Interested in teaching
Costume On is a biannual virtual conference- every spring and fall students from all over the world register and attend classes online. The event is live, with several 'channels' of simultaneous classes happening over a 2 day weekend schedule.
See below for more information.
HOW DO I SUBMIT TO TEACH AT COSTUME ON?
Email me at email@example.com. I require a proposal (summary of idea/format) for each class you'd like to teach. The ensuing process would then require an outline for each class and a video clip sample showing items/setup/lighting/you speaking.
I curate the classes for format and content, working with the teacher to develop the workshop. Classes should be professional and polished, teachers should be prepared. I require a class description, price, size and promo pics that you have permission to use/are copyright-free. I will also need a teacher bio and pic for the website.
Before the conference, I require teachers to do a short live Zoom with me that acts as a dress rehearsal so we can work out tech details and fix issues before class.
You must be comfortable managing a group, clearly and patiently explaining techniques (not simply repeating) and creating an effective yet detailed class format. The intent is a fun and academic base that welcomes and supports a variety of skill levels in an approachable manner. I personally encourage beginners to try new/more complex things, but with the understanding that the class may then be in a demo capacity for them. Costume On teachers have always offered follow-ups for student questions via the Facebook forums or email- my goals include a high level of service, a quality experience and no costumer left behind.
You must also be comfortable with presenting on-camera, and have adequate tech- a solid, reliable internet connection, bright lighting, decent audio and a presentable workspace. If you are demonstrating techniques, embroidery/sewing or showing items, an additional webcam is recommended. Holding items up to a laptop cam is not sufficient.
Teachers are urged to create a one-sheet pdf handout for each class with a Costume On header and class title- recommended reading, links for supplies, etc. Not mandatory, but students like them. Teachers are also invited to stop by student orientation to speak briefly about a few highlights of their upcoming class(es). Students loved this and it resulted in several new class registrations.
WHO ARE THE TEACHERS?
Professional costumers, educators, hobby costumers, museum curators- it's a mix. I do not require professional teaching credentials, but I do require experience in instructing students.
In the past, Costume On teachers have been a variety of races and orientations, as it should be. :) The conference is an inclusive safe space for both students and teachers. All Costume On teachers must agree to and abide by the Code of Conduct.
HOW ARE CLASSES FORMATTED?
Classes can be lectures, demonstrations, workshops. I urge the use of multiple cameras and screensharing for photos/Powerpoint presentations to make the most of the media. Classes are live- sometimes they incorporate recorded videos to show examples (youtube, etc), but these are short. I prefer that teachers do not record themselves to simply play in class as it defeats the purpose of a live conference.
The general format is kept simple, no complex tech setups or other videconferencing features. The focus is on the teacher and the material. Every class has a volunteer admin sitting in to moderate and manage the tech so the teacher can just teach. To teach a class, you simply use the login link as if you were a student, your admin is a ridealong with moderator powers to support you.
Smaller workshops have attendance caps from 8-12 students typically, some demo presentations can be up to 18, and general lectures may have unlimited spots, depending. I place caps on the roster based on the factor of student questions- a class teaching specific techniques will derail quickly if there are too many students. The limits mentioned work well, are based on previous experience and eliminated any further issue.
I typically require all students to be muted during class unless they have a question to prevent background noise. In a smaller, more informal class, they may unmute themself and ask as per the teacher's preference. In larger lectures, I require that they type their question into the chat where it will be read aloud at intervals by the moderator.
WHEN WILL THE CLASS SCHEDULE BE POSTED?
When I list the classes on the website, with descriptions/cost/etc. It will be in advance of registration opening, so that students can review and decide what they want to take.
When teachers submit to teach, we discuss prospective class date/time in advance so that I have guidelines to work from when creating the master schedule. I try to accommodate everyone's schedule and interests to the best of my ability. If an instructor is teaching two classes, I like to split them up into one class per day to keep things manageable and they are able to take a workshop themself.
HOW DOES REGISTRATION WORK?
Classes are taken a la carte. Class listings on the website have individual registration buttons- clicking them takes the student to a pre-registration form specific to that class.
Students pay a pre-registration fee of a few dollars- the form and the fee goes to me. I pre-screen registrants and set up the class rosters for teachers with student info in Google Drive, then send the teacher a link. The teachers then contact students for billing/payment & cancellation policies, and are paid directly. Teachers must check the roster every 1-2 days and stay on top of billing/updating student status. Wait-listed students are not billed until they get in.
