Fiona Oates wears many hats as an online language teacher, translator, and communication coach. Read how nursing, improvisation workshops, meditation courses and empowerment training has helped her succeed as a teacherpreneur.
Thanks for agreeing to this interview Fiona. Can you start off by telling us where you teach?
I teach, at the moment, online and in the Canary Islands. I have taught in many companies and a few good quality academies in Barcelona, Spain. I lived there for almost 12 years.
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching since September 2006.
Can you describe a typical teaching day?
At the moment, I get up early and I head to my classroom that I rent by the hour and teach online classes with my clients all over the world. Most of my students are from Spain at the moment. Then I go home for lunch and I have some afternoon classes with students from the Canary Islands.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I go to the beach or take long mountain walks. This is a beautiful place to enjoy the wonderful weather, a volcanic, summer paradise. I’m living in La Palma, Canary Islands at the moment.
Can you talk a bit about your projects?
I started a social inclusion project for people with mental health problems in Barcelona with a colleague. I am an ex-Community Psychiatric Nurse (that’s what I studied in the UK) and have an interest in social inclusion. I set up the project in Barcelona because English is a very valuable skill for social inclusion, and also leads to better work opportunities. Learning a language also has many cognitive benefits.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I am now setting up an online teaching business. I have been self-employed since 2008 and worked at ESADE during my first few years in Barcelona. Much of my paid work (social inclusion project was not paid) has been helping people to do their job better in English. I have been coaching them not only in their language acquisition but in other skills. I run online specialised courses for business-related subjects such as attending meetings, giving presentations and making sales.
How do you promote or market yourself?
On LinkedIn, doing interviews, making connections, talking to people, and networking.
Where can people find you on social media?
What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Many skills that I brought to the classroom from nursing, improvisation workshops, meditation courses and empowerment training.
Do you do everything yourself or have you had to get help?
I am a one woman band at the moment.
What advice would you give to teachers who are considering having a company?
Go for it. Listen to Gary Vaynerchuk, that guy makes real sense.
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?
See above. You only get one chance. Enjoy life. Put yourself out there. Don’t listen to the demons, the little voice that says you can’t. You can. We all can.
Thank you so much, Fiona!
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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