Conrad Wilkinson Schwarz - Founder of Instanteach

instanteach mexico website Jun 12, 2019

Conrad Wilkinson Schwarz was inspired by one of his students to learn how to use AI to develop a website to help busy teachers.  Read more about how he kept learning and going back to the drawing board to get Instanteach right.

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

I teach English in Mexico City and have been doing so since 2016. At first, I was teaching through agencies and language schools but eventually moved towards getting my own students and working independently. I really enjoyed the freedom it gave me and the fact that the demand for English classes is so high in Mexico was of course really handy.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

Right now I work in an office as a translator. The work is pretty on and off so I spend half the time to running the website, publishing on social media, sending teachers their material and slowly but surely improving the...

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Women of Color in ELT: For Unity and Liberation

elt women of color May 28, 2019

I have met and continue to meet the most interesting and inspiring ELT educators from around the world.  Parisa Mehran is no exception.  I think that Parisa is one of the most active ELTers out there and she constantly strives to find ways to informally and formally teach others about a variety of important issues from stereotyping in our profession to her latest work - Women of Color in ELT.

Please have a read of my short interview with Parisa:

1. Hello again Parisa.  Nice to see you here.  Can you please introduce yourself to the readers?

My name is Parisa and I am an Iranian English teacher based in Japan. Despite the continued prevalence of the “native speaker” model, I have been teaching English part-time for two years at several Japanese universities and at an English conversation school.

2. What inspired you to start Women of Color in ELT?

I was inspired by Scholars of Color in Language Studies and KOTESOL People of Color Teachers SIG so...

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Adam Chambers - Online Teacher & Language Schools Marketing Specialist

Adam Chambers is an online teacher and the creative brain behind chatbots to help education institutions grow and automate processes like recruitment and engagement.  His patience and understanding of Chinese culture have helped him excel as a teacherpreneur.

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

I have taught English online for 6 months. My students are all Chinese kids. It's a fun way to keep connected with the culture because I lived in Shandong for two months interning at a company.  Teaching online for a Chinese company is a decent deal. My hours are flexible, and most classes are enjoyable. I’d recommend it to anyone seeking to earn income part-time.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

I wake up at 6 a.m. and dive into a shower of ice-cold water. Then I read some Spanish texts while guzzling oats and milk. Informed, I mount my bicycle and...

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Self-Care for Online Teachers

The online teachers I know are proud of the fact that they can make a living with a laptop and internet connection — and they should be! Online teachers have a lot of freedom and it’s great to take advantage of it.

Given the interest and growth in online learning, more and more teachers are trading the classroom for the webcam (or sometimes just adding the webcam), but it usually adds up to more time looking at a screen and more time sitting.

 

There is a body of research that has found a correlation between long periods of sitting and an elevated risk of illness or injury.  It is important for online teachers to use self-care strategies to stay healthy.

Self Care Strategies

Strategies for self-care are critical for our health and well-being. Self-care is not a luxury or indulgence but a necessity in the work that we do. Also, challenges such as precarious work, multiple workloads or administrative responsibilities can add to the pressures of this demanding...

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Julia Atkinson - Online English Instructor and Owner of Virtually101

Julia Atkinson balances her time teaching English online and is in the process of launching a company called Virtually101.  Julia's experience in customer service plus online teaching gave her the confidence to start a company.  

 

 

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

I reside in Jamaica and I have been teaching English for a company called Bibo Global Opportunity for over 3 years. They have 2 websites, DMM Eikaiwa (for Japanese students) and Engoo (for other students). I also teach on italki and have been teaching there for more than 2 years.  

2. Can you describe a typical day?

I work with Bibo 5 days a week, sometimes 7 days, if there are bonuses on the weekend. I usually work for 5 hours in the morning, 7 a.m. - 12 noon (GMT-5). Those hours are called cores hours, which means a lot of students usually book around that...

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What does Project Jaguar have to do with ELT?

