Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Needlework Teacher's World 

Enthusiastic needleworkers, many of whom have taught at informal groups or at SCA or guild events without compensation, often ask about the "real world" of teaching needlework and being paid for your services.

It's a tough world out there cookie! Here's a breakdown of what happens.

Consumer Shows
Teachers submit proposals to teach and a cost per student to the event organizer. This cost per student includes kit cost and teaching fees. If accepted, the teacher is paid after the event and must bear the costs of kitting and shipping any kits up front.

The teacher is responsible for his/her transportation to the event and all costs of lodging and meals as well as kit costs and any shipping involved.

The proposals need not usually be exclusive to the event although some organizers specify exclusivity. The rights to the design remain the teacher's.

Trade Shows
Teachers submit proposals to teach and if the project is accepted receive a small fee per registered student. $5-15 no matter the cost of the kit or the teaching time involved.

The project need not be exclusive but normally organizers require the teacher to grant permission for the attendees to freely copy class materials/designs and distribute them without compensating the teacher.

The theory is that teaching at trade shows is a marketing tool in which you invest money. Its purpose is not to make a profit.

Teachers must bear the cost of travel, lodging and meals.

Guild Teaching (ANG/EGA)
National guild organizations provide standard contracts for local branches to use. Teacher's compensation is limited to certain dollar amounts per program or workshop day or half-day. ANG/EGA chapters, regions and national organization normally pay the teacher's travel, lodging and meal expenses.

Chapters are not usually concerned with exclusivity of designs but for Regional and National events, designs must be proposed early on (usually 2 years in advance of the event) and must remain off the market (for either teaching or commercial sale) for a stated time after the event. This means a designs is for all practical purposes removed from the commercial market for three years.

Compensation includes kit costs (and guilds are often required to demand that each item in a kit be costed out and that the instructor meet the guild's understanding of the wholesale price for each needle, inch of linen or skein of thread).

Sampler Guilds
Are independent groups of like-minded stitchers. They contract with individual teachers for teaching fees and kit costs and seldom require exclusivity of design. They typically pay travel, lodging and meal expenses.

Private Tutoring
I teach groups and make individual arrangements with the organizer of such a group. We agree on the minimum number of paid participants, the cost of kit and fees per participant and the exclusivity of any design.

I normally pay my own travel expenses to the host city and am offered lodging and meals by group members in a home.

The group organizer arranges the teaching space (at no cost to me), solicits participants and collects kit costs and fees. For this service, I offer the organizer a space in the class at no cost to them.


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