Anastasiia Martinez is a creative bilingual teacher who is a new teacherpreneur. Find out why she thinks that teachers should take risks, engage in professional and self-development and why native/non-native doesn't matter in the world of teacherpreneurship.
Anastasiia, can you start off by telling us where you teach?
I teach English Language Arts and English Language Development classes at a public middle school in Pittsburg, California in the United States.
How long have you been teaching?
It’s my first year at a public school. Before I jumped on a middle school teaching journey, I’d taught at several private language schools for 7 years. I’ve also been teaching English online for 5 years and I’m absolutely loving it! I wouldn’t say that an online classroom is completely different from a traditional one. I just have to use different tools when I teach online.
Can you describe a typical teaching day?
My day usually starts very early. I like preparing for my classes in the morning. I get to school at around 7:00 a.m. and start teaching at 8:30 a.m. My teaching finishes at 2:50 p.m. and I stay at school for another hour or so to check my students’ papers and to plan with my colleagues.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I don’t have a lot of free time. I like going to the gym or watching movies at home.
You took on the tremendous task of creating Tools for Teachers. Can you talk a bit about Tools for Teachers?
I first started Tools for Teachers as a Youtube channel and then added a Web blog and a Facebook page. Tools for Teachers is designed for educators who would like to learn more tech tools to use in their classrooms. I’ve always liked helping my colleagues with teaching tools that can help them in their teaching and material development. The iTdi.pro Teacher to Teacherpreneur course http://itdi.pro/itdihome/teacherpreneur.php not only inspired me but also helped me develop my idea of Tools for Teachers. I learned a lot of useful tips from you Patrice and from the other educators in the course on how to set up my own page and a web blog. I’m still learning how to develop Tools for Teachers so that it becomes more appealing and interesting for my audience.
Thanks for the great feedback. It it good to hear that you were inspired to pursue your creative venture because of the course. Can you tell us where can we find your resources?
My resources are available online.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I’m working on setting up an online TOEFL course right now. It’ll be mostly a self-paced course, however feedback and guidance will be provided.
How do you promote or market your resources?
I use social networks and connect with other educators who can help me promote Tools for Teachers.
Where can people find you on social media?
You can find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tools4ET/
What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
I had to learn how to become more active on social networks to promote my resources. I was not used to posting on various social networks, however I do it more often now. It also helps me get to know other teacherpreneurs more and learn from them.
Unfortunately in our field, there has been discrimination against "non-native" speakers of English. What advice would you give to non-native speakers of English who would like to use their skills to become teacherpreneurs?
The question about “native” and “non-native” speakers has always been in the field. Personally, I do not support these terms, as it doesn’t matter if you are a “native” or “non-native” speaker. It all depends on your teaching skills, and it doesn’t matter if you speak with an accent. Alberto Aragon once said: "Just because I talk with an accent doesn’t mean I think with an accent”. I encourage non-native speaking teachers become teacherpreneurs to share their skills and talents with others. It will help to empower other teachers in their professional and self-development.
Do you do everything yourself or do you have someone help with the technical aspects, etc.?
I usually do a lot of tech stuff myself, however my husband usually helps me when it comes to page design or creating a logo. I’m going to take a course on designing a website in the summer so that I’ll be able to set up my own one.
What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Being able to create materials and tools in a traditional and online classroom helped me create my online resources. Also, self-motivation is a great skill, which is helpful not only in teaching, but in all life situations. Staying positive and not giving up is the best skill that I’ve learned.
What advice would you give to a teacher who are considering becoming a teacherpreneur?
Becoming a teacherpreneur is a great journey, which might seem really hard in the beginning. However, when you find your own niche, something that you want to create and develop in the future, you’ll become more engaged and proud of being a teacherpreneur.
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’d say that trying something new is always a challenge, but if we don’t taking risks we might regret about it later. I think constant professional and self-development is a key to one’s success.
Thanks for sharing your insights as a new teacherpreneur!
Interested in learning more about transitioning from a teacher to teacherpreneur but don’t know how to get started? Here are some ways:
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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