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Teachers Aren’t Marketers

A line from the original series of Star Trek is now so famous it has become a meme on its own.  The ship’s doctor, Leonard McCoy, complains to the captain about doing tasks outside of medicine: Damnit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not an engineer, psychologist, diplomat, or whatever role Captain Kirk wanted him to fill.    

Whether or not an online teacher is a fan of the Star Trek fictional universe, if they decide to teach independently, they can probably relate to McCoy’s frustration.  Independent online teachers must also manage essential tasks outside their primary occupational expertise.  The role forces them to develop the skills of an entrepreneur.   So many online teachers do this now that a new word exists for it: teacherpreneur. 

 If they want their freelance business to succeed, they must spend tons of time not teaching.

A Teacherpreneur

Independent online teachers must learn a variety of skills, such as copy-editing, social media management, and even videography. 

Above all, an independent online teacher must learn marketing.  She must advertise herself constantly to make sure she has a steady flow of new potential students to convert into regular customers.   She must become a teacherpreneur.

Diplomacy and medicine are at least metaphorically related.  Both diplomacy and medicine involve the delicate care needed for healing and the steady work required to maintain healthy systems.  Marketing, by contrast, is as different from teaching as night is from day.   

Teachers focus on their students and the knowledge they are transferring to them, not on themselves.  The traditional photo of elementary school classes has the teacher standing to one side of the rows of smiling children.  Sometimes she is barely in the frame at all.  This is a nice visual metaphor for the slogan of the student-centered teaching approach.  “Be a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage”. 

Teacherpreneurs Try Marketing

Marketing requires the seller to take absolute center stage.  It requires that they become more than a giver of knowledge and wisdom to passive listeners.  A teacherpreneur must be a branded commodity.  

Teachers focus on their students’ needs as learners, who do not know everything and are not always right.  Marketing involves either telling people what they want to hear, creating a desire that didn’t previously exist, or both.  Teachers must be empathetic towards their students, but they must also be willing and able to tell them the truth about their current knowledge and skills.  

Independent teachers should be guided by their students’ goals for learning.  “Upselling” to students threatens to destroy the student’s trust that the teacher is using her expertise to serve their learning. 

A Teacherpreneur is a Gig Worker

If online teachers don’t make it as independent teacherpreneurs, they mostly head back into the gig economy.  All of the stresses and uncertainties that pushed them to go independent return.  They must pay a commission to for-profit platform sites. They have no control over how the platform works.  Like everyone from Uber drivers to YouTubers, they are at the mercy of a for-profit algorithm. The company could hire many more teachers so that each teacher has fewer and fewer students.  The whole situation forces teachers into intense competition.

The Solution is Cooperation

Online teachers have a solution to this teacherpreneur dilemma: an online teacher cooperative. The cooperative model allows teachers to share the tasks involved in marketing.  They can also learn from other teachers who may have picked up skills in this area through their journeys. 

Yet more than anything, a cooperative helps teachers by being the project they can market instead of themselves.  A service-focused democratic venture is a much better object for a marketing campaign than an individual teacher trying to make herself into a product or a “coach”.  “Come learn with us and be a part of the supportive community we’re building that centers you” is a much better message from a teacher to students than “Buy what I’m selling, which is me”. 

MyCoolClass is the online teacher cooperative teachers need.  It brings together online teachers of different subjects so that they don’t have to be teacherpreneurs.  Instead, they can be teachers who do a bit of marketing.

Teacher-members of MyCoolClass can collaborate to build a collective organization that values teaching and learning for their own sake.  They can learn as much as they want to learn about marketing.  Beyond that, they don’t have to feel that they have to manage everything or compete with their fellow teachers.  Marketing a cooperative organization isn’t about who can outshine someone else.  It’s about what we can build together for the benefit of all.

Marketing is still necessary for a teacher cooperative.  But at least now the teacher isn’t sitting all alone in a stall.  

Damnit, Jim, she’s teaching.

 

Tips for Online Teachers in South Africa to Deal with Loadshedding

Loadshedding has become a common occurrence in South Africa, causing disruptions and inconvenience for everyone, including online teachers. With power cuts happening unexpectedly and at irregular intervals, it can be challenging for online teachers to keep up with their classes and deliver quality education to their students. However, there are ways to deal with loadshedding and minimize its impact on your online teaching. In this blog post, we will provide you with some tips to help you do just that.

Create a loadshedding schedule

One of the first things you should do as an online teacher in South Africa is to create a loadshedding schedule. Find out the loadshedding schedule in your area and map it out on a calendar. This will help you plan your classes and assignments around the power outages, ensuring that you are not caught off guard.