Teachers – do you have an idea for an online course but you aren’t sure how to proceed? 

Do you have valuable content that would help students but you just don't know how to get your content out there? 

If you answered yes, then Project Jaguar has the perfect solution for you!

 

When I was at the Caribbean TESOL Expo in Jamaica last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Trevaun Solomon, the young but very impressive “brain” behind Project Jaguar. Trevaun is barely 20 but he is making a huge impact in the online platform marketplace!  He really impressed me when he demonstrated how easy it is for teachers to set up a course(s) and start earning income.  What I like about Project Jaguar is that their platform is only for teachers so they are working hard to learn what teachers need and how we can get the most from their product.


What is Project Jaguar exactly? 

It’s an all-in-one course management system. 

...

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Jennifer Helfand - Online Teacher, Writer and Illustrator

Jennifer Helfand is a creative online teacher, writer, and illustrator. Find out how stopping the vicious inner critic propelled her into the teacherpreneur world and hear her advice for "putting yourself out there". 

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

Currently, I teach online. This is my 15th year of teaching.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

At the moment, my days aren’t really typical. When I started teaching online three years ago, I had a regular schedule. I’d teach all day and work on my writing and drawings at night.  Now, aside from teaching, writing, and marketing, I’m setting up an educational/travel program in Spain.

3. Teacher self-care is so important. How do you relax?  

I start my day by reading Rumi poetry and end it with meditation. I try to go for a walk every day. Drawing almost always relaxes me.

4....

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Adam Gootnick - Founder of Journey to Teach Abroad

Adam Gootnick's experience teaching in Thailand was the inspiration behind the formation of his company Journey to Teach Abroad.  His advice for teacherpreneurs?  If you feel passionate about your venture, go for it. Once you’ve made that decision, your fears turn into excitement.  

1. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day for this interview Adam.  Can you tell us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

I'm a Los Angeles, California native. After living and teaching in Thailand for over a year, I grew so passionate about helping others discover what I experienced that I started Journey to Teach Abroad. The whole experience was transformative - traveling a beautiful country, bonding with international explorers, and teaching children who want to learn.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

While in Thailand, the morning started with a glass of water, a cold shower, and 20 minutes of stretching and meditation. I drove my scooter to...

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Chris Rush - Online Instructor & Off2Class Account Manager

off2class online teacher Feb 28, 2019

Chris Rush is well-known in the online teaching field.  He balances his time between online teaching and managing Off2Class - an innovative platform that designs high-quality lessons for online instructors.  Chris has had to learn new skills like amateur marketer, copywriter, web developer and sales rep!

 

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

Hi, it’s great to participate in this project!  I’ve been teaching ESL online since 2012 when I got certified, and I joined the Off2Class team in October of 2017.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

I only teach once or twice a week – the rest of my time is spent on Off2Class!  I work on lots of projects to help teachers get the most out of the platform, including writing blog posts, managing social media, and responding to customer support requests.

3. Teacher self-care is so...

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Teacher to Teacherpreneur Tactics - Teachers taking Risks

courage fears risks Feb 20, 2019

Warm greetings from chilly Canada!  I hope your year is off to a good start.  The sun is brighter and the days are longer - Spring is just around the corner!

In this blog, I talk about the importance of believing in yourself and taking risks, post links to 10 new teacherpreneur interviews (that's a record), provide information about a new company in the UK that supports teachers in finding work outside of teaching and discuss a new freelance online directory called ELT Publishing Professionals.

Teachers taking Risks

I'm not a risk-taker.  Ask anyone who knows me well.  They will tell you that a) I'm not a risk-taker and b) I'm not impulsive or spontaneous.  Are successful teacherpreneurs risk-takers?  Are they courageous?  I think so.

One of the questions that I ask in my teacherpreneur interviews is what advice would you give teachers who are hesitant about "putting themselves" out there?  So far, I have conducted 85 interviews and only ONE...

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