Setting up for a Class

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Contents

Terminology

Classes generally involved a teacher (and TA) and slides or a presentation. Events are weird and great, and don't have a teacher. Workshops are usually 'work at your own pace' events, without a presentation, but with someone around who has *some* experience and can help people out when they are stuck.This post is only about classes.

How to Setup for a Class

If you want to run a class at a hackerspace, that is pretty easy. If you want to run an amazing class that people rant about, love, and tell their friends about, then there are a lot of details to get right. This is a rough guide of how to setup a class at Hive76, from idea to clean-up after the class.

Come up with a class

Come up with an idea for the class. Something you know, or something you want to learn. You can do 'something other folks want to learn' but that is easy to mess up, since you don't know what to teach, or the weird or unexpected assumptions about what other folks want to learn.

Post it to the Members mailing list

Post your idea to the members mailing list, and make sure to CC the Events Coordinator. This will help get some ideas going, feedback on similar classes, and just generally get other members in the know.

Pick a Date

This is absolutely the first step. If you don't pick a date in advance, you will not have the motivation to get the class going. No one will believe your class is actually going to happen unless you are confident about exactly what day.

Price the Class

We have a separate page on how to Price a class.

Form a posse

You cannot teach a class by yourself. You need at least one other person to help plan, and two other people to help execute (A TA and a doorperson).

Get it on the web

Post your class to the weblog, the calendar, make weblog tickets people can order. Do all of these things on the same day, since they must all link to each other. After the web presence is set up, tell friends, post to craigslist, and try to cozy up to our list of marketing contacts (ask the Instigator or Event Coordinator for this list).

Setup the space

Show up at least an hour early. Setup the space, including whiteboard and projector, tables and extension cords. Put a note up on the front door of the building and in the elevator. Have a person (not you) ready to answer the phone or buzz people in.

During the class

Make sure everyone has signed in with name and email -- some people will always show up unaware that they were supposed to RSVP or buy tickets. (Plus, ticketleap does not collect emails.) While people are showing up, have a self-directed activity planned for the early birds. Ask people as they come in what their experience is and what they would like to learn. Teach!

Cleanup afterwords

Put the space back. Put food in the garbage. Chat with people as they leave, but feel free to tell them 'you need to get going, I need to close up. Recruit people to help clean up the space. Do a quick for left or lost personal belongings. Go treat yourself to a post class beer, ice cream, or smoke or something. Seriously take a break. You just taught a class, it can be stressful. Go unwind for a while.

Follow up

Email the list on how the class went. Check for feedback. Media:Example.ogg

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