Teacher to Teacherpreneur Tactics - Teachers taking Risks

courage fears risks Feb 20, 2019

Warm greetings from chilly Canada!  I hope your year is off to a good start.  The sun is brighter and the days are longer - Spring is just around the corner!

In this blog, I talk about the importance of believing in yourself and taking risks, post links to 10 new teacherpreneur interviews (that's a record), provide information about a new company in the UK that supports teachers in finding work outside of teaching and discuss a new freelance online directory called ELT Publishing Professionals.

Teachers taking Risks

I'm not a risk-taker.  Ask anyone who knows me well.  They will tell you that a) I'm not a risk-taker and b) I'm not impulsive or spontaneous.  Are successful teacherpreneurs risk-takers?  Are they courageous?  I think so.

One of the questions that I ask in my teacherpreneur interviews is what advice would you give teachers who are hesitant about "putting themselves" out there?  So far, I have conducted 85 interviews and only ONE teacher said that he did not have to do anything outside his comfort zone.  That means that 84/85 were scared or hesitant, and knew that in order to succeed, they had to do things outside of their comfort zone.

I know it's scary. My initial approach when I first put myself out there a few years ago was to put out a bit at a time (a blog post, a LinkedIn article, a tweet, then a free resource or two). 

This year, I decided to go "full on" with my self-care workshops (and a book coming out this year)  but it required that I truly believe in my abilities and resist worrying about the "what ifs".   It was time to take my level of confidence up several notches if I really wanted to succeed and earn income outside of the classroom.

So that's what I did!

First, I made a flyer to promote teacher self-care workshops.  Then, I sent it to everyone I know who lives near me in Southern Ontario, Canada.  A teacher/friend asked her colleagues if they would attend one of my workshops and they all said yes!  There was no going back. 

I booked a room at the local art gallery for May 28. Last night, I sold my first ticket! Yes, it's scary but in an exhilarating kind of way.  

What ideas do YOU have in terms of a product, resource or service?  Is this your year to put yourself out there?   If so, here are some tactics:

一步一个脚印 (yí bù yí gè jiǎo yìn) or “one step, one footprint”. It means to do something deliberately (rather than all at once), to take things step by step, one day at a time.

Here are some ways to do that:

- Start writing an outline for a book (you don't have to write the whole book at once)

- Talk to co-workers or students about your idea.  Get feedback or test out materials/resources before you sell or publish them

- Talk to other teacherpreneurs about what worked or didn't work.  For example, join my LinkedIn group and pose a question to more than 200 teachers in the group https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7060976

- Surround yourself with people who support you, can build you up and tell you it can be done (avoid those people who say it's impossible)

- Don't want to do it alone?  Venice Irving says to pair up with someone else if that makes you feel more comfortable.

- Finally, start small but start!

 If you need more inspiration, have a read of the interviews below or the other interviews that have been posted.


Teacher to Teacherpreneur Interviews

I continue to find and interview the most interesting teachers who are combining their skills, creativity and expertise to earn income outside the traditional classroom.  Have a look!

Andrew Woodbury (Canada) divides his time between the ESL classroom and managing an educational start-up called Learn YOUR English with the goal to create a community of like-minded teachers where everyone can learn and improve together. https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/AndrewWoodbury

Venice Irving (Jamaica) taught in Taiwan for 8 years and that experience resulted in setting up a growing cross-cultural communications firm.  https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/VeniceIrving

Power couple Stanislaw Saluda and Justyna Makarczyk (Poland) are the brains behind ESL Brains. 


Tetyana Skrypkina (Ukraine) teaches English, German, Spanish, Ukrainian as a foreign language and survival Hungarian, works as a language teacher consultant, is the creator #teachingisfun and a successful YouTuber. https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/TetyanaSkrypkina

Agata Pul (Poland) is the genius behind DIY handouts - a grammar handouts generator that helps English teachers to create personalized grammar exercises. When she couldn't find what she needed for her own students, she found a solution. https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/AgataPul

Marek Kiczkowiak (Belgium) is best known for his important work with TEFLEquity.  He has creatively built on that success and offers valuable resources to support teachers who are non-native speakers of English. https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/MarekKiczkowiak

Alina Leonova (Poland) is a creative e-book and online course designer. The idea for her resources came about from the effective materials that she made for her students and that she also used for her own English language learning.  https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/alinaleonova

Julie Vorholt's (USA) career path hasn't followed one direct path which has provided her with opportunities to develop many skills such as editing.  https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/julie-vorholt

Tariq Ben Porter (Middle East & USA) balances running a business, teaching soft skills, leadership, managerial skills and Business English. https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/TariqBenPorter

Aziz Soubai (Morocco) was curious about making grammar instruction more fun for his students and easier for teachers.  Read about how he gathered information from teachers before writing his book on using games in grammar teaching.   https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/AzizSoubai


Teachers not Teaching

DiDTeach  https://www.didteach.com is the first and only company in the U.K. run by teachers, for teachers who are transitioning from education into other sectors. They have Jobs Board, Career Transition workshops and Job Update alerts.  I think it is a great idea and could be replicated in other parts of the world.

ELT Publishing Professionals is a new online directory that connects freelancers and publishers.  It's a collaboration between ELT Teacher 2 Writer and ELT Freelancers' Community.  The directory will allow you to upload a profile with a photo and advertise your availability to publishers. There will also be a private members' area for discussions and sharing resources. Publishers can search the directory for ELT freelancers (all roles – not just writers, but editors, designers, artists, project managers, audio/video producers).  Sign up here  http://bit.ly/2Gzow9

Warmest regards, Patrice


Interested in transitioning from a teacher to teacherpreneur but not sure how to get started?  Have a look:

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  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. Set up a private coaching call with me  https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/pages/book-a-coaching-session-with-me

7. Connect with me on social media. Teacherpreneurs must be on social media.

Twitter     https://twitter.com/teacherpreneur2

LinkedIn   https://ca.linkedin.com/in/patricepalmer1

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/teacherpreneur2

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/teacherpreneur2/

About Me

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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