Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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August 24th, 2009 at 00:12 am

Teaching Tough Love

No “Day” Job? Oooooh, time to make money with my art/craft (stash/knowledge/fill in the blank).

Seems I have read or been reading this in just about every group, hobby or professional for months and certainly these last few weeks in several of the more active groups.

We all know how much trouble I can get into when I try to respond to “Universal You” although it is pretty much a given someone will take it personally and get into their own snit and a tizzy.

Time after Time, those who have had some or great success talk about the work involved and then are blissfully ignore – their extremely hard earned experiences banished into archives instead of worked on Needlepoint Pillows you have to look at every day.

Want to “teach” or “author”

So here is what may not have been said FIRMLY enough

IF one takes a realistic look at those who are supporting themselves with ONLY their art – well unless you are very lucky or already well established in the teaching/publication circuits – let’s just say that don’t you think a WHOLE lot of other people are thinking like you?

A “rant” about discount coupons that radically reduce the earning of a teacher, while maintaining the benefit to the sponsoring shop is just such a perfect example of a teaching what not to do and frankly for any one purporting to be in the BUSINESS of (fill in your area of expertise) to even be in this position is well beyond my ken.

The situation described? Well the teacher agreed to accept a PERCENTAGE per student and then the Shop, in order to fill seats gave out 50% off coupons. The shop continues to get not only the same, but the greater advantage of the sales generated by the excitement of the class (and efforts of the teacher), the teacher hardly got enough to cover their expenses much less make a living.

How to avoid this?

At the very least a better written agreement SHOULD have safeguards regarding Teacher compensation.

There should be clauses in the WRITTEN Teaching Agreement for a MINIMUM for UP TO X number of students and so much per student there after to a MAXIMUM.

That WRITTEN AGREEMENT, should include a clause giving the jurisdiction where disputes will be resolved and of course much more.

Please don’t bombard me with all the trite and untrue concepts of why it is good to give away your services. Unless one is also the seller of the profitable items, those misconceptions just don’t hold up in today’s environment (and I am not at all sure they did as recently as 5-10 years ago)

WRITTEN AGREEMENTS are what protect you from the insidious effects of such discount coupons imposes without your consent by the class promoter (LYS, Event Promoter, etc)

You, as a teacher or author or artist are alimited resource NOT a mass produced item that can be duplicated no matter what the demand.

Be professional and invest in the resources to protect yourself.

A well written contract/teaching agreement is more powerful then an AR-15 to defend yourself from the robbery without a gun of an unreasonable arrangement.

You can decide, as I did a decade ago, to teach basics primarily for the love of the craft and not expect to be compensated for much more than your expenses or peripheral benefits (i.e., demoing a technique and selling the tools or supplies directly)

Or, as the ranter said accept that you “need to find a real job”

HTH

Wheat

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    LOL! How true. I didn’t include accommodation in my contract until a west coast crochet guild put me on someone’s pull-out couch for the night! And, after the same guild booked me on a flight that required a two-day layover and 11 hours in the air, I now insist on booking my own flights.

    Susan Huxley on August 25th, 2009

 

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