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  1. #16
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    Bruce
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    Having taught a couple of workshops, for the instructor, it's not the contact time, but prep time. Being self employed, any time spent on prepping for a workshop comes from my "working time," which equates to loss of income. This means tuition has to cover both instruction time, prep time and travel time (both ways,) plus any expenses.

  2. #17
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    Alan
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    As others have mentioned - there are lots of variables at play here. Your personal experience / expertise, amount of prep, and contact time. It's definitely hard to objectively value your worth. Other models include donation-based or sliding scales. As a fitness coach that has run workshops and private one-on-ones, I do believe it's most important to respect your personal level of commitment and expertise. Higher pricing often bring a serious student while lower pricing allows for a wider market.

  3. #18
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    I am a professional artist. I paint, draw and build furniture. This is what I do for a living. I understand, completely, the wish, the comradery and compulsion to gain new members into the woodworking community. Observations:
    Although I am not a professional musician, I do play a lot around town in open jams and I have a lot of musician friends. And, as stated before, I am a professional artist (where most of the art I produce is furniture).
    When a restaurant, or gallery, or any other venue for art or furniuture under values your work by offering you space "For the Exposure" or calls up your band to request music for their upcoming wedding and they offer you dinner and you can put out a tip jar.
    This behavior by the venue and the artist/musician is VERY damaging to the artist/craftsperson who is trying to make a living.
    A teacher should be paid $30-$50/hour to share his information.
    Seriously, The couple hours teachers spend teaching the class is barely half of the work.
    Please, don't undervalue YOUR work, It serisously hurts the person who is trying to make a living.
    I actually have people who tell me: "my retired neighbor (or someone who already has a job) said he would make it for me for half the price!
    Neil Carroll
    professional furniture builder and artist.

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  5. #19
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    Dan (65)
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by junquecol View Post
    Having taught a couple of workshops, for the instructor, it's not the contact time, but prep time.

    Being self employed, any time spent on prepping for a workshop comes from my "working time," which equates to loss of income. This means tuition has to cover both instruction time, prep time and travel time (both ways,) plus any expenses.
    Bruce you hit the nail on the head. You can not just show up and roll with instruction. Doing the instruction thing outside of your own shop is a bunch of loading and unloading at your shop and the instruction site.

    My head scratching is the results of teaching mostly woodworking students outside of the NCWW circle. The question I get on the phone is: If I become a member of the NCWW forum can I get the instruction for free or reduced as a member. What do you say?

    Its not simple but I have to make a decision at some point on the question of instruction and fees.

    thanks for all the feedback
    dan






    I'm receiving some art instruction from my granddaughter. I let her wear my hat and use my brushes, paints and table as a fair bargain.

  6. #20
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    Jeff
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    I wouldn't mind paying a modest fee or including a donation to NCWW. Another recently retired member is offering a 1 day woodturning basic class for $100 at his shop (5 students/day/class. He probably doesn't need the $500 but that's neither here nor there but it's some side money for day to day expenses.

    Do I need or want a dovetail workshop? Probably not. An A-Z Windsor chair workshop from square 1 is probably worth some good bucks because it's a steep learning curve on your own. The techniques used are the interesting part of the process that can be used for other woodworking projects ( I don't particularly care for Windsor chairs but those techniques are useful for...???).












    Quote Originally Posted by danmart77 View Post
    Bruce you hit the nail on the head. You can not just show up and roll with instruction. Doing the instruction thing outside of your own shop is a bunch of loading and unloading at your shop and the instruction site.

    My head scratching is the results of teaching mostly woodworking students outside of the NCWW circle. The question I get on the phone is: If I become a member of the NCWW forum can I get the instruction for free or reduced as a member. What do you say?

    Its not simple but I have to make a decision at some point on the question of instruction and fees.

    thanks for all the feedback
    dan






    I'm receiving some art instruction from my granddaughter. I let her wear my hat and use my brushes, paints and table as a fair bargain.

  7. #21
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    Jim (70)
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    Teaching / learning woodworking is an interesting dynamic. Traditionally the wide range of skills needed to be a well rounded woodworker, say journey or master level, has historically involved apprentising, at least before the majority of furniture building was industrialized. At the very least it has been on the job training. There are many people today offering topic specific short courses, typically less than 2 weeks down to half days mostly targeting the hobbiest. Many, if not most, hobbiest woodworkers are self taught with the occasional short course to fill in specific interests.

