my advanced students take the beginning class. I set my classes up as pay as you come, no advanced payments required and no paperwork for them. They do sign up for my html newsletter for students that comes out twice a month. I use rack cards in the store at the end of each isle of the art department. I also use social media and my web site to promote my classes.
My store sponsors the class and the prize drawing and I have snack sponsors who provide a snack, coffee or tea for students. I brought in a travel Keurig machine for the tea and coffee in the classroom. I average about 9 students for my advanced class and 12-20 students for my beginning class. I print out a lesson plan with the image of the painting we will do and the palette for the painting. As I mix the colors, I walk around the classroom and put a dab of that mixture on their papers to help them see the mixtures and compare theirs with mine. They find that very helpful.
For the advanced class, I print out a lesson plan and some basic instruction on the particular topic of study for that month. I like to study values, color mixing and composing. They like to study topics like clouds, rocks, palm trees, etc. I make the effort to squeeze real study into their topics of interest without boring them.
Think carefully about teaching, if you haven’t before. If you just want to make money, find a different way. Teaching is a serious endeavor with true responsibility on your part. Take it seriously and give 100% of your resources to it.
More for artists and collectors to come…..
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
Nonstick aluminum foil
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 oz thin sliced Ham
2 cups cheese, shredded (about 4 oz)
1 large egg, beaten
Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Place pastry sheets on flat work surface; spread 2 tablespoons Dijon on each, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top Dijon with 2 oz each ham and cheese.
Brush border with egg. Carefully roll dough, starting with the long side, tightly around filling; pinch seams together. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut rolls, seam-side down, into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices. Arrange pinwheels, cut-side up, on baking sheets; bake 18–20 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes to cool.