Attention Class! How Teaching As A Side Gig Can Benefit You (and Others)

teachingHave you every considered teaching in your free time, or probably more accurately, scheduling time to teach after your primary job? There are many benefits that can be gained from teaching public and private classes, webinars, tutorials and other class formats that help others learn some of what you know.

Why Teach?

Aside from the obvious benefit of possibly being able to make some extra money from teaching on nights and weekends, there are a lot of ways teaching can benefit you and others. Here are a few:

  • Experience – While teaching gives you an opportunity to help others, planning lessons and walking through detailed instructions also helps you get more experience. You may learn new and better ways to do things, discover a new solution to a common problem, and learn unexpected tips from your students.
  • Networking – Teaching helps you meet new people who may be potential clients, collaborative colleagues, qualified subcontractors or an ongoing referral network.
  • Giving Back – A new level of satisfaction in yourself and your abilities can be gained from taking the time to help others. And let’s face it, donating your time, with or without pay, just feels good.

What to Teach?

Initially, you may consider teaching the skills, software and techniques that you utilize every day in your work. This tends to be the subject matter you know best and are best-suited to teach others.

One danger of teaching the same stuff you do everyday is that you will tire of it and potentially get burned out. No matter how much you love what you do, too much of anything isn’t good. But in moderation, this can be a great way to get started with teaching.

Another way to get involved in teaching is by focusing on a hobby or other off-hours pastime that you are passionate about, or even something you used to do well but haven’t found the time for in a while. The key is to pick something you are passionate about and are knowledgeable enough to teach to others.

Where to Find Opportunities?

You can find teaching opportunities through friends and relatives who also teach, local community colleges, or even through a professional network. Think beyond formal classroom settings; teaching opportunities can be online webinars, one-time in-person classes, or even free teleconferences.

Not able to find any opportunities that suit you? Create your own! You can use an online meeting tool for your training session, and promote it through your website, clients, business contacts and through social media. You can also create on online tutorial series, or even a teaching blog. If you like the face-to-face element of teaching, consider contacting a local school, church or restaurant to see if they will donate the space for you to hold in-person training.

The possibilities really are endless, and the benefits are, too.

Do you teach? What format do you use, and what do you teach?

Image credit: Sigurd Decroos

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  • http://www.lowter.com charmedlover

    This post seemed rather empty. Sure the idea is great, but I think we’d like more ideas on where to find such oh-so-plentify teaching opportunities.

  • chia

    I tutor biology, math and physics to high school kids, and love it! Most of my students are from a tutoring center that I work for, but some I get via adverts in expat forums and online advert boards (in Switzerland). I charge quite a fair bit, so I target the English-speaking international students rather than local Swiss. Small market but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to teach more hours for less money. In the future I would like to expand to providing workshops in web programming and other hobbies (just as suggested here). In the mean time, I have my PhD to work on :) (I’m also trying to set up a biology website but it takes such a long time to write the articles!!!)

  • Kelly

    I agree that teaching is a great avenue to earn extra cash and gain experience. I started a web site one year ago with the intent of having written tutorials only. But as I created my site, which teaches beginners how to use Expression Web software, my mind started generating ideas…. and it wasn’t long after going live with my site that I began making video tutorials using Camtasia from TechSmith.com and placing these free videos on my site.

    It was a hit! No, it was a home run! I began making video tutorials to sell on CDs, I started an online class (which I now use moodle course management software), and I indeed gained new clients as a result of this. So my idea to teach kind of spawned out of my web site’s success and evolved over time. And Yes, the rewards have been awesome.

    One of the keys to finding teaching opportunities is, first to be sure to specialize in a niche….such as “Expression Web Tutorials for Beginners”. My web site and my teaching is focussed on 1)Expression Web 2 from Microsoft, and 2) Beginners.

    Create teaching Opportunities. Create them. Don’t wait for them to fall in your lap.

    My next step, naturally, is to set up a course in the community. This might be at the local University which offers courses for adults and small businesses. There is also an Art Center that i would like to consult about setting up a course for beginners.

    The point is, once you know what to teach, then you will know where to look for opportunities. Mainly, you have too create those opportunities. As mentioned in this post, an online meeting tool has been a major part of one to one tutoring that I do.
    Check out Web Train, or Meeting to Go, as well as Microsofts communication tools, or skype.

    Glad you posted this because it is so true.

    I am about to unveil my new layout for my main web site at http://www.Expression-Web-Tutorial.com . Check it out but be aware, I have not yet published all of the new pages. Hopefully soon!

  • pipmaestro

    Two great sites for teaching and learning online : edufire.com and myngle.com

  • Carl – WebCoursesBangkok.com

    What an interesting post! This is exactly why I started Web Courses Bangkok. Its been a real learning curve and passionate project for me.

    It started as an idea and now I am developing it into a business. I am passionate about the web and love teaching.

    Would love everyones feedback on our site and if you was a biginner, would you learn with us?

    Thanks again Site Point.

    carl
    http://www.webcoursesbangkok.com

  • Chillzjamie

    i am not a teacher but i love teaching kids.. I’ve been a teacher every sunday in our church. It was fun and really great. Simple ABC’s and 123′s… But thinking of having an extra income is not my first choice but it is an option. :)

    Because of this, sometimes i prepare an educational game for my students. And now i have my own website for kids. Maybe i earn from my site but it’s not really big since it is free. :).. But still thankful.

  • http://www.dangrossman.info Dan Grossman

    The professor of my graduate computer networks course works full time at Unisys, as he has for more than 30 years, as a senior network analyst. He has the day job and teaches one night a week as well. The difference between his course, and one where the professor has not actually gone out and put into practice what’s being taught, was enormous.

  • Jeff

    I used to teach in colleges when I was alot younger, but it’s been on the back burner ever since. After reading this article it’s made me re-think teachin and look at it in a totally different light. It’d be great to earn a little extra cash on the side. Hmmm – food for thought.

  • aman

    thanks all…..specially pipmaestro