Teaching at Asmbly

From Asmbly Wiki

As an educational nonprofit, classes are a vital component of Asmbly and we are always interested in adding more teachers and courses to our schedule. Read on to learn more about classes we offer and how teaching works at Asmbly.

If you have an idea for a class you'd like to teach, or are interested in teaching one of our current classes, please reach out to classes@asmbly.org. We'd love to connect and learn more!

Core Classes

Most shop areas and machines have established curricula that are taught by trained teachers. These serve as our "core" classes. We offer these classes regularly and they are required for clearance to use certain shops or equipment.


  • Woodshop and Metal Shop Safety
  • Intro to Wood Lathe
  • Big Lasers
  • Small Lasers
  • Beginner CNC Router
  • MIG Welding
  • Intro to 3D Printing

Additional Classes

Asmbly also offers many other classes that are not required to use tools or shop areas. The focus of these classes varies from more detailed coverage of topics introduced in Core classes, to advanced techniques, to specific project-based classes. Some of these classes are offered on a regular schedule, but others are offered less frequently or on an on-demand basis.

The examples listed below are a sampling of some of these classes:

  • Illustrator and Design Basics
  • Cutting Board Build
  • Pen Turning
  • Fusion 360 for Wood CNC
  • Stained Glass
  • Laser Engraving Round Materials

Details of Teaching at Asmbly

All paid instruction that occurs at Asmbly must go through the Asmbly Education Team. We do not permit private instruction using our facilities and machines outside our scheduling without written approval from the board. Certification for machine or shop use is granted by Asmbly as an organization, not by teachers as individuals.  Asmbly reserves the right to award free classes to volunteer contributors with approval.

Asmbly aims to keep most classes on the schedule 45+ days in advance. As an Asmbly teacher, we expect you to work with the Asmbly Education Team to find dates and times 45+ days out when you can teach your classes.

Asmbly teachers are required to read and sign our Instructor Agreement. You will be sent a copy of the agreement to sign through SignNow as part of the teacher onboarding process.

Teaching Formats

Group Classes

Most classes at Asmbly are taught in a group format, consisting of 2-5 students and the teacher. We find that this size range offers a good balance of accessibility, hands-on time, and teacher interaction. We also strive to keep most group classes under ~$30/hr for student registration fees to keep classes affordable and accessible to the community.

Private Classes

For many classes, we also offer the option of private sessions. Asmbly teachers are paid the same rate for private classes as normal group classes, but are not required to offer this option. These private classes can be 1-on-1 or have multiple students. The Education Team will coordinate scheduling of these classes.

Checkout Classes

In the interest of accessibility, Asmbly offers checkout classes for many (but not all) tools in the space. However, we must ensure that any students who wish to bypass normal intro classes have the same or greater level of knowledge as students who have taken our intro classes. Additionally, students who do a checkout must be made aware of any policies and procedures specific to Asmbly.

Like private classes, Asmbly teachers are not required to offer checkout classes. Checkout classes are paid at the same hourly rate as normal classes, but are typically much shorter. Checkout classes consist of the student completing an intermediate-level task using the tool while being supervised by the teacher, but without being aided or guided by the teacher. The teacher will also brief the student on any Asmbly-specific policies and procedures.

We rely on our teachers to use good judgment when conducting checkout classes. We do not wish for students to be granted access to tools simply because they paid for a checkout class. Like private classes, the Education Team will coordinate scheduling of these classes.


Teachers at Asmbly are paid as 1099 contractors at an hourly rate that varies by class. Teachers must fill out a W-9 in Quickbooks in order to receive compensation. An invitation to fill out the W-9 will be sent to new teachers during onboarding. The information obtained is securely stored in Quickbooks for accounting and tax purposes.

Class Payments

At Asmbly, compensation rates are determined by a Class Tier system that takes into account a number of factors including tool complexity, required instructor knowledge/experience, required prep work for each class, and the complexity of the specific application of the tool being taught, among other factors. The Class Tier of all new classes will be determined by the Asmbly Education Team during class development.

Classes are split into three tiers with the following compensation rates for each tier:

Tier 1 - $36/hr

Tier 2 - $54/hr

Tier 3 - $72/hr

Hours are determined by the length of the class in Neon. For new classes, the appropriate length of the class will be worked out during class development.

The Class Tier of every class taught at Asmbly can be found in the table below.

Class Tiers
Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Intro to Filament 3D Printing Bowl Turning 1-on-1 Tormach Class
Intro to Sublimation Printing Fusion 360 CAM for Tormach Beginner CNC Router
Intro to Vinyl Cutter Intro to Resin 3D Printing Big Lasers Class
Beginning Sewing Intro to Milling Laser Engrave Round Materials
Stationary Sanders Intro to Wood Lathe
Metal Shop Safety Metal Lathe
Woodshop Safety MIG Welding
Pen Turning
Shaper Origin Certification
Small Lasers Class
TIG Welding
Woodshop Specialty Tools
Illustrator & Design Basics
Stained Glass

Class materials and consumables should be discussed with and approved by the Asmbly Education Team during class development.  Teachers will be reimbursed for any approved consumable materials necessary for class.

Teacher payouts and material reimbursements are handled by the Treasurer using Zelle and occur twice a month for classes held during the 1st through 15th (payouts on or before the 20th), and 16th through the end of the month (payouts on or before the 5th of the following month).

Payouts are based on event information in Neon. Teachers must inform the Education Team (classes@asmbly.org) of any changes to classes as soon as possible in order to ensure proper payouts.

Curriculum Development

In addition to normal payments for teaching, Asmbly will in some cases compensate teachers for developing new class curricula. Payments for curriculum development can vary from $0 to $200 depending on factors such as class complexity as well as time and effort spent on development. Note that these payments are not based on an hourly rate and will be determined by the Education Team in consultation with the Leadership Team. Not every new class curriculum will be eligible for payment. The Education Team will be happy to provide a more specific estimate if you provide us with a brief class proposal.

Payments for curriculum development will be made in the first pay period after the class has been on the schedule for 2 months, or 5 classes have been taught, whichever comes first.

Teacher Responsibilities

  • Working with the Asmbly Education Team (classes@asmbly.org) to determine class content and price.
  • Maintaining class scheduling availability 45+ days in advance.
  • Arriving at the scheduled class location 15-30 minutes prior to the start of the session to prepare, and helping students gather for the class.
  • Communicating with the Education Team when issues arise (e.g. you are running late for class). Slack is the preferred method for timely communication.
  • Marking attendance in Neon after each class.
  • Communicating any pertinent info students need prior to the class ahead of time
    • E.g. If you are hosting a portion or all of your class virtually, you must communicate video conferencing links to your students directly.

Asmbly Responsibilities

  • Approving class content and price.
  • Scheduling classes. We are flexible on the specific dates/times classes are offered and will work with instructors to find mutually agreeable times.
  • Posting class to Neon and opening student registration.
  • Scheduling shop areas in Skedda.
  • Onboarding new teachers in Quickbooks (W9), Neon backend (for checking registrations, contacting students, and marking attendance), and Slack.