Example- Sewing Class XYZ is $15. It is listed on the website as $15. When a student clicks to register, the pre-registration form explains the terms and bills for a pre-registration fee of $5. The student's info is added to the class roster, the teacher then bills them for $15. Total cost to student- $20 ($5 pre-registration + $15 for class).
The pre-registration fee comes directly from the student, not out of what the teacher is paid. The pre-registration fee is in addition to the class price. The pre-registration form spells this out in detail and will not proceed unless students click YES I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE, but inevitably some always do not read what they are clicking, then complain.
The pre-registration fee goes to me and covers- the months of prep, designing and creating the website, curating the classes, promo work, mailing list announcements, etc. Months of work.
WHAT IS THE COST TO TEACH A CLASS?
Costume On/1886 is not a nonprofit, but is structured in favor of teachers. The only fee I ask is a reimbursement of a few dollars per class for the tech costs. I have to set up several paid Zoom accounts for the conference, the money goes to that, the add-on for registration forms through the website and a small treat for the admin volunteers as a thank-you. It is proportionate to the cost of the class, and the fee is per class (not per student in the class).
I waive the pre-registration and reimbursement fees for museums/historical institutions of this nature, it is free for them to participate whether they charge for class or not.
**Master Classes will have a slightly different policy, please ask**
CAN I PROMOTE MY PERSONAL BUSINESS/SERVICES?
Yes- in the teacher bio (links are fine) and also on the class handout. I do not allow sales of individual items/sales during class, as the focus should be on the material.
DO YOU RECORD THE CLASSES?
Short answer- no. I do record screenshots/brief snippets of classes strictly for promo purposes- and choose flattering views that do not divulge personal info or class content that gives away proprietary material. The promo purposes are posting photos on social media as examples of classes and in the near future I will be putting together some short video spots as 'commercials'.
Teachers retain the rights to their own material. The student Welcome Packet explicitly states this, and I specify this again during orientation. The information is meant for personal use- there was an incident of a student who mentioned they planned to take a class and then make and sell the item from that workshop. That student was warned, then banned prior to class when they didn't take the hint.
HOW DO I HANDLE KITS/CLASS SUPPLIES?
Kits can be problematic due to shipping delay/issue, but teachers have done them for classes with listed cutoff dates- students who order after that date do so with the understanding that it may not arrive in time for class.
I require teachers to send supply lists to students when billing them, so they can make an informed decision about taking the class based on what will be required (no surprises). I ask that (effective) quarantine substitutions be mentioned on the list when possible- I do not want anyone to have to risk their safety to purchase supplies for class, they should be able to either order the items to be shipped to them or use an alternative they may have on hand.
HOW DO I GET PAID FOR CLASS?
Your choice- you are billing students directly, so whether you run it through your website or send a Paypal request, it's your call. I require teachers to send students their payment/cancellation policies when billing, so that students have a deadline to either respond or free up that spot and the consequences of nonpayment/cancellation have been clearly stated. I require the payment deadline to be no longer than 2-3 days to keep everything on point.
CAN I TAKE A CLASS?
CAN I INVITE MY RELATIVE/FRIEND TO TAKE MY CLASS?
You are welcome to register for any classes that don't conflict with your own- several Costume On teachers have also taken classes during the conference. To do so, you would pre-register and be billed just as any other student. The 'comps' available to teachers are the General Lounge chat room and the free bonus classes- the classes are otherwise separate with individual teachers.
I typically do not permit additional free students in classes as it ruins the attendance caps and bypasses the pre-registration. Pre-registration pays me for months of work, it pays for the admin treats, and I pre-screen students to ensure a safe space. The sharing of class links for free attendance is not allowed and results in a ban without refund for both parties. Admins take attendance from class rosters and will remove unregistered students.
**The one exception is if you are giving a lecture with open/no attendance cap and I have approved it beforehand**
Additionally, I do not allow early registrations for classes- everyone has to go through the pre-registration process when it formally opens to the public. Including my mother. :) This policy is in place to be fair and respectful to all students and teachers participating in Costume On.
DOES THE CONFERENCE OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS?
Yes! Many teachers graciously offer some free spots in classes for scholarship students. These students formally register, but the pre-registration fee is waived and I note their status on the class roster. Scholarship status is otherwise kept confidential, the student attends as any other.
I have received donations of money in the past for scholarship funds and applied them to both Costume On and Master Classes when there was a remainder left after the conference. I am currently planning a virtual fundraiser to acquire scholarship funds, donations of both goods and services are enthusiastically welcomed. Attendees will pay an entry fee of a few dollars for the chance to win donated prizes.
If you know of a student who is unable to register due to financial hardship, please email me.