Chris Rush is well-known in the online teaching field. He balances his time between online teaching and managing Off2Class - an innovative platform that designs high-quality lessons for online instructors. Chris has had to learn new skills like amateur marketer, copywriter, web developer and sales rep!
1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?
Hi, it’s great to participate in this project! I’ve been teaching ESL online since 2012 when I got certified, and I joined the Off2Class team in October of 2017.
2. Can you describe a typical day?
I only teach once or twice a week – the rest of my time is spent on Off2Class! I work on lots of projects to help teachers get the most out of the platform, including writing blog posts, managing social media, and responding to customer support requests.
3. Teacher self-care is so important. How do you relax?
I live on the gulf coast of Florida, and we have wonderful beaches here. I love to spend time at the beach, swimming, surfing, and free diving at the artificial reef.
4. You took on the task of balancing online teaching and managing Off2Class. Can you talk a bit about it?
Off2Class is a software toolkit for ESL teachers. We provide lesson materials, a comprehensive placement test, and student management materials so teachers can handle more students with less time!
5. How did Off2Class get started?
Off2Class was founded 4 years ago when James, one of the co-founders, had trouble finding quality online lesson materials for his students. So, he found 2 partners and the 3 of them worked together to build a platform of high-quality lessons that were meant to be delivered online.
6. You manage to balance teaching and working at Off2Class. What is your best productivity tip?
I stay on top of my calendar and try to keep things simple! I use Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google tasks, and I take lots of notes!
7. Where can we find out more about Off2Class?
You can find out more about us at www.off2class.com. You can set up a free trial account, or read the blog.
8. Where can we find you on social media?
We’ve got a group for all English teachers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/412039399539608
9. Do you have any plans for other resources?
We spend all our time improving Off2Class. Right now we’re working hard on the step-by-step curriculum, a series of sequential lessons that follow and build on each other. We’ve already got 2 levels in the library, and it takes all the work out of course planning.
10. How do you promote or market your Off2Class?
Because there’s not really anything like Off2class out there for teacherpreneurs, word of mouth has been great for us. However, we regularly publish content on our blog and we’re active on social media to help get the word out.
11. Do you do everything yourself or do you hire people with specific skills to help you?
We get lots of help. The company is growing so now we have a small team of developers, which makes everything much easier. We also get help with graphic design, UX, audio recording, proofreading, and lots of other things!
12. What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Every day I talk to other teacherprenuers and help them get the most out of our product. The fact that I’m also an online teacher is so helpful because I understand exactly where they’re coming from!
13. What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
So many things. I have to be an amateur marketer, copywriter, web developer, and even a sales rep!
14. I talk to many teachers about their fear or doubt in trying something new or "putting themselves out there". What advice would you give to these teachers?
That’s what is keeping you stuck – just jump in!
15. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Come say hi at Off2Class.com! Thank you!
Thanks, Chris. Looking forward to more updates.
Want to learn more about transitioning from teacher to teacherpreneur, here are some ways:
1. Read more than 85+ inspiring teacherpreneur interviews at www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog
2. Sign up for my free 5-day email course How to Start your Side Hustle https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/pl/60868
3. Download The Essential Teacher to Teacherpreneur Toolkit - 50 pages packed with information to get you started as a teacherpreneur at http://www.teacherpreneur.ca
4. Download 10 Tips to Transition from Teacher to Teacherpreneur https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/p/10-tips-to-transition-from-teacher-to-teachepreneur
5. Download The Social Media Make-over Checklist for Teacherpreneurs at www.teacherpreneur.ca
6. Connect with other teacherpreneurs by joining my LinkedIn group https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7060976
7. Set up a private coaching call with me https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/pages/book-a-coaching-session-with-me
8. Connect with me on social media. Teacherpreneurs must be on social media.
My name is Patrice Palmer, M.Ed., M.A., CPP. I have more than 20 years’ experience as an ESL Teacher, TESL Trainer, and Writer. I spent seven amazing years teaching in Hong Kong and have taught students from 8 to 80 years in a variety of programs. I now work as a teacherpreneur doing the things that I love such as writing books, courses and teaching materials; coaching teacherpreneurs, travelling at any time of the year and applying the science of positive psychology to all my work (www.patricepalmer.ca). Contact me at [email protected]
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