At the beginning of the summer, a friend clued me in to the online teaching platform, Outschool. She assured me I'd be GREAT at it, and honestly, she's making insanely good money doing it. In true artist (or maybe just Caitie) fashion, it took me 4 months to actually teach my first class. When it comes to choosing a profile photo, and creating that 90 second video in which you're supposed to let your personality shine, I clam up and push it off. When I finally got around to it, I had to reassure myself that it doesn't need to be perfect, and I am naturally a good teacher. (Always giving myself pep talks, and talking myself off these defeatist ledges.) Here's the photo I chose!
aaaaaaaaand my video. It's nothing impressive but darnit if I didn't try my best!
So I finally got around to creating my first class, and managed to book a few slots pretty quickly! I was nervous that the platform would be overly saturated already (especially with art classes), but it seems as though there are plenty of families looking to book! My first Outschool class was Kandinsky's Circles. I tried to keep it pretty simple, with minimal supplies for my students and me.
For whatever reason, I was extremely nervous to as to how I would manage a bunch of 6 year olds on Zoom, and actually teach them something too. To the point I actually had a few of those "first day of school" dreams where everything goes awry. This sounds crazy, but I am such an anxious person. I play the worst scenarios out in my head over the simplest things... And let's not even talk about how bad I am with tech. No, let's do. I had an hour long Zoom session with the friend who referred me prior so she could show me the ropes and clue me in to all the basic functions. Then I spent another chunk of time figuring out how to connect my phone to the the classroom so I can record my hands as I teach.
But when the time finally came, it was a blast! I had three students, ages 5-7 and they were the sweetest things. No one really struggled with how to work Zoom and there were 0 behavior issues. Just a couple of cute kids excited to paint! The best part was that one of the students was my friends' son, and they texted me afterward to tell me just how much he loved the class! As soon as it ended he asked "Do I get to do that again tomorrow?"! I was reminded all over why I love teaching art, and especially to that age group.
So now I'm spending the next few days before school starts back, coming up with new Outschool classes. Organization doesn't come naturally to me, and I have to really push myself to stay motivated and on-task. My goal is to eventually create a series
of classes that go in order for a range of ages, (maybe a how-to-draw animals series, art around the world, or art history for kids) as well as offering paint-along classes for older students. To keep it simple for myself, they need to use basic supplies, and the less prep I have to do, the better. For now though, I have just created a few random classes to try out and see what works best. Maybe eventually I'll get the process streamlined. And maybe one day the company will create an app for people like me, who need that extra organizational help!
If you want to teach online in your own time, sign up as an Outschool teacher using my referral link!
I'll be here to answer questions you may have, and encourage you through the process! I promise it won't take me 4 months to help you.