The Loft plans to begin offering in-person classes at Open Book beginning January, 2022. We will also continue to offer online classes throughout the term, both Online/Live (via Zoom, and Google Classroom as a learning enhancement if you choose) and Online/Asynchronous (WetInk, no live meetings). Please choose which format you're proposing for the class proposal you're submitting.
Please also understand that if you choose to propose an in-person class and it is accepted, safety protocols surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may mean quick adaptations are necessary, either in the classroom, or by moving in-person content to a virtual format. Even if the class is already underway flexibility and adaptability are important and necessary as we continue to navigate programming through this pandemic.
The Loft will follow all CDC guidelines and safety protocols to keep students, teaching contractors, and staff safe in Open Book classrooms, including lowering classroom capacity rates (10 students max versus 17 or 30 for multi week or single session classes, respectively) and scheduling fewer in-person classes that usual (2-3 max, versus 5-6 in a given time frame), so we utilize only the largest classrooms with fewer people for social distancing.
Any statements in this form about COVID-19 safety protocols, such as class size maximums, the ability to teach in-person at Open Book, etc, is subject to change as guidelines and recommendations evolve. Please be patient and flexible with us as we try to plan for the future with evolving conditions.
Pease note the smaller class size does affect teacher pay rate, since the Loft model of teacher pay is on a per student, per contact hour basis. You can read more about compensation under the Terms of Agreement section below, to decide if teaching in-person with a smaller class size makes sense for you at this time. If it doesn't, please propose a class in one of our online formats.
If there are questions or concerns about this, please contact the Loft's education director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please familiarize yourself with The Loft's Teacher's Guide if you are a new teaching applicant, always available at loft.org; it's a comprehensive guide to getting many of your questions answered, including questions about compensation, our class cancellation policy, and much more. Please note it is a living document and is always a work in progress. Some of what is outlined in it is also stated below under "Terms of Agreement."
The Loft will deliver classes in three formats
In-Person class meetings at the Loft/Open Book. Classes will meet at Open Book, in one of the larger Loft classrooms, in downtown Minneapolis.
Real-Time/Live Meetings are the most similar to face-to-face classes. Classes meet live via Zoom and a scheduled time. Teachers of these classes may also use a Google Classroom to make materials available to students, especially for multiweek classes.
Flex Classes/No Live Meetings are a good option for teachers with variable schedules, and are perfect for students with unusual/variable schedules and/or unreliable Internet access. These classes take place on the Wet.Ink platform. Classes run week to week but students can sign in any time during the week to participate in message-board style discussions, read lectures, respond to writing prompts, etc. Because Wet.Ink is optimized for creative writing classes with tools to annotate and comment on documents, it is also a great choice for any classes with an extensive feedback or workshop component. These classes should have no scheduled live meetings with the entire class.
For this round of proposals we will ask you to pick ONE format for your class you think works best for you and the content of the class.
In order to teach online, Loft teaching artists must have a reliable and high speed internet connection and a computer, as well as basic knowledge of computer use, Zoom and Google Classroom, or WetInk. The Loft can not provide you with a computer or internet access. The Loft CAN provide you with limited training on Zoom, Google Classroom, and WetInk, mostly in the form of self training through linked videos and readings; please email the education director for more information at email@example.com.
What We're Looking For
A diverse group of teaching writers from all walks of life, who provide many different perspectives on approaches to teaching craft, the writing life, the (self- or traditional) publishing experience, etc. There are no required degrees or publishing credentials to teach at the Loft, just an active writing life and a desire to share your unique knowledge and experience with a curious student community. Please note, we do tend to prioritize teaching experience and some publishing credentials in those who want to propose "intermediate" or "advanced" classes in creative writing; in these offerings, students are often seeking the expertise of writers who have experience and accomplishment in these areas.
Diverse and inclusive reading lists and approaches to teaching craft. Proposals that include the names of 2-4 writers or a book/book excerpts likely to be read or studied as examples of strong writing craft are considered stronger proposals than those without. They must be from a diverse perspective - representation matters.
