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Guidelines for Teachers

This Guidelines for Teachers is currently in version 1.2.

Future versions will be powered by your input, so please suggest the changes you believe appropriate.

Thank you for teaching at The People’s Colloquium!

Table of Contents

  1. About
  2. Becoming a Teacher at The People's Colloquium
  3. Q&A
  4. Education and Curriculum
  5. Compensation
  6. Vision: a Corps of Independent Teachers
  7. Having the Role Revoked
  8. Class Proposal Form; Background Check; Example Syllabus; Class Contract

1. About

This document contains information about teaching through The People’s Colloquium.

New and established teachers alike should be familiar with this document’s contents and protocols.

This document should be reviewed for updates before the start of each new class offered through The People’s Colloquium. (Comparing version numbers is a good way to determine if this document needs to be reviewed.)

2. Becoming a Teacher at The People's Colloquium

This section outlines the necessary steps to teach at The People's Colloquium.

2.1 Understanding the role

In addition to understanding these Guidelines for Teachers, the following should be understood:

  1. Guidelines for Participation
  2. Guidelines for Facilitation

Any questions should be addressed to the executive director by email at

2.2 Providing The Colloquium with information about the teacher and the class

The teacher must:

  1. provide a resume, including 3 professional references and the contact information of previous/current employers.
  2. provide a completed Class Proposal Form. Please see section 8 for the Class Proposal From. This form must be completed for each stand alone class and class series offered through The People’s Colloquium.

Please send materials to the executive director at

Materials will be reviewed after they have been received.

  • If approved, the teacher will proceed to the next step in this process.
  • If not approved, the executive director will respond with an explanation why. If appropriate, this explanation will include advice about how to transform the proposed class or class series so that it is in line with The People’s Colloquium’s educational mission.

2.3 Providing The People's Colloquium with proof of identification and a background check

The teacher must provide:

  1. Proof of identity, either in the form of a state ID, driver’s license, or passport. A digital copy of these materials should be emailed to
  2. A background check, which is to be sent To The People’s Colloquium at the teacher’s expense. Please see section 8 for a link to our preferred platform for background checks.

The background check will be reviewed after it and the proof of identity have been received. If accepted, as deemed by the executive director with oversight by the Board of directors either as the executive director or board of directors deems necessary, the teacher will proceed to the next step in this process. It is The People’s Colloquium’s imperative to only hire teachers whose background checks reveal conscientiousness and good character.

2.4 Demonstrating a lecture

  • The teacher must demonstrate a lecture.

Those participating in the demonstration class will be The People’s Colloquium’s executive director, available Board Directors, Colleagues, and others that the executive director sees fit to include. This demonstration needs only happens once, and should last around 30 minutes.

If necessary, the executive director will provide feedback about the lecture, which may culminate in the teacher having to improve the style of their delivery or the quality of their class materials before their proposed class or class series may commence.

2.5 Signing the Class Contract

  • The teacher must sign a Class Contract Form for each class or series of classes taught at The People’s Colloquium. A copy of this form can be found in section 8.

3. Q&A

3.1 What is The People’s Colloquium looking for in a teacher?

The People’s Colloquium is looking for scholars and intellectuals who are passionate about the arts and humanities, and who are looking to share their knowledge in a structured but casual atmosphere of learning.

A teacher should ideally have: (1) teaching experience, (2) professional degrees (masters/PhD or equivalent), and/or (3) demonstrable expertise. Of these, having demonstrable expertise is the only necessary criterion.

All classes at The People’s Colloquium pertain to the arts and humanities. For more information, see section 4.

3.2 Why become a teacher at The People’s Colloquium?

  • You're passionate about your subject matter(s) and wish to share your knowledge.
  • You want to earn a supplementary income teaching through The People’s Colloquium.
  • You believe there should be free and inclusive alternatives beyond what colleges and universities provide for practicing creative art and studying in the humanities.
  • You want to build your resume or strengthen an application.

3.3 How often will a teacher actually teach?

It depends on the following variables:

  • How Frequently the teacher wishes to teach
  • How many classes per week The People’s Colloquium is able to pay for
  • The number of active and interested teachers at The People’s Colloquium
  • The number of classes/class series that a teacher is capable and qualified to teach.

3.4 What does a class consist of?

A single class consists of a 2 hour long lecture, with up to a 20-minute break, scheduled Monday evenings from 7:00pm-9:00pm, or Saturday afternoons from 3:00pm - 5:00pm.

Classes may either stand alone or fall within a series.

Classes may be accompanied by optional workshops or discussions. See section 4 for more information.

3.5 How does The People’s Colloquium support its classes and teachers?

The People’s Colloquium offers the following:

  • Paid compensation; details in section 5.
  • An educational ecosystem for classes to fall within; details in section 4.
  • Advertising for classes.
  • Venue procurement.
    • Note: classes meet at a coffee-shop or restaurant unless other venue requirements are requested; all venue spaces will be private, quiet, and suited to giving a lecture. Students and teachers are encouraged but not mandated to purchase food and drink as they participate.
  • Procurement and copy-right usage of class resources (paid if necessary).
  • Hosting class resources on The People’s Colloquium’s online forum system.
    • Note: all class resources posted online are open and freely available to the public, even to non-students.
  • Additional administration, including discipline, when necessary.
  • Optional monthly meetings to discuss how to be successful as a teacher at The People’s Colloquium.

