Where to teach tech in SF?
July 31, 2012 12:21 AM   Subscribe

I would like to be a teacher. Snowflake: of technology, to adults, in San Francisco, during evenings.

In the past, I've really enjoyed teaching clients and colleagues about the fundamentals of computing. While my current job is very rewarding, it does not provide an outlet for this.

I have a strong resume of roles that required explaining technical topics to lay audiences, but no formal classroom experience. Teaching runs in the family, though, so I understand that it's a non-trivial commitment. Most details are flexible, but my work situation requires that class be accessible by public transportation and begin after 6 PM.

I would prefer to write my own curriculum, but am happy to gain experience and credibility teaching "programming." Ideas for creative venues are welcome, too: community college, skill share, prison, religious organization, library, you name it, though it would be great to work with students under forty. In general, I'd rather meet awesome people and feel challenged than see a dime for the effort.
posted by nominal to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My community centre has a form you can fill out to propose a class you want to offer. If it fills up, you are a go, I think. I would approach the neighbourhood community centre.

If you are open to offering for seniors, I bet you could easily fill a class. I work at a university where some grad students put out an offer for a seniors computer class, and my office was the phone line to register. Well we did NOTHING ELSE for about a week except take those calls. That was free... but through a community centre you might be able to do free or low rate.

seniors home.
refuge and immigrant centre
youth centre
the mall (especially if it were a fundraiser - lessons by donation with 50% goes to x could probably get you a spot in the foyer ... could be fun, too!)

And what about going to particular clubs that might need specific things, and you could visit their meeting and give the specific workshop they need:

-sports clubs who could use software to track tournaments, keep members posted about weather/rain out/court conditions
-arts/theatre/puppet group that wants to learn to post video or photos online in an appealing way
-photography group that wants to make a photo website/ private sharing space
-community service groups needs help making an online auction site

There is likely a volunteer agency that could circulate an offer, perhaps with a request for a small honouraria, or sliding scale...

Imagine if you could even network them all together in some kind of non-profit computer skills networking... Photography group, meet rugby group, Take exciting shots of them playing rugby for their website, and promote your photo group on rugby group's site!

posted by chapps at 1:38 AM on July 31, 2012

Immigrant wives on H4 visas. Explore also offering this skill set and time through ethnic women's shelters in the Bay Area.
posted by infini at 3:22 AM on July 31, 2012

Have you considered contacting SF Parks & Rec? Also talk to orgs like the Boys and Girls Club; I used to teach in a high school IT academy in the city and my kids floated the idea of offering computer classes for the elderly for a class project. B&GC was receptive; it never happened for a variety of reasons, but I think it's possible to get some traction. Consider nursing homes/assisted living/retirement communities, too.

I might also look for similar classes at libraries, community centers, etc. and asking if you can volunteer to gain some classroom experience. I suspect it will greatly affect how you decide to structure and deliver instruction.
posted by smirkette at 6:49 AM on July 31, 2012

Yes, parks and recs, sometimes AKA Leisure Services, run courses. Check all the colleges to see if they have a "Continuing Education" department or the like - these divisions teach non-degree/non-credit courses for people who just want the skill-set, and their requirements for who can teach usually boil down to - must pass background check and know what they're talking about. Technology is often a much-needed thing in their lineup.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:16 AM on July 31, 2012

These are all great suggestions, but I should clarify that I really want to present the "why" and "how" of creating software, not so much configure systems or instruct on how to use specific programs. I'm happy to consider that, too, but my question was about computing as a concept. That could rule out senior communities and youth programs, though not necessarily.
posted by nominal at 8:12 AM on July 31, 2012

posted by spanishbombs at 10:01 AM on July 31, 2012

Yup, Noisebridge was on my list to check out. I'll be there tonight!
posted by nominal at 4:45 PM on July 31, 2012

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