Web site rates thousands of classes

November 24, 2008 5:27:51 PM PST
Just call it a website with class - it's called TeachStreet.com and it lists and rates tens of thousands of classes - every single one of them - right here where we live. But it may also be the key to economic happiness for anyone in the Bay Area being hit hard by the struggling economy.

Pick a class, any class, how about this yoga class at Avalon Art and Yoga Studio in Palo Alto. Carrie Skelly picked it:

"It changed my day, I get very positive energy, the people are very kind," said Skelly.

And finding the right class for you is what www.TeachStreet.com is all about. Nearly 70,000 classes in the Bay Area are listed, and each is rated by students, just about any class you could think of: classes on cooking, dog obedience, and classes which can make you more marketable - like construction.

TeachStreet CEO Dave Schappell says the sites they launched months ago in the Seattle and Portland markets are not only helping people find classes to make them more marketable down the road, they're also helping people turn their financial lives around right now.

"We heard a story yesterday of a music teacher - who had his program cut at his school. He's now building a business with TeachStreet. We have a tennis coach in Seattle who now has 14 students at around $50 an hour teaching tennis on the side," said Schappell.

And Schappell claims TeachStreet has more classes than Google or Yelp, and is far more focused on helping people right where they live.

"We can find a person within one mile of your house, or five miles of your house - and you can meet over coffee. It's not always a class - it's a person who's an expert on something," said Schappell.

Paul Crowl, owner of Avalon Yoga Studio - is an expert on yoga, and in staying in business, which he has done for seven years now. He says it's not too much of a stretch to say that he welcomes the occasional constructive criticism he expects from TeachStreet .com.

"Every once in a while, if someone has a negative experience, or something they are not comfortable with, we try to accommodate them and make appropriate adjustments," said Paul Crowl, owner, Avalon art and yoga studio.

"Cat training, juggling, fire juggling," said Schappell.

Yes there are lots of fun classes on TeachStreet, but for the hundreds of thousands of people looking for a job in the Bay Area right now - it could turn into a financial lifeline to keep them above water.


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