4. Education and Curriculum

4.1 The People’s Colloquium’s Educational Ecosystem

The following comprises The People’s Colloquium’s educational ecosystem:

  • The People’s Ink—a writer’s workshop, offering critique groups for the written word.
  • The People’s Stage—a stage-based workshop, for those who want to share art, ideas, and words with an engaged audience.
  • The People’s Lectures—lectures in the creative arts and humanities.
  • The People’s Dialogue—discussions in the creative arts and humanities.
  • People’s Colloquiums—social events for artists and thinkers.

A teacher may make use of the educational ecosystem:

  • by encouraging written assignments to be critiqued within The People’s Ink, a writer’s workshop.
  • by encouraging spoken word assignments to be performed at The People’s Stage, a stage-based workshop.

In both of these cases, the participant or student will demonstrate their grasp of class materials by incorporating them into a larger intellectual framework—an essay or a speech. When presenting to the workshops, participants and students are beholden to a group of peers to be informative, convincing, enlightening, inspiring, and more.

  • by arranging for a discussion through The People’s Dialogue, that will be facilitated by the teacher or by another People’s Colloquium trained and approved facilitator. While offering discussions are optional, doing so is encouraged, should the teacher have the time and resources.

A teacher should indicate in the Class Proposal Form how they wish to make use of the People’s Colloquium’s educational ecosystem.

4.2 Curriculum

101-level classes

The following class series are ongoing through The People’s Colloquium, and make up our “core curriculum.”

  • Philosophy 101—an overview and introduction to Western philosophy. Any one of these topics may form the basis of a class series.
    • The Athenians
    • The Ancient Schools
    • Medieval Philosophy
    • The Foundations of Modernism I
    • The Foundations of Modernism II
    • Continentalism and Existentialism
    • Postmodernism
    • Pragmatism and Logical Positivism
    • The Philosophy of Science
  • Theory and Criticism 101—an overview and introduction to theory and criticism. The following subject matters may be covered either solely or in combination. Any one of these topics may form the basis of a class series.
    • Classics in Theory and Criticism
    • Aestheticism Theory and Criticism
    • Psychoanalytic Theory Theory and Criticism
    • Archetype Theory and Criticism
    • Marxist Theory and Criticism
    • Ecological/Environmental Theory and Criticism
    • Semiotics and Structuralism
    • Formalism
    • Poststructuralism and Deconstructionism
    • New Historical Theory and Criticism
    • Cultural Theory and Criticism
    • Feminist Theory and Criticism
    • Queer Theory and Criticism
    • African AmericanTheory and Criticism
    • Post-Colonial Theory and Criticism
  • Narrative Theory and Technique 101—an overview and introduction to narrative theory and technique. Teachers are welcome to add or modify this list should they wish to teach the entire series.
    • Character
    • Plot/Arc-of-Action
    • Style/Voice/Narration
    • Technique and Experimentation
    • Theme/message/purpose

In addition to the core curriculum of philosophy, theory/criticism, and narrative, The People’s Colloquium is interested in offering the following classes.

  • Great ideas—class series covering topics in the arts and humanities. Examples: Transcendentalism; Fantasy Writing; Logic and Rhetoric, etc.
  • Noteworthy Individuals—class series covering noteworthy thinkers. Examples: Albert Camus; James Baldwin; Frida Kahlo; etc.
  • Histories—class series covering topics in history. Examples: Ancient Greek History; American History; Chinese History; etc.
  • Art Craft—single classes or class series that relate to an artistic craft, e.g., visual art, public speaking, and more.

5. Compensation

The People’s Colloquium pays teachers $140 per single class. A single class includes a 2-hour lecture.

A single class can: 1) stand alone, for instance, "Art in Florence during the 1400s," 2) be part of a class series taught along with other teachers, for instance, teaching the "Aestheticism Theory and Criticism" class in the Theory and Criticism 101 series, or 3) be part of a class series taught alone, for instance, "Art of the Renaissance from 1400AD - 1700AD."

The People’s Colloquium does not compensate for any of the following: corresponding with participants and students; preparing class materials; travel-time; taking part in the workshops; or anything else besides providing a 2-hour lecture.

Important: teachers are also welcome to teach as a volunteer for The People’s Colloquium if they wish. While this is in no way expected, it is always appreciated.

6. Vision: a corps of independent teachers

The People’s Colloquium envisions a corps of independent teachers in the arts and humanities who are legally, technologically, and with business-savviness, equipped to offer their knowledge and services throughout the Portland Metropolitan area.

In a future version of this document, The People’s Colloquium will seek to provide guidance and resources for this independent corps of teachers.

7. Having the Role Revoked

This decision is up to the discretion of the executive director with guidance provided by the board of directors, as either the board of directors or executive director deem necessary.

Some reasons for having the role revoked include a breach in the code of conduct or general inability to perform one’s responsibilities as a teacher.

8. Class Proposal Form; Background Check; Example Syllabus; Class Contract

Class Proposal Form

Background Check

Example Syllabus

Class Contract