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Reader tip: Earn money by teaching classes at your local community center

Here’s a great income-earning tip from Alisha:

I have made some extra money by teaching couponing classes at my community center. It requires no money up front and is a great way to share something that I am passionate about.

My community center pays $20/hour that I teach and will provide copies of any handouts I submit to them for free. They provide the classroom and projector for free, as well.

They also reimburse non-paper materials by having students pay instructors directly for the cost. For instance, I provide each of my students with a couponing binder, and the students pay me the cost of the binder, dividers, and baseball card inserts.

While there is no upfront cost, teaching does require some planning. I spent 2 hours laying out a lesson plan for a 2 hour course and another 2 hours putting together handouts for students to take home. I had never put together a lesson plan before, but the community center was very helpful and reviewed every detail of my class.

If you don’t have the time to plan a course, look into tutoring at the community center. Many people are interested in tutoring in Excel, Photoshop, and various blogging platforms. Tutoring requires no upfront cost and minimal planning. -Alisha

photo from Big Stock

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  • JP says:

    What a neat idea Alisha. What I particularly like about this is that you get to maximize one of your passions. And get paid!

    I’m curious, what was your class on?

    A few logistical questions:
    – How do they promote the class? How do you get proper enrollment?
    – Where they able to provide you with examples of student handouts from other classes?
    – What topics are usually taught in community centers?
    – How many people should you expect to sign up? Do they allow you to get emails from the students in case you are trying to build a business around the topic of your class?

    • Alisha says:

      Hi JP,
      My class is an introduction to couponing.

      To answer your questions:
      – The community center takes care of promoting the class by mailing town residents a course listing every season. If a course has less than 5 students, it is dropped. This policy varies based on the community center where you teach.
      – I did not get any sample handouts. I was the first person to teach about coupons so I was starting from scratch to a certain extent.
      – Topics vary based on where you live. In my town the community center offers mainly language classes, business-related workshops, art classes, fitness classes, and cooking classes. Other ones I have seen are basic auto repair and carpentry.
      – Class size really depends on the type of course you are teaching. With the couponing class I expect between 5-20 students. Email policy will depend on the community center. I would contact the one nearest you to get a better idea of their policies.
      I hope that helps!

  • Great idea Alisha! I do college essay coaching with college-bound kids. Recently, I decided to approach local libraries to see if they would be interested in a College Essay Excellence workshop. They were! And so I put together a curriculum and conducted the workshop at two locations this fall. Yes, it took the initial investment of time to put together a workshop, power point, and a few handouts. But now I’m all set for next year and hope to schedule 10 workshops. I get paid through the libraries and they offer the workshop as a public service.

  • Shelly says:

    My friend used to teach piano to kids at the community center. I never thought of trying to teach a class myself. I have taught a class at my church but this would be another great opportunity.

  • I don’t charge when I speak, but there are always blessings from it!

  • Lori in NC says:

    Am I tallying this correctly – 6 hours of your time (including teaching the class) for $20 ? I understand that you can re-use the lesson plan for the next class you teach (and save that time) but $3/hour is not much income + travel time. I realize it’s not all about money and it’s great to share your passion, but I’m wondering if it’s much of a money-maker (for you) the way it is structured.

    • Lori in NC says:

      correction – $40 for 6 hours of time = about $6.60/hour but still not much income for all of that work + travel time.

      • Alisha says:

        Hi Lori,
        You’re correct, it’s not much of a moneymaker for me. I’m just starting with the course and expect to need less prep time in the future, but tutoring is really the biggest bang for your buck.

  • Jenny in UT says:

    What a great idea to add to this list. My husband is a jeweler/silversmith and has taught community classes. I am shop teacher and have also taught community classes. I am not sure why the classes listed in the replies have paid so low. When we have done it, we have gotten paid from $22/hour to $45/hour.

  • Jean says:

    May I ask how you applied and got the job?
    I’ve wanted to teach a group fitness class at my local community center but I’m just not sure how to go about it. I’ve checked on their website but it doesn’t specify…

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