I taught English (ESL) for a few years when I first came to Japan. I quickly moved into staff training, materials development and finally human resources. Teaching was never my passion but I loved the behind the scenes work. One of my favorite duties was "meet n' greet" - picking up new teachers from the airport. I love meeting new people and helping them. (I like to feel useful).
Since I live in Japan I am often asked to "teach English". Teaching on a casual basis from home is a good way to make a bit of pocket money and provide a community service. Still it doesn't really float my boat. Chatty Cafe on the other hand is a lot of fun. It combines my love of meeting new people and talking with my love of baking and drinking coffee.
How does it work? The Chatters (my students) email or call me to make reservations, usually for groups of four or five. Before the assigned day I bake a cake, that's part of the deal - homemade cake. I have a snazzy Nestle coffee machine. Put them together and you have a cafe! On the day, I send my Little Guy off to the babysitter then spend an hour or so chatting over coffee and cake in my dining room. We talk about the weather, shopping, cooking, our kids (and grandkids), places to go, all kinds of stuff. I've met some really good people.
Initially I thought I'd have a set time and just let people drop in. However it's evolved that the groups and times are more or less fixed. I have a few floaters who will fill in the gaps but I have my regulars who book every month. It started from just three friends...word of mouth is a powerful form of advertising.
Today we'll be eating Coffee Cake, baked fresh yesterday afternoon. Yum, with coffee icing too!