Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hidden Costs

One of the threads (ha!) on the #fairfiberwage topic on the internet is that of the hidden costs that go on regardless of the actual teaching fee being requested by teachers.  

The beta edits are beginning to arrive.  I have completed two, both of which were extensive (plus my own, done on a hard copy, because that's the way my brain works best, usually) and I am about to go to Staples and print the updated file out again.  

But here's the thing.  Those 133 or so pages that I was working from are now garbage.  Well, recycle, but you get the drift.  

So far I have invested countless hours generating the text to date. Printed out multiple copies for my own use, relied on the good will of a chosen few alpha and now beta readers.  And the book is still less than 50% complete.  I have used up printer cartridges to print out early versions, sucked electricity to run both computer and printer.  Burned the midnight oil.  And all of this effort done long before the book is ready for sale.  This is not unique to me, this is the effort that goes into any book.  There is a reason most authors only produce one book a year.  A technical book, in my experience, takes longer, partly because of the difficulty of rendering information in text, which is generally best seen done.  So, lots of photos, diagrams, and now, thanks to modern technology, perhaps even embedded video clips.

Teaching classes requires much the same sort of hidden effort.  Many students have no idea of the amount of effort required, nor the hours of marketing that are required.  The logistics of setting up teaching tours/dates.  Teachers who rely on teaching for part, or all, of their income stream are not just working the hours of the class.  They are doing hours if not days of preparation.  Then there is the challenge of physically getting from home to point A, B, C.  

At a recent five day class, I got precisely one 'coffee break'.  My only other 'breaks' were to run down the hall for a bathroom break.  And even then I have been known to field questions...  

One of the things to remember, as a consumer if educational products is that you get a whole lot more than what you see of the instructors time, effort and energy.  

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