Elizabeth Ortiz is an experienced EFL teacher, teacher trainer, author and publisher. She believes that teacherpreneurs should think big but start one step at a time and ask for help or support from a teacherpreneur community willing to help.
Can you start off by telling us where you teach?
I currently run my own Institute called World English Institute in two cities (Quevedo and Portoviejo in Ecuador). I am also a freelance ELT Trainer and Consultant. Last year, I decided to start publishing so Serenity Press was born to support local novice writers and ELT professionals willing to go beyond the classroom.
How long have you been teaching?
I start teaching when I was 18 so 32 years teaching from preschool, primary, secondary, higher education, and private education. Fifteen years ago I found my passion for Teacher Education and ELT Management and I haven´t stopped.
Can you describe a typical teaching day?
As an independent professional, there is no a “typical teaching day”. I would say that every day is different. I work from wherever I want most of the time and my schedule and activities depend on what is needed. I love that flexibility!!
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I spend time with my family, especially my 5-year-old baby girl. I love watching a good movie, reading for professional purposes, chatting with friends and family on Facebook, and of course networking.
You took on the tremendous task of starting a company. Can you talk a bit about it?
I guess the most difficult decision was making the decision itself! Facing fear, uncertainty, and of course the famous question: what if this, what if that? The second challenge was to find people and organizations willing to support my new status of being self-employed. Thank God, I found it with my international community.
Where can people purchase your books and resources?
The resources and materials are available through our FB Store Serenity Bookstore at https://www.facebook.com/SerenityBookstore/?pnref=about.overview
Do you have any plans for a second book or another resource or are you working on any other projects at the moment?
That´s the best part! Your creativity and imagination never stop. I am working on the Teacher Development Program to offer training and PD courses and publishing three new methodology books and a level readers series.
How do you promote or market your school and resources?
Most of the promotion is on social media mainly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also attend and present at ELT conferences and academic events.
Where can people find you on social media?
World English Portoviejo https://www.facebook.com/WEPortoviejo/?pnref=lhc
World English Institute Quevedo https://www.facebook.com/pages/World-English-Institute-Quevedo/984164944994659
Serenity Bookstore https://www.facebook.com/SerenityBookstore/?pnref=about.overview
What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
For several years I had to go to work at an office and of course, under a more complex logistics. Now, I manage my own schedule, I work from home and I am in charge of my own logistics…that's a huge change!!!
What skills did you have to learn to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Whatever your business is you need to promote it, market it and sell it. I had to learn some graphic design, and develop management and administration skills.
What advice would you give to teachers who are considering having a company?
The first tip, be patient. Making profits could take some time. The second one is not paying attention to negative people. Get together with people who share the same passion and encourage you to succeed.
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?
Explore your options, think big but start one step at a time. Ask for help or support from a teacherpreneur community willing to help or talk to someone who has the experience in running his/her business. Keep learning and never give up!
Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am so happy to be part of this wonderful community.
Thank you for sharing your story as a teacherpreneur. I'm so happy we had a chance to meet at TESOL 2017. All the best.
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 inspiring teacherpreneur interviews at www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog
2. If you are a TESL Ontario member, watch a recording of my webinar Teacher to Teacherpreneur https://tutela.ca/GroupFiles?organicgroup=8594&cat=518
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. Sign up for my 4-week online course with iTDi.pro - Teacher to Teacherpreneur http://itdi.pro/itdihome/teacherpreneur.php
5. Download 10 Tips to Transition from Teacher to Teacherpreneur https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/p/10-tips-to-transition-from-teacher-to-teachepreneur
6. Download The Social Media Make-over Checklist for Teacherpreneurs at www.teacherpreneur.ca
7. Connect with other teacherpreneurs by joining my LinkedIn group https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7060976
8. Set up a private coaching call with me https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/pages/book-a-coaching-session-with-me
9. Connect with me on social media. Teacherpreneurs must be on social media.
My name is Patrice Palmer, OCELT, 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 courses and teaching materials; blogging, conducting instructional coaching for new teachers and coaching teacherpreneurs. Having a flexible schedule allows me to conduct training around the world at any time of the year.
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