A thought experiment ... teaching classes

So I’ve been tossing around the idea of teaching a few classes in an independent setting, with wildly different target audiences and purposes.

Roll with me here. This is something I’d be doing about a year from now, bascially just for fun, though I would charge something. We can discuss how much later (my rough idea going in is $250 for a 6 week class with 10 students or less).

Idea 1:

A LEGO stop motion animation workshop.

The target audience: 8-13 year olds
The class: Teaching the art of stop motion animation using kid’s existing LEGO collections or bricks on loan from the instructor. The lesson plan woudl cover basic video capturing, the techniques of stop motion, working and building sets with LEGOs, editing, and at the end have a completed movie.

My credentials: I have done things like this before and taught many people how to animate with stop motion.

Who would sign up their kids for this one? I’ve tossed this idea around and everyone I’ve talked to that has “geeky” leaning kids loves this idea.


Idea 2:

A dating class for men (though open to women). How to groom oneself, how to come off friendly and not too aggressive, how to approach women, how to attract women. This is not “The Art of Seduction”, but rather the complete opposite: just how to get dates. There will be so silly “negs” or “peacocking” but rather general and specialized followup instruction. More of a general “how to be attractive to women” type course that emphasizes actually being interesting and fun to be aroudn rather than tricky, an approach I always hated.

My credentials: Ummm, I’m not sure what you’d on the flier for this. Anything along these lines sounds very braggado by nature.

I’ll not ask who would sign up for this one, but rather is there any need for it? I see so many lonely nice guys out there who could just use a few pointers.

So those are my two crazy course ideas. Any thoughts? Disaster waiting to happen? Anyone ever done anything like this?

This is bascially my retirement plan. :)

I’ll bite:

Idea 1 - if you were some random person, I’d feel comfortable signing up my kid for something like that as long as it was associated with and located at some public facility, like the local library.

Idea 2 - lots of guys who could use such help, but I honestly don’t know how many would nibble on the hook. I was once such a person until, oddly enough, I got divorced waaaay back when. Anyway, picturing myself back then with such a flyer in front of me, I would have likely felt too awkward about admitting ineptness to someone. That said, if you timed the offer when some popular movie came out with a “love advisor” aspect to it (they seem cyclical), then you might get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle. A second idea is that you could try to get an affiliation with some local online dating service - that way you could have a built in clientele that could avail themselves of your services, and you wouldn’t have to worry too much about marketing and what not.

On item one it would help if you had a showcase, such as a successful Youtube channel, where parents could see examples of what their kid might accomplish one day. Needless to say, the more amazing your Lego stop motion movies are, the more likely people will be interested.

I’m not sure what you could do to show your expertise on the second idea. It could be that most of those ‘lonely nice guys’ have issues keeping them that way, issues that your pointers won’t even come close to overcoming. Maybe you have a couple of friends you’ve helped transform and they’d be willing to talk to your clients about what you did for them?

Your class 1 sounds great and something I would imagine asking my son if he we keen to learn. Unfortunately, no 8 year old I know still plays with Legos.

I agree with gameoverman on class 2. It sounds like it would be full of awkward or creepy lonely people, who probably need more life skills in general as opposed to skills around ladies.

Re. #2, there’s guy on the Octopus Overlords forum who does (or did) this for a living. You may want to ask there.

#1 Oh yeah. My 8 year old would want to sign up in a heartbeat. As mentioned, big bonus when working w/ kids if you’re affiliated w the school/library/town rec center, etc.

#2 I don’t have any feedback on the class, but if you’re looking for marketing ideas…

Since “dating” might rank among the most impenetrable mysteries of Unitedstatesian culture, perhaps there is an audience for an even more basic introduction to its social role and context, primarily for immigrants.

Thanks for the feedback guys. The second idea is mostly a joke, but I’d love to do the first one. Affiliating with a library or local rec center is a great idea. Has anyone ever done something like that? I guess the first step would be to approach the library and see how that affiliation works.

You might try to talk to a local school and see if you could offer your class at the school during a break (half day long science camps seem to go over well around here) or after school.

Would the Columbus Idea Foundry be a possible location for your movie making class? They’re into that maker/education thing and just opened a new facility in the Bottoms.

It woudl be awesome to do this in Columbus, but I’m afraid my current job won’t allow too much free time. I’m probably going to have to wait until California dreamin’ time.

So the wife, as expected, completely shot down idea #2. So it’s stop-motion workshops! I will keep Ray Harryhausen’s spirit alive, dammit.

It’s just as good. Clearly you do not have the credentials to teach class #2, based on your inability to convince your wife to let you teach class #2. :)

So, let’s see some lego videos already! (Although it’s worth stating that any toy could work just fine.)

Holy crap that video is awesome! It’s like they combined all the best parts of Duel with Death Proof and tossed a bit of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in there for good measure.