Teaching Enrichment Courses

I have to say that teaching classes through the University of Wyoming Enrichment Program has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Frankly, I have to state right here that I could not do it on a daily basis – it would make me nuts! But teaching a major course each quarter and a handful of smaller ones suits me to a T.

The benefit to our business has been wide and long. Here are some of the things it has given us:

  1. I am far more comfortable doing public speaking. To the point that I can speak in front of almost any group, train virtually anyone, and have a great time doing it.
  2. Our business credibility rises each time we inform someone that we also teach enrichment courses on our business specialty.
  3. We are now getting other speaking and presentation opportunities.
  4. We have received referrals from the Enrichment Department for work in our specialty, not just for presentations.
  5. My husband, Kevin, has gained confidence within our profession by being with me when I teach. He has learned more of our business this way, and he has gained the ability to help the students as well.
  6. It has given us a peripheral product to sell, since we create our own curriculum (it does not exist for what we teach), so the curriculum becomes a secondary product.

As far as endeavors we have pursued, this has been one of the best. It is something that I recommend  wholeheartedly to anyone who feels they have the capacity to teach topics related to their profession.

How did I stumble into this? Really, I did sort of stumble into it. I mean, it was something I WANTED to do, and had a good deal of curriculum prepared for.  I began by asking a regional educational organization. They could not provide me with a sufficient student base, so I dropped that. I sounded out another. They also could not provide a reasonable student base at that time. Finally, one day, while on the phone with a staff member at the local Chamber (of which we are a member), I asked how one went about finding teaching and presentation opportunities. She suggested the University, but I did not know how to contact them.

One week later, I got a call from the University. Turns out, THEY had called HER, asking for someone to teach Web Development! I sat down with them and discussed possibilities. That fall, I taught my first class… a 12 week, 2 hour per week class. It was an amazing experience.

It does not pay well enough to do full time. Last winter, due to getting stuck in town overnight for TWO nights, due to closed roads, we lost money on a set of four classes. We will make a little on the one we are doing now – but not enough to fully compensate for weeks of preparation and three Saturdays teaching from 9:00 to 4:00. But the fringe benefits make it all worth it.

Besides just the ways it has benefited our business, I must say, the students are the greatest. They are dedicated, smart, and enjoyable people – the same kind of people I get for clients. Associating with them has been priceless – and they are honest with me about helping me improve myself as an instructor.

If this is something that you have a desire to do, I highly recommend it. Go and find an organization that can help you become an instructor – and then do it, even if you have only one student sign up. Because the things you will gain will be immeasurable, and will impact your business long term in ways that go far beyond the money the individual class pays.

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