Tetyana Skrypkina is a very busy teacherpreneur. She 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. She does it all by being a self-proclaimed planning maniac!
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?
I am self-employed and I teach online. I teach English, German, Spanish, survival Hungarian and Ukrainian as a foreign language. Also, I consult language teachers, sometimes conduct workshops for them and run my project #teachingisfun for teachers. I’ve been teaching for 12 years.
2. Can you describe a typical day?
My husband wakes me up at about 8:30 with a cup of coffee and it cheers me up. I do my morning routine and start teaching online. When I have breaks between lessons, I do quick exercises as I spend most of my day sitting. In addition, I do breathing exercises using a mobile application. After the lessons, I plan my next lessons. Evenings are only for my family.
I teach only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The other days I spend on professional development courses and making videos for my YouTube channel.
3. Teacher self-care is so important. How do you relax?
Yes, it's extremely important! I think it is an art to be able to relax fully and I am still learning. Breathing exercises help a lot with it! I play basketball, go swimming, watch Netflix, travel and drink wine. Sometimes I do the dishes or ironing to relax my eyes.
4. You took on the challenge of setting up #teachingisfun. Can you talk a bit about it?
#teachingisfun is a project for foreign language teachers, where I share my knowledge and experience in teaching languages. The main focus is on making videos which you can find on my YouTube channel. There are a lot of rubrics. For example, “Getting ready for the CELTA course”, “How to get ready for the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test”, “Classroom management”, “My fails”, “My students say”, “Book reviews”, “Books I’m reading”, “Interviews” etc. There is a Facebook page “#teachingisfun” where you can find articles as well. Sometimes “Cambridge English Teaching” post my videos on their Facebook page.
6. How did you come up with the idea?
In 2016 some teachers asked me about my experience and to recommend some books for them to read so I decided to create a Facebook page, where I shared my experience and knowledge. Then I began an online TEFL course from Arizona State University. Every week we had to complete a task in the form of a video for evaluation. The video had to be no longer than 4 minutes which was challenging! I loved it so I decided to make more videos. Now I have more than 100 videos. They are uploaded every Monday and Thursday at 9 am (GMT +2). Stay tuned!
7. You managed to balance teaching and work on #teachingisfun. What is your best productivity tip?
I believe that planning is the key to success! I plan every day, week, month, 90 days and the whole year! I am a planning maniac LOL and I use the planner from www.myndmap.co. You can download a printable pdf file in order to have a look at the journal.
My favourite quote is “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else”, Yogi Berra. I would recommend reading Laura Vanderkam, a guru on time management! Google her!
8. Where can we find out more about #teachingisfun?
9. Where can we find you on social media?
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/teachingisfun2016
10. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
#teachingisfun is an ongoing project so there will be more topics to talk about! Right now I'm finishing a course for teachers to get ready for the Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT). Moreover, I'm going to write a book sharing my experience in teaching and learning foreign languages.
11. How do you promote or market #teachingisfun?
I post it all on social media and tell my colleagues about it.
12. Do you do everything yourself or do you hire people with specific skills to help you?
I do a lot of things by myself but I hire people to film professional videos and help me on the set.
13. What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Classroom teaching taught me how to communicate with others although I am still learning and I think there is no perfection in it.
14. What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
Well, it is hard to answer this question. When I was 18, I started working as a journalist and a PR manager. Back then I had to do tons of things out of my comfort zone. Basically everything I did was out of my comfort zone. However, when it came to promoting my teaching projects and lessons I had no problems because I had a lot of experience working as a journalist (at a local newspaper and TV station) and as a PR manager.
15. 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?
1. Find your support group – the people (a person), who will support you no matter what.
2. Write down a list of objectives why you should be, say, self-employed. When you have hard times read them and stick to them.
3. Write down a list of your fears or doubts. Ask yourself what you should and can do in order to overcome them. It may help you a lot! You will not handle your fears overnight. It may take some time but be patient.
Some years ago I was terrified of public speaking although I did it many times in the past. I thought “What’s the worst that might happen?”. The answer was I might forget what to say so I wrote down my speech, rehearsed many times and I had it on hand in case I needed it. Everything was fine.
16. Is there anything that you would like to add?
I believe that teachers should unite, help each other and be kind one to another!
Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview and sharing your advice for other teacherpreneurs!
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 80 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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