Calculating teaching kit costs

The Other Side of The Coin

Let me offer my active take on this issue.

In actuality, we are speaking of different venues. One is a school
set up where the student is a semester long student, maybe of a much
longer program, and the guest instructor returns for a specific area
of expertise. Another, and one in which I am actively involved, is a
teaching studio where there are benches available for a visiting
instructor workshop.

I know others can and have spoken for the school situation, I will
speak of the one I am working for.

Jay Whaley has a private teaching studio in San Diego. He has a 4
day per week teaching regime. The studio is usually vacant Friday
through Sunday. Knowing the active students, and their specific
interests, I began reaching out to instructors to spend a weekend in
San Diego and offer a Workshop.

I came into this as a total innocent, I had an idea, but little idea
of how to pull it off. Now into my second year, I am and will
continue to learn. Jay does have a well stocked studio, but there
were special needs for workshops. Gerry Lewy’s gravers and stones,
Brian Meek’s reactive metals and electronics, Megan Corwins Pitch
Bowls, etc.

There were needs there which ordered in excess would not necessarily
be in demand. We did order bowls and pitch for megan’s first
workshop, we asked students in advance to let us know if they needed
one, set the price and got a couple of extras. Her second workshop,
we had the extras, but returning students had their own. It is not
realistic to expect Megan to carry pitch bowls and pitch or ship it
from Seattle to San Diego. We tried to determine need, and it was

Today’s climate insofar as the various members of airport security
staff do not make it easy on instructors needing to travel with
tools, etc. One of Megan’s returning students had her clearly marked
aluminum tools case broken and taped together, in the attempt to
make certain there was nothing sinister inside. Megan asked us to
buy the plasticene locally.

Getting back to pricing this all. A workshop cost is determined by
the instructors per diem charge, plus travel, lodging, meals and yes
extra bag fees, taxi’s etc. It comes out to that plus a margin for
the facility determined by the projected number of students. This is
what can be shown as the fee. When there is a materials fee added to
that, it may look like it is too much. Also, when paid by credit
card, the workshop fee plus the materials cost is what the studio is
charged for by the credit card processor.

It is hard to know just what the prospective students thinks when
they see a fee inclusive of the materials fee, rather than when they
see the actual charge of the studio, and a notice within the class
description that there will be a materials fee collected when the
class begins. To cover increases in metals, etc costs, I think a
range may be offered say from $30-50, depending on metals costs.

I know I will make changes as I gain more experience. I cannot know
in advance just how the appeal of the instructor or the specific
workshop will draw. I can be criticized for not getting on it early
enough, yes that has happened, I/we use all forms of social media to
get the word out, I personally participate in online forums for many
jewelry expressions. I try to encourage others to do the same to
promote themselves. This does not always work. If anyone out there
has suggestions, believe me, I am listening…

We have revamped our web site to make it a happening, it is in
transition now and we welcome critiques, as well as participation.
Check out WhaleyStudios.

We have had very successful, well attended workshops and plan many
more. Because of these and the suggestions of the presenters, have
made major changes to our studio, which has gotten great approval
from everyone.

I personally am very conscious of the economy, and the ability of
the student to participate, we have not built in a “what if” margin
to the cost. I have to make certain we get the attendance, and
believe me, I try. Hugs, Terrie

I have not read this thread in detail, but one point is that in some
types of teaching situations, profit on kit fees is what makes the
enterprise worthwhile.