A strong, considered statement on how your class plan and teaching strategies will align with the Loft’s goal to be equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist in its classrooms and with its programming. If you need time to understand what the Loft means by this, or are simply curious for more information, here are some suggested resources—especially if you need help leading and navigating classroom discussions of student work as they relate to these topics:
How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
A Good Time for the Truth, edited by Sun Yung Shin
Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses
Anti-Racism Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom by Felicia Rose Chavez
Appropriate: A Provocation by Paisley Rekdal
Online Learning Resources:
For an idea of how the Loft continues to build knowledge and capacity on this, please visit Team Dynamics.com and IDIInventory.com
National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)
These are just a few of the many resources available on creating an inclusive learning environment in your classroom; if you are unsure of how to do this, or don't understand how to articulate how your lesson plan and teaching strategies will create this kind of environment in your classroom, feel free to connect with the Loft's education director before you propose your class (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Classes that are responsive to current events. The Loft has become a resource for people looking to navigate life online, from ways to increase proficiency in writing for an online audience, to ways to better navigate our new way of living and connecting virtually (writing for self care, journaling through hard times, creating community online). Classes designed to teach new job skills through creative writing are also in high demand (Copywriting 101, Editing 101, Descriptive Language, Communicate Effectively in Writing, etc ), as well as learning software or digital platforms used by writers (Scrivener, WetInk, etc).
Please don't forget, people still want to learn poetry, write their novel, and start their memoir, so classes on writing craft are still essential!
We are not an academic institution; there are no grades, tests, required reading, or papers required to complete a class. "Homework" is always optional.
Multiweek classes for writers in any genre or at any level. We are always looking for creative writing classes for adults in all genres and for all levels. Our students have a range of skill levels, commitment, and interests. We hope any writer looking in our catalog will find the class that's perfect for them. Be prepared to teach students with disparate skill sets and levels, interests, and abilities in a single class.
More advanced level classes are always needed; prior teaching experience and a record of professional accomplishment in the genre you'd like to teach are typically preferred for advanced classes.
12 week classes (for fall and winter/spring only, there are no 12 week classes in summer) with instruction on craft, engaging class discussion, in-class writing opportunities, and sharing of work with option for feedback, and clear goals and outcomes.
Strong and flexible lesson plans. Loft classes give writers opportunities to engage with their teaching artist and one another, while also providing content, instruction, engaging discussion, and in-class writing activities, as well as writing prompts students can work on between class meetings.
Sequential learning opportunities in all genres ("Introduction to...." that progresses to "Intermediate" and then "Advanced" term after term). This of course requires a commitment to come back and teach beyond just a single term. Please email the education program director at email@example.com with questions.
Advanced classes, especially in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction/memoir. (Again, please remember we also need beginning level classes, as well as those that are Open to All, so don't shy away from proposing those, as well as single sessions!).
Classes for Readers - these classes encourage critical thinking and civil discourse by placing great books at the center of each meeting. For Readers classes can focus on one book or a few, and they can incorporate writing practice or not. Please consider local, national, and global events currently affecting our community, and think about books that might address questions, themes, and social issues people are grappling with NOW. Books can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or a combination.
Thematic Classes. The theme for winter/spring term 2022 is:
Know Your Place (!)?:
A simple pin on a map can seem like a benign concept, but the idea of place complicates beyond location and relates to a spectrum of belonging and othering. You can have your place at the table (or not), compete for a place, lose your place, be put in your place, told to know your place, and even have a place all your own. This season the Loft will explore how we all negotiate the customs, rules, exceptions, connections, and relationships through the lens of place.
What we are not looking for We have not had success with classes that feel academic in nature (e.g., assigning academic writing texts, reading lists that are too long, reading classes built around classics) or are too niche (e.g., somatic writing, writing in translation). Please get to know our catalog and current offerings to see what we do. Again, reading lists should include recent works and diverse authors; reading lists should also be fairly brief. The Loft offers community based enrichment education, we are not an academic institution.
TERMS OF AGREEMENT
By continuing with this application you are indicating agreement with the following terms and code of conduct.
Teaching Artists are Independent Contractors As an independent contractor, please note that the Loft does not make deductions from your compensation for taxes. We’ll provide you with IRS Form 1099 at the beginning of each calendar year. You’ll need to indemnify the Loft against adverse rulings by any taxing authority as a result of the consulting contract or in the event that you fail to qualify as an independent contractor for tax purposes.
Compensation You’ll be paid $6.50 per student per contact hour based on enrollment for your second class meeting (students may drop the class during the first week). This pay rate is for all formats: In-person, Online/Live Meeting (Zoom), and Online/Asynchronous (WetInk). For example, if you are teaching a 6-week class (meeting 2 hours per week for 6 weeks) with an enrollment of 14 students, your compensation will be $1,092. Tuition alone does not cover the cost of the Loft’s sliding-fee classes, which are made possible, in part, through grants and individual donations. Please consider becoming a member of the Loft (membership is not required to teach at the Loft).