Invest in a backup power supply

Investing in a backup power supply, such as a generator or an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), is an excellent way to ensure that you always have power during loadshedding. A UPS can provide you with anywhere from a few minutes to several hours of backup power, depending on the capacity of the unit. While generators can be expensive, they are a more reliable power source during extended power outages.

Make use of mobile data

Another way to deal with loadshedding as an online teacher is to make use of mobile data. Many internet service providers offer mobile data plans that you can use to connect to the internet when the power is out. You can use your mobile data to access your online teaching platform, communicate with your students and get work done.

Communicate with your students

Lastly, it’s essential to communicate with your students about loadshedding and its impact on your online teaching. Let them know what to expect during power outages, and provide them with alternative assignments or work to keep them on track. By communicating with your students, you can minimize confusion and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Unfortunately, loadshedding is a reality for many online teachers in South Africa. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can minimize its impact on your teaching and continue to deliver quality education to your students. By creating a loadshedding schedule, investing in a backup power supply, making use of mobile data, and communicating with your students, you can overcome the challenges of loadshedding and continue to make a difference in your students’ lives.

How Online Teachers Can Use AI in the Classroom

As technology advances, so do the opportunities for teachers to use AI in the classroom. AI can be used to assist in developing lesson plans, creating and delivering courses, and tutoring students. Let’s explore how AI can help educators make the most of their teaching time and provide students with a better learning experience.

First of all, let’s take a look at how AI can be utilized in devising lesson plans. By combining data from multiple sources (such as student performance records and subject materials) teachers can create personalized lesson plans that are tailored to each student’s individual learning needs. AIs such as ChatGPT and Jasper can also recommend different activities or exercises that will better engage learners and maximize their academic progress.

affable pleased tutor work on laptop, hold lessons online, sits alone looking at screen, enjoy being helpful, share knowledge. education concept

Another great example of using AI with students is providing tutoring sessions online. Many artificial intelligence systems use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to tutor students on specific topics. These programs generate adaptive assessments and provide real-time feedback to both teacher and student alike. This allows teachers to focus more on teaching instead of spending time tracking down answers or giving explanations to students.

Finally, AI can also be used when it comes to creating courses for online education platforms such as MyCoolClass. With AI, instructors have an easier time creating course outlines based on their subject material while also offering insights into areas where customization may be needed to accommodate different types of learners or skillsets. Additionally, machine-learning algorithms allow instructors to quickly test out different content formats successfully so they have the right mix of multimedia training materials when it comes time for classroom delivery.

All in all, incorporating artificial intelligence into education is an exciting opportunity for both teachers and students alike! Through its ability to quickly analyze data and suggest custom resources based on individual learning needs, AI can free up valuable teaching hours while allowing educators to more effectively develop lesson plans, tutor students one-on-one online, or even create online courses from scratch! For teachers looking for ways to amplify their impact in the classroom without sacrificing quality instruction time – Artificial Intelligence is here for you!

A Better Way to Teach Online

Online teacher exploitation has become a growing problem in recent years as learning platforms have sought to maximize their profits at the expense of educators. While these companies have made record-breaking profits, teachers often lack equity when working for them and have no say in how things are run. This has had an increasingly adverse effect on the quality of education, as well as on the pay and job security of teachers.

MyCoolClass is a revolutionary way for independent freelance educators to work together to deliver quality online education without exploitation. Unlike other learning platforms, MyCoolClass is owned collectively by its teachers which enables them to gain more control over their own teaching business and enjoy greater autonomy in terms of wages, schedule, how the company runs, and you can even accumulate paid time off. Furthermore, they get the support they need from a community of educators.

The main advantage of MyCoolClass over traditional online teaching platforms is that it can provide both financial security and personal satisfaction to its members. Unlike most online teaching companies who take a large portion of educator’s earnings and limit control over the process, MyCoolClass offers a fairer split with members receiving 81% of the total income generated from students. Additionally, with MyCoolClass members can structure their classes around their own interests which allows for more creativity within instruction and better engagement with students.

Since it is worker-owned rather than being controlled by venture capitalists or outside investors, there is greater job security—something that is often lacking in traditional online learning platforms where teachers can be replaced easily with little notice given due to lack of legal protection. And finally, because it is a co-operative model there is more collaboration between members leading to better quality instruction along with improved access to resources and technology that would be too expensive for individuals acting alone.

https://youtu.be/ChiZhIpu540

It’s clear that MyCoolClass offers many advantages over traditional online teaching companies in terms of financial security, autonomy in decision making, and increased control over one’s career trajectory. By enabling independent freelance educators to work together towards providing quality education free from exploitation, MyCoolClass not only helps create an equitable system but also offers an alternative approach towards delivering effective digital learning solutions worldwide.

