Instructor Agreement

This agreement is intended to provide information on teaching with DFS, and will answer most questions.  If you have any questions after reading, please let us know -- registrar@driftlessfolkschool.org.

Even if you are a returning instructor, we encourage you to read this!  We have added new information and revised the old.  (Important sections for returning instructors to note are: CLASS CANCELLATION, PROMOTION, and AGE RESTRICTIONS)

A link to the APPLY TO TEACH form is at the end of this agreement.  This form is important to complete thoroughly; it covers all DFS needs to ensure your class runs smoothly.

Completing the APPLY TO TEACH form indicates your intention to teach with DFS.  If your class is accepted, as an instructor, DFS assumes you will take care in representing the Driftless Folk School.  When conducting a class, instructors should be mindful of the views, beliefs, or philosophies held by individual students. Discussion of polarizing topics can counteract a positive class experience.   

DFS provides classes in homesteading, culinary arts, farming, gardening, wilderness skills, alternative energy, natural building, and self-reliance.  >>> Please note, not all classes can be accepted.

 

COMMUNICATION WITH DFS:

  • Email is the preferred method of communication at DFS.  It provides staff, instructors, and students with a written record of information.  If phone contact is your preferred method, please let us know.
  • Please provide your complete email address, phone, and mailing address on the APPLY TO TEACH form.
  • DFS employs 2 part-time staff: Registrar and Outreach Coordinator.  They are available most weekdays from 10am-2pm.  All communication DFS receives will be answered as promptly as possible.  On weekends with classes, the DFS phone will be on to help students find class locations.  Students may also call you for directions.  Emails received on weekends will be answered the following business day.
  • As student-instructor liaison, the Registrar communicates all class information from you to students, and vice versa, in a timely and accurate manner.  You will be cc’d on all Registrar-student emails.
  • If students need specific information - special clothing, equipment, tools, etc - please include this on the APPLY TO TEACH form.  If you wish to communicate directly with students to address specific class needs, email addresses may be provided upon request.
  • If your class is accepted, DFS will contact you via email.  At this time, we will also verify important details - date of class, time, etc.  Please watch for this email.  We appreciate your prompt communication.
  • 3 weeks before your class, the Registrar will email you.  Class location, pertinent details, and an enrollment update are all included in this important email.  After that, frequent email communication will continue, as needed, and if you have questions at any time, please contact the Registrar.
  • Days before your class, the Registrar will email you a final Roster, providing you with student names and where they are from.
  • In the days after your class, the Registrar will email you an Instructor Invoice.  This invoice is your means to be paid, based on how many students you taught.  It can be downloaded, completed, and mailed to DFS, or completed on your computer and emailed to our bookkeeper.  It is the instructor’s responsibility to complete this invoice.  You will receive a check within one month of the class date if returned promptly.  Payment breakdown:
 

Cost to Student

To Instructor

Lunch, per person

To DFS

Half-Day Class

$45

$20

N/A

$25

Full-Day Class

$75

$30

$8

$37

  • In addition to the above, there is the SUPPLY FEE.  You are responsible for setting your Supply Fee.  This number is determined by considering the following:  What materials will I need to supply to students, and how much will they cost per person?  As an instructor, you receive all supply fees per student.  Typically, supply fees range from $10 - $30 depending upon material costs.  The supply fee is added to the ‘Cost to Student’ above, and the total amount is what students pay upon registration.  Please record your supply fee amount on the APPLY TO TEACH form.
  • After your class, students are given the option to complete an online class evaluation form, to provide feedback to DFS about your class.  Emailed to students by the Registrar on the Monday after the class, this evaluation form is submitted anonymously, and we encourage open and honest comments.  After students are given a few weeks to submit the form, the data is compiled, and the Registrar will email you this feedback.  You are also given the option to provide DFS with feedback.  A link to that form is provided in your Instructor Invoice email.

 

PROMOTION:

The Outreach Coordinator spreads the word about DFS by promoting classes, advertising the school itself, and connecting with the greater community.

  • All classes submitted to DFS by the print deadline (February 20th, 2017) will be promoted:
    • Online --
      • driftlessfolkschool.org
      • Facebook events
      • Regional community calendars (Viroqua, La Crosse, Rochester, Madison)
    • Events DFS attends throughout Wisconsin --
      • Farmer’s markets, conventions, expos, etc.
    • Printed catalog

>>> IMPORTANT: Applications received after print deadlines will result in online class promotion ONLY.

  • DFS promotes all classes using the baseline mediums and methods above.  However, DFS reserves the right to promote classes beyond this baseline, as we see fit.
  • Promotion is a partnership!  We encourage you to advertise your own class by word-of-mouth, on social media, or with your own funds.  
  • If you promote your class online, please link to our website and Facebook event created for your class.  If you have promotional materials or images you would like us to use for your class, please send us links, files, or copy.
  • We will do all we can within the methods described above, to promote your class.  If a class is under-enrolled, and must be cancelled, DFS cannot be held responsible.  

 

ENROLLMENT:

  • As an instructor, you choose your minimum and maximum student enrollment numbers.
  • Your minimum student enrollment number is very important.
  • If your class does not reach your minimum number of students by the MONDAY BEFORE THE CLASS, your class will cancel.  >>> Please see ‘CLASS CANCELLATION’ below, for more.
  • Keep in mind, your minimum enrollment number is the smallest number of students you can reasonably teach, while still making it worth your time and energy.  This number should take into account that the primary reason for class cancellation is low enrollment, and classes sometimes cancel at 1 student short.  This number should not be approached as a number you hope to get; rather, it is the lowest possible number of students you will accept.
  • Your maximum student enrollment number can depend on a variety of factors:  materials, equipment, location limitations, etc.  This number is often no more than 10.
  • You will enter both of these numbers into the APPLY TO TEACH form.

