Monique Simpson teaches English online and in her unique tea shop in Otavalo, Ecuador. Now that is creative!
Can you start off by telling us where you teach?
I teach in Otavalo, Ecuador (South America).
How long have you been teaching?
I started teaching as a TA in 2004. In August 2005, I went to Japan to teach in the Jet Programme.
Can you describe a typical teaching day?
I teach Chinese students online Sun-Sat (every day) starting as early as 3:30 a.m. to as late as 10 a.m. For these lessons, I do a little prep, which consists of finding pictures/videos to go along with the pre-made PPT lesson.
Then I teach English at my new English center. Sometimes I teach young learners in the morning or conversation class at night. I also have English lessons at my tea shop called “English Tea.” We have tea and cupcakes while chatting in English. It is a conversation course for intermediate and advanced students.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
Drink tea and write.
You took on the tremendous task of opening a tea shop. Can you talk about that?
How do you promote or market your school?
I use FB and Instagram. I created a WhatsApp group to communicate with English learners.
Where can people find you on social media?
FB: English Tea Ecuador https://www.facebook.com/groups/englishteaecuador/
Instagram: English_Tea_Ecuador https://www.instagram.com/english_tea_ecuador/?hl=en
What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
Become a salesperson. It’s not fun at times, but I tell myself I am offering people a quality service, so my price is fair. I also tell myself, everyone is not my client and that’s ok.
What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
Patience and to provide quality work while maintaining a high level of self-respect.
What advice would you give to teachers who are considering having a company?
“Don’t chase the money; chase the dream.” –P. Diddy
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?
Understand that you really have something special and unique to offer clients which will help them be better.
Is there anything that you would like to add?
Oprah and the book Four Agreements talk about your “intention” for doing things. Last month, I started using this “intention” idea to focus my day before getting out of bed. Since the first thing I do is teach, I think about the intention of my teaching – I want my students to learn English, so they can do more good in the world. I feel better teaching and when things get a little rough, I revisit my time reflecting on my intentions.
Thank you so much, Monique!
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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