Lina Marcela Gómez Quintero wears many hats as a teacherpreneur in Colombia. Find out why she believes that empathy and assertive communication have helped her become a successful teacherpreneur. Also, learn how her projects are positively changing the educational landscape in her country.
1. Can you tell us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?
Currently, I teach English at Colegio de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, in Medellín (Colombia), where I also am Homeroom Teacher for the Ninth grade. I have been teaching here since September 2017, but my teaching experience started more than 10 years ago. In addition, I am STEAM teacher, coach, and consultant.
2. Can you describe a typical day?
A typical day starts at 6:00 am. After saying hello to my colleagues and students walking through the corridors, I meet Jorge Hugo, my workmate (here, English teachers work in pairs: one teacher is with Basic Level students and the other one with the Intermediate Level ones) to get the classrooms together and talk to our students. Then, my students come with me to the English classroom.
I leave the school at 2:30 pm., time for my consulting and studying time. Then I hold meetings to prepare and revise projects, sketch out workshops and presentations for teachers, students, and organizations interested in learning about STEAM Culture and how to make it possible in emerging-country-based learning communities. Also, I update my blog http://lasnotasdeclasedemarcelagomez.blogspot.ca/, write and revise my dissertation document, about using approaches and methods for second-language learning onto mathematical learning. Finally, I get home!
3. What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I have different activities such as spending time with my family (my mom, sisters, brother-in-law, and my beloved niece and nephew); exercising (especially biking), reading and writing, academic and non-academic work, attending cultural events, such as concerts and language exchanges, spending time with my friends, having a coffee and a good conversation.
4. You took on the tremendous task of starting a company. Can you talk a bit about it?
Yes, for sure! I started my STEAM consulting project in 2008, but it has now become more relevant in our Colombian context. Thus, I am working on several activities:
STEAM Culture Movement (#STEAMCulture)
This is the core of my consultancy portfolio since it is important to understand local needs to develop programs, projects, and strategies that lead to the settlement of a learning-focused mindset and provide support for an innovative, sustainable educational community. It involves the definition of community principles, individual and common priorities, and developing learning habits in and out of the classroom. I am working on a book about the development of STEAM Culture in local learning environments and will let you know when it is ready!
Rookie Teacherpreneurship Medellín
This is a community that creates initiatives, projects, and resources towards the transformation of our local, educational reality. It is just a rookie but it promotes reflection about our context, searching for local resources we could take as strong, powerful assets in the construction of a better educational culture.
Mujeres y Niñas STEAM Colombia
This initiative has been conceived with my friend Vanessa Díaz and aims to develop local and national sorority towards increasing female presence in scientific and technological innovation. I have been invited as Leader Mentor of the initiative so I work with children, teenagers and adults to start the coaching and mentoring processes, individually and in teams, to help them become aware of their potential to boost them to achieve their goals.
5. Where can teachers and students purchase your book/resources?
The books are not for sale yet but you can access to my LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcelagomezq/ to find resources and invitations I share, as well as information related to any release.
6. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I am working as a consultant on some proposals for the Antioquia’s Education Secretariat, all of them related to STEAM Culture and its connection with the New Educational Model for Antioquia. They are looking for the development of innovation-oriented learning habits, for teachers and students.
7. How do you promote or market your work?
I use LinkedIn and social media to broadcast my news, events, documents, and live videos.
8. Do you do everything yourself or do you hire people with specific skills to help you?
Most of the activities are done by myself, but projects and initiatives involve skilled people, whose interest is connected to mine: transforming educational reality for our country. The greater the project is; the more people we invite to participate.
9. Where can people find you on social media?
10. What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Classroom teaching has made me better in developing empathy with my students and their families and makes the consolidation of learning communities easier and more profound each time. This empathy, combined with assertive communication, is a must when creating effective, collaborative teams, not only in teacherpreneurship but in every context and environment nowadays.
11. What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
I have been pushing myself every day to learn something new, to ask myself and my colleagues for their valuable contributions to improve my teaching practice, to listen more and talk less in order to make community-oriented work.
12. 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?
The only way you could know if it works or not is trying.
13. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you very much for inviting me to share my experiences. I hope I have the chance to share even more.
Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy day to talk about your projects, and how you are involved in transforming education in your country. Please come back and update us!
Interested in learning more about transitioning from a teacher to teacherpreneur but don’t know how to get started? Here are some ways:
1. Read more than 85+ inspiring teacherpreneur interviews at www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog
2. 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
Connect with me on social media. Teacherpreneurs must be on social media.
My name is Patrice Palmer, M.Ed., M.A. I have more than 20 years’ experience as an ESL Teacher, TESL Trainer, and Writer. Seven of those years were spent in Hong Kong. I have taught students from 8 to 80 years in a variety of programs such as ESP, EAP, Business English, and language programs for new immigrants in Canada. I'm now a teacherpreneur doing the things that I love such as writing books, courses and teaching materials; coaching teacherpreneurs and travelling at any time of the year. Contact me at [email protected]
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