Venice Irving is a teacherpreneur from Jamaica. She taught in Taiwan for 8 years and that experience resulted in setting up a growing cross-cultural communications firm that specializes in language and global skills acquisition and business skills. Venice says team up with a partner if you are not sure which route to take for your venture.
1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to be interviewed. Can you tell us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching at various online schools for over 5 years in Europe and Asia however I started teaching English as a Foreign language in 2000. I spent 8 years teaching English in Taiwan and now reside in Jamaica.
2. Can you describe a typical day?
My day usually starts at about 4 a.m. where I meditate and have worship. Afterward, I get my son ready for school and eat breakfast which is usually a green smoothie. By 8 a.m. I'll be in my home office taking phone calls and responding to emails. I teach English online at 10 a.m. with students from different parts of the world. I usually have lunch between 12 and 1 p.m. then I’m back on my computer attending online meetings, making phone calls and responding to emails. From 4: 30 p.m. to 6 p.m. I usually exercise in the local park. Then I prepare dinner and wrap up some admin activities. I spend time with my family in the evening.
3. Teacher self-care is so important. How do you relax?
I like to watch re-runs of old tv shows.
4. You took on the tremendous challenge of starting a company. Can you talk a bit about it?
Living and working in Taiwan not only developed my interest in the Chinese language but it developed my cross-cultural communication and leadership skills. The experience opened my eyes to many misconceptions I had about Asian people and it gave me a new appreciation for the term "culture". I left Taiwan convinced that cross-cultural communication skills and learning languages are the keys to sustainable development in Jamaica and the Caribbean region so I founded BIW Consultants (now Happy Teachers), a cross-cultural communications firm that specializes in language and global skills acquisition and business skills.
5. How can people learn more about your company Happy Teachers?
6. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I'm planning a TESOL expo in Jamaica right now. It is quite challenging as this is the first time that I am planning such an expo. In addition, my company is expanding into other regions of the Caribbean. It’s quite an exciting time.
7. How do you promote or market your company?
I use social media and word-of-mouth to promote my events. I also get interviews done by the media and that helps people to learn more about my company.
8. Do you do everything yourself or do you hire people with specific skills to help you?
I do most things myself. I have a part-time staff that assists me.
9. Where can we find you on social media?
Happy Teachers Ja
Email [email protected]
10. What skills did you gain from teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Patience, creativity, communication and collaboration.
11. What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
I don’t like sales but I have to sell my products and services everywhere I go in order to attract new clients. At first, I was uncomfortable but now I’m used to it.
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?
I quote Nike slogan all the time – ‘Just do it”. If you are not sure which route to take, team up with a partner. You don’t have to do it alone – ask a mentor to give you advice.
13. Is there anything that you would like to add?
I want to encourage all teacherpreneurs to be bold and courageous. It will not be easy, but I promise you, it will be worth it.
Thank you so much for sharing your teacherpreneur journey. Best of luck to you.
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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