 

CLASS CANCELLATION:

  • Prior to your class, the Registrar will email you with the number of students enrolled in your class, and will continue to email as that number changes.
  • If enrollment is low, the Registrar will communicate cancellation may be imminent.  If enrollment is still below your minimum number by 2pm on the MONDAY BEFORE THE CLASS, DFS will close registration and cancel the class.
  • If your class is 1 student short of your minimum number, you may opt to keep registration open until WEDNESDAY.  >>> Doing so, however, means you agree to run the class even if 1 more student does not register.  >>> If you choose this option, please tell the Registrar before 2pm on MONDAY.  If we do not hear from you by 2pm on MONDAY, DFS will assume the class should be cancelled, and will do so.
  • If your class enrollment is ABOVE your minimum number of students by 2pm on the MONDAY before the class, your class will run, and enrollment will be left open until WEDNESDAY.
  • This clear-cut class cancellation policy is necessary because, 1) it will provide already-enrolled students with plenty of advance notice of cancellation, 2) it will give DFS staff an across-the-board, exact cut-off date for promotion and administrative tasks, and 3) deadlines give instructors a clear enrollment number, with adequate time to gather materials.  
  • The registration deadline of the MONDAY BEFORE THE CLASS will be visible to students at registration, on our website, and in our catalog.  DFS recognizes if potential students are given a distinct registration deadline, they may sign-up earlier.

 

CLASS TIMES / CLASS LOCATION:

  • As an instructor, you choose what time of day you would like to hold your class.  Below are the times of day DFS offers classes.  Please specify your preference on the APPLY TO TEACH form.
  • Classes at DFS always occur on Saturdays or Sundays, throughout the year.

Half-day:

         -- 9am - 12:30pm

         -- 1pm - 4:30pm

Full-day:

         -- 9am - 4:30pm

2-day:

         -- 9am - 4:30pm both days

 

  • DFS will choose the best location for your class, unless otherwise indicated.
  • If seasonally appropriate, and if your class works with our current campus space, your class will be held on the Driftless Folk School Campus.  
  • If another location is more suitable, DFS staff will help you find the best fit.  Other locations include…
    • Youth Initiative High School -- located on the top 2 floors of a historic schoolhouse, this location offers classrooms, a basic kitchen, and is close to downtown Viroqua, WI.  It should be noted an elevator is not available at this location.
    • La Farge Village Hall -- located in La Farge, WI, this space offers a large common room upstairs with wood floors and handicap accessibility via an outdoor ramp.  In the basement, a basic kitchen and communal space is available.
    • Kickapoo Culinary Center -- this new facility located in upper Gays Mills, WI, offers a large communal space, classrooms, and a state-of-the-art kitchen.  Visit kickapooculinary.org for a full equipment list, virtual tour, and further information.
  • For your information:  The Driftless Folk School Campus is located on a parcel of land, near a privately owned residence, in rural La Farge, WI.  The campus is a rustic location.  It is equipped with an outdoor kitchen, a screen tent outdoor classroom, a timber-frame outdoor classroom, and a small cabin.  Although a bath house is under development, facilities are currently limited to a pit toilet and a potable water source.  The campus closes down during winter months.
  • In some cases, holding your class at your residence is an option.  If this seems feasible, please contact DFS staff to discuss further.

 

LUNCH:

  • Students of all full-day or 2-day classes are given lunch, unless otherwise noted.  >>> Full-day / 2-day class instructors: please inform us ahead of time which lunch method you prefer.

Lunch can be provided several ways:

  • You can provide lunch for your students.
  • You may leave the class location with your students (if feasible) to procure lunch.  You will receive a reimbursement from DFS of $8/person.  This reimbursement option is included on the DFS Instructor Invoice.
  • A DFS volunteer will deliver lunch to you before noon.

 

CLASS HOST:

It is important to DFS that instructors are supported.  Appointing a class host to assist you on the day of your class is one way we achieve this goal.  

  • Class hosts are entirely optional.  Please indicate if you would like a class host for your class on the APPLY TO TEACH form.  
  • A DFS staff member or volunteer, your class host will arrive early to help you set up, chat with students to break the ice, provide students with DFS literature, and will deliver lunch if the class is full-day.
  • Class hosts will not stay for the entirety of your class, unless you request this ahead of time.  They are there to help you settle in, and will leave once you feel secure.

 

AGE RESTRICTIONS:

Due to the varied nature of classes, it is difficult for DFS to design an across-the-board policy on kids taking classes.  Therefore, as an instructor, YOU have the freedom to determine if you are comfortable allowing kids into your class, and at what age.  Please indicate this preference on the APPLY TO TEACH form.  All kids attending classes must be accompanied by an adult, unless you specify otherwise. 

Please consider the following before making the decision:

  • Young people often require more instruction, and this may detract from other students’ experience.
  • Kids require parent supervision at all times.  Parents should be made aware this, and as an instructor, you are not responsible for their child’s safety.
  • Some kids may not yet have developed necessary skills for certain tasks.
  • Attention span is a factor, too.  Can kids handle long instruction?

Please note:  DFS does not offer a reduced rate to kids.  Classes are participatory, instruction-based events, and kids receive the same instruction and opportunity for participation as adults attending the same class.

 

I have read the above information and would like to apply to teach with the Driftless Folk School

 

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Thank you for reading to the end!  If you have any questions, again, please email registrar@driftlessfolkschool.org.  We're happy to help!  And thank you for considering teaching with the Driftless Folk School!