Those teaching a class for readers, which are more discussion based, facilitated book clubs, with no writing instruction involved, will be paid a flat rate of $50 per hour, regardless of the number of students enrolled. Minimums remain 7, maximums remain 12-17 (but 8 for an in-person class for winter/spring 2022), depending on the max choice of the teaching artist.
For all classes, there is a possibility your class could be cancelled, and no payment received, if class does not meet minimum enrollment numbers approximately 3-5 days before the start date. Please be active partners with us in marketing and promoting your classes across all possible channels!
Multi-week classes have a minimum enrollment requirement of 7 students, a maximum of 17 (for winter/spring 2022, we will lower the maximum allowed per in-person class to 8). Single and double session classes have minimum enrollment requirements of 7 students, maximum of 30 (for in-person single session classes, we will lower the maximum to 8). If you feel your class warrants different minimum/maximum enrollment requirements, please indicate this in the proposal form AND email the education director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be prompt in all communication, whether responding to Loft staff, or connecting with students.
Please ensure you have access to all required technology needed in order to teach well before your class meets, from a reliable internet connection, a working computer, and appropriate software platforms available (Zoom, WetInk) ready to go.
Please review all communication and technical training information sent by Loft staff well before your class is set to begin. Doing so the night before is often a recipe for disaster - or at least ill preparedness.
Teaching Artist Supervision and Performance Review As an independent contractor, you truly are working independently within the parameters of your teaching contract. Our main performance review tool is student evaluations, which we also send to you. It’s a good idea to survey your students mid-way through the class in order to build upon what students feel are the most helpful elements of the class, and to proactively address any concerns students may raise. If you’re teaching at the Loft for the first time, a member of the Education Team may attend your first class meeting to provide assistance, support, and encouragement.
Class Texts, Handouts, and Copy Fees Required texts for online classes should be readily available online, in bookstores, and/or in libraries. College textbooks are often too expensive for Loft students and not a good fit for enrichment classes. When you select texts, please keep in mind that some students may have limited time available for readings and assignments outside the classroom. Often Teaching Artists prefer hand-outs to books. Copy fees for hand-outs are not included in tuition; students pay you directly during class. Please be sure to bring enough hand-outs for your students. Emergency copies may be made at the Loft for .10 cents per copy. You may not require students to purchase books you have written unless your book is an instructional text on the content you’ll be teaching. Feel free to use your own work to illustrate a lesson, but please do not use class time to promote sales of your books, and don’t sell your books to students during class.
Controlled Substances Alcohol and other mood-altering drugs are prohibited while directly engaging with students, with the exception of medically prescribed or over-the-counter drugs.
Class Cancellation Due to Low Enrollment If five or six students are enrolled, you may choose to teach the class (please be aware that enrollment may further drop prior to your second class meeting). If fewer than five students are enrolled, the class is canceled, typically 3-5 business days before the first scheduled class meeting. Classes with seven or more students are considered viable.
Class Cancellation Due to Weather The Loft follows the University of Minnesota’s lead on class cancellations due to weather. If concerned, please call us at 612-379-8999. We’ll announce cancellations via an email, on our website, and on our phone line. (Note that this is our usual policy and does not pertain to this term unless severe weather results in widespread power and Internet loss).
Class Cancellation by Teaching Artist Please contact us if you will miss a class due to illness or emergency. We’ll inform your students and work with you to schedule a make-up class. Please do not arrange for a substitute to teach your class without prior approval from Loft staff. If you cancel a scheduled class you have agreed to teach or fail to show up for your class, you will ineligible to teach at the Loft in the future.
Criminal Background Check The Loft Literary Center is required by its policies and its insurance carrier to conduct a criminal background check on anyone who will work, in any capacity, with minors. Teaching artists who refuse the criminal background check will not be eligible to teach classes for children and/or teens.
Promotion of Non-Loft Programs and Services Many Teaching Artists also offer private services, and many teach at other organizations. We’re happy to include your website address in your Teaching Artist bio. Feel free to respond to student inquiries about your services and other classes, but please do not use class time to promote your services, books, or classes you teach at other organizations.
Code of Conduct The Loft has revised and expanded their code of conduct, especially around sexual harassment. Please see the complete document here. https://loft.amm.clockwork.net/_asset/f22zpb/Loft-Code-of-Conduct-March-2018.pdf