    Some specialized businesses such as building organs still rely on apprentising. It's not like there are enough businesses doing that to support a dedicated school to train workers. That's also not really something you do for a hobby either.

    I'd think that trying to actually earn a living teaching hobbiests almost anything is a tough row to hoe these days. Too much competition from free sources online lowers the perceived value. Those people with actual talent and aptitude for woodworking always seem to find a way to acquire the skills. (How did you acquire yours?) Those without the talent and aptitude probably cannot be taught anything significant and will blame the teacher for their failure to immediately master a given topic.

    If I come across as cynical on this topic it's because having taught many computer technical short courses and seminars over a 40 year career I learned the sad truth, "Don't try to teach a pig how to sing. It can't be done and it annoys the pig." You learn to treasure the occasional student who "gets it".

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  9. #22
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    Ray (79)
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredP View Post
    I think this site was created for woodworkers to share ideas and knowledge. charging for that knowledge seems contrary to this. paying for materials , tools ect. is one thing but charging fellow members for instruction and such kinda goes against our non profit status IMHO. Maybe our founder will step in and set us strait? Steve?
    I agree with Fred. I think this thread has overrun its course on NCWOODWORKER.NET and suggest the admins close it. Commercial stuff belongs elsewhere.

  10. #23
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayH View Post
    I agree with Fred. I think this thread has overrun its course on NCWOODWORKER.NET and suggest the admins close it. Commercial stuff belongs elsewhere.
    This discussion has been civil and is very relevant to NCWW, I see no reason to close the thread. The fact that offered courses seem to fill up quickly with or without fees indicates that the membership as a whole is okay with paying a fee for instruction. The fact that people have been requesting more workshops even though the most recent workshops have had a fee is further proof of this.

    Make no mistake about it, If we mandate that all workshops must be free, that will be a barrier for offering classes and there will be less of them in the future. If any individual wants to see more free workshops, you are more than welcome to "be the change you want to see in the world", just offer a free workshop, nobody will stop you and many will be appreciative.

    If you want to offer a workshop for a fee, go ahead and do that. They are popular and the membership wants more of them. If people don't want to pay the fee, they won't sign up. Very simple.

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  12. #24
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    As a novice/budding woodworker, I take advantage of the classes the interest me and that I can squeeze in without conflict to my work schedule. Some have been free, some have been a donation to this great web site, and some have been for a larger fee. I appreciate all of them, even if I can't get to them because I know they are out there and will be offered again sometime in the future. If I am willing to pay for the training/immersion into something that may be of interest to me, I welcome the input on this web site.
    I like making things. I have a wood shop at home. I am a terrible carpenter but I love doing it. Raymond - Charlotte, NC

  13. #25
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    Re: Classes and Cost: what's fair?

    I have taught a few workshops over the past couple years and plan on doing a few this year. I have also had a few one on one teaching moments over many years. For the most part the teaching I have done with NCWW have been on a donation bases for the web site. Personally I have done this as much for myself as anyone else, and I'm not afraid to say that it's been training myself to be a better presenter. With every workshop I have done I have come away with ideas for improving the workshop and make it a better experience for the students, therefore making me a better instructor. At lest that's the theory anyway. I have been a woodworker all my life, as a hobbyist and as a professional, as such I have a lot of knowledge to share. This in no way is to imply I know everything, because there are certain things that I've never really cared for or I haven't put on a high priority, so you my find me showing up to a chair making workshop as a student and not a segmented turning workshop. It's not that don't find that stuff cool, it's just not for me. However, the point is if your wanting to offer a workshop and you feel your time has value then by all means charge accordingly, because in the long run I'm going to reach a point where certain workshops I will have to charge for my time as well. I truly hope everyone understands that as a none profit organization doesn't mean that instructors should not be compensated for their time. And as the skill levels increase then that's going to be the natural evolution of sharing and instruction.
    Nothing beats a try but a failure, failure is an opportunity to learn.
    http://graywolfwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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