teach a class

How Trade School works

Trade School is a non-traditional learning space where learners barter with teachers.

You can sign up to teach by filling in a short form or meet one of the friendly Trade School Dudley organisers for a cuppa to chat through your idea. Just email hello@colabdudley.net to arrange a chat.

Once we've agreed your class idea, when you'd like to teach, and what you want in exchange for teaching we will put your class on this website for learners to sign up.

On the day of class, you will meet your learners, receive your barter items, and run your class. We are there to help and the atmosphere is always relaxed, friendly and fun.


Trade School is a workshop where people barter for knowledge.

Knowledge is practical skills, talents, knowledge and experience.

Anyone can teach, anyone can learn.

No teaching experience is required.

Everyone is welcome to attend classes. 

No money exchanges hands.

Teachers give their knowledge in return for barter items.


Your class

Your class can be about anything and can be structured in any way you like. 

Just be sure that you feel comfortable setting the tone and sharing information. You are in charge during your class! Past topics and approaches to teaching have ranged from keeping urban chickens to looking at Modern Art; from learning to crochet to learning a language. We find that learners want to get to know each other, so classes work best with break-out groups, work in pairs, and lots of participation.

Be aware of the space the classes will take place in. What do you need? Will it be noisy? Do you need any resources? We will help you with these questions but just keep that in mind.

Also, we need you to help promote your class. We promote Trade School classes in gather and other local vanues, and through social media, but you can also help to publicise your class. So, if you're giving a 'Drawing 101' class, why not email local drawing groups? Or share on art Facebook pages, ask your friends to retweet the details, put a sign in a nearby shop or community centre, etc.


Your barter items

Think of the barter items you ask for as a giant wish list. Make it as long and as creative as you can. This is a way for students to get to know you, or to begin learning about your topic before class begins. Try to ask for skills and non-monetary things (like research, advice, tips, help cleaning up, enthusiasm) as much as monetary-requests (like clothes, food, materials, etc.). So we would suggest that your barter items are cheap/free where possible please, as this keeps it more easily accessible for everyone. 


Choosing a venue for your class

When you register your class you will be asked to choose a venue and timeslot for your class. The venue we are currently using on the High Street in Dudley has 4 spaces you can choose from: the coffee shop, the Inspiration Lab, the Workshop and a small urban garden. We recommend reading our venue information before you register your class. 

Have a look at our past classes for inspiration, and check out what classes have been in other places around the world on this website (click on TS HQ to return to the homepage with all the places with Trade Schools listed).

You can do it, it'll be great fun and we're here to help!