[BSDCert] Tried to mail this at bsdcertification.org - Help a potential educator
Jeremy C. Reed
reed at reedmedia.net
Sat Nov 5 15:04:58 EST 2005
> Now, during my days of more involved computer nerdom, I played a lot
> with Linux and FreeBSD, and to my surprise, I feel very comfortable with
> the skills outlined and listed. So much so, that I feel I could most
> likely teach them.
> I really dont know how to go about getting started in something like
> this. I think I could write a lesson plan, and lay out a course, but I
> need marketing and a facility to teach in. I am really not sure about
> how to go about finding those things.
> I am not sure what I am asking for right now, if anything at all, but I
> would like to be involved, and this struck me as a good way to break
> into teaching. If there is anyone there that could maybe offer some
> direction, it would be greatly appreciated.
I teach various BSD admin classes.
I started by giving short lectures around eight years ago. Started with
one hour topics and sometimes three hour presentations. I wrote details
outlines which turned into very short curriculum for the lectures. I
volunteered to give lectures at different user groups and conferences.
(Before that I took college classes in "teaching" physical education. And
I volunteered numerous times teaching Sunday School church classes. And I
coached basketball. These are not the same, but I feel they helped
one-way-or-another with class preparation and delivery.)
I called and contacted and visited numerous facilities for giving
lectures. I scheduled conference rooms and meeting rooms for classes.
Slowly built mailing lists, webpages, advertised online, wrote press
releases and sent to online sites and to local newspapers, submitted to
events calendars (print and online), told people about presentations, etc.
I gave probably over 15 presentations on Samba, BSD, Apache, BIND, Exim,
et cetera over a couple years.
I charged a nominal amount to help cover the costs for renting conference
I had a few companies ask me for custom, onsite training on things like,
FreeBSD installation, basic Unix skills, setting up X, using SSH, etc. I
wrote and rewrote courseware and taught.
I sent proposals to community education programs. One proposal got
forwarded to a community college and they contacted me and I worked with
them to schedule several classes and I taught a few classes -- my own
course description and my own curriculum.
I also worked with some other schools where they found their own students
for me to teach my curriculum.
I also scheduled classrooms and worked at advertising the courses. In a
few cases, I didn't have enough students sign up so had to cancel classes.
In some cases, I taught one-on-one (and didn't rent the training
classroom but rented an office).
Also, I had different students contact me and they we worked together to
schedule a class location and time to work for all (to keep costs down).
And sometimes, I end up doing custom, on-location classes instead for the
students who were first interested in the open enrollment classes.
And I worked with a few well-known organizations who marketed/sold my
classes for me. (This didn't turn out any better though.) And I also had
training facilities attempt to sell the classes.
I often spend over 40 hours in preparing and improving curriculum and
courseware for each four day class.
I probably spend around 40 hours (or more) also on marketing, writing and
distributing press announcements, making phone calls, talking with
potential students, etc.
The computer classroom rentals range around $800 to $1400 per day (U.S.
dollars in Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Seattle areas).
My other expenses are courseware (plan on $10 per book even if you print
yourself), supplemental books, laptop(s), travel, hotels/accomodations,
phone calls, car rentals, food and per diem, new slacks and shirts, etc.
It really adds up.
(Every once in a while I hear a complaint about the costs for my or other
training classes. I guess they expect me to volunteer my time and my money
I also bought a few systems, LCD displays, etc and hauled them to
different meeting rooms. That was too much work and hassle for me. (I
prefer to use a ready-to-use computer lab.)
Google and local phone book and local user groups can help you find
From my experience, the target audience for *BSD system admin training is
either hard to find -- or they can't or won't take classes. It is not just
*BSD, but can be difficult to find students for Apache training, etc.
I hope the above gives you some ideas.
A few others on this list also teach BSD or related classes.
I'd be glad to hear about others' experiences too and also ideas on how to
Jeremy C. Reed
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