Interested in reaching more students and taking your teaching career to the next level? Become a teacher member at MyCoolClass! Our growing platform is looking for talented teachers who want to make an impact. Click here to learn how you can join us today!

What are Platform Cooperatives?

The digital age has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for freelancers, especially in areas such as online education. The gig economy is thriving and more people are taking advantage of remote work to increase their income while maintaining flexible hours. However, there is an even more revolutionary way to ensure that freelance workers get fair compensation – worker-owned platform cooperatives.

Platform cooperatives are essentially digital businesses owned and governed by the workers themselves. Unlike traditional companies, their primary purpose is not to maximize profit but rather to provide decent wages, job security and autonomy for the workers. This form of organization democratizes business ownership, giving power back to the people who make the business successful.

Platform cooperatives have become increasingly popular in recent years due to the rise of online platforms such as Preply or Outschool that enable freelancers to easily find work without having to invest in expensive overheads or marketing campaigns. By creating a platform cooperative, these freelancers can benefit from the advantages of being part of a collective while still maintaining their individual autonomy and agency. 

There are many reasons why freelancers should consider joining a platform cooperative instead of setting up shop independently on independent platforms like Preply or Outschool. Firstly, they will benefit from collective bargaining power which allows them to negotiate better terms with customers than they could on their own. This could include lower commission rates or access to larger projects with higher payout rates. Secondly, because platform cooperatives are owned by the members themselves, this gives them control over decisions such as pricing models and dispute resolution processes which can reduce costs and protect against exploitation from customers or employers. 

Furthermore, by joining a platform cooperative freelancers can also enjoy greater job security since they will not be vulnerable to changes in market forces or customer preferences that might affect them if they were operating independently on a single platform. They will also benefit from being part of a supportive community where members can share resources, advice and experiences which can help them become more successful in their jobs. Finally, many platform cooperatives offer additional benefits such as paid time off – something that individual freelancers typically don’t have access to. 

Overall, it is clear why so many freelance workers are turning towards worker-owned platform cooperatives in order to secure better pay and achieve greater job stability in the digital age. Platform cooperatives provide an opportunity for freedom that traditional companies simply cannot match – one where workers receive fair compensation for their hard work as well as greater autonomy to make decisions about how their business is run without external interference from corporate interests. As this model continues to gain traction amongst freelance workers it will no doubt revolutionize how people view work in the modern age – providing an empowering alternative for those who want fairer pay and more control over their livelihoods without sacrificing job security or financial stability.

If you’re an independent teacher looking for a better way to do business, look no further than MyCoolClass. It’s the only online educator-owned platform that gives educators what they really need: a sense of community and cooperative ownership. With everything else out there feeling so corporate and profit-driven, it’s refreshing to know there’s still a place where teachers can call home. Ready for a better teaching business? Check out MyCoolClass today!

5 Summer Festival Ideas for ESL Lesson Plans

If you’re looking for inspiration for ESL lesson plans, it might be worth researching some popular seasonal festivals. Festival themed classes can allow you to change your lesson content or teaching style a little, celebrate another culture, or learn something important to your student. Here are five summer festivals to consider including in your ESL lesson plans.

Dragon Boat Festival

The most widely known part of this Chinese festival is the Dragon Boat Race, but a main theme of this festival is protection. Five animals – snakes, centipedes, scorpions, lizards, and toads – are believed to be protective and so are very important to this festival. Reading about or drawing these animals could be an enjoyable lesson. Playing Pictionary with one of these animals being the picture could be fun.

You could also watch a Dragon Boat Race with your student and then discuss what you have seen. You could use this to help your student practice verbs, describing people or talking about their feelings. Your student could even write a story, or a poem based on the Dragon Boat Race.

You can learn more about the Dragon Boat Festival and get some fun ideas here:
https://www.globetrottinkids.com/dragon-boat-festival/

Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is celebrated in some form by many cultures, so there is a good chance that your student will be familiar with it. You could read traditional stories about the sun to learn about different cultures and practice reading skills. Alternatively, you could learn about astronomy, summer insects or flowers. Another fun activity is to plan a picnic or garden party with your student.

The summer solstice is traditionally a time for setting goals for the future, so it is also a good chance to encourage your students to reflect on and share their learning goals.

You can learn more about the summer solstice and get some fun ideas here:
https://kidpillar.com/solstice-facts-activities-kids/

International Day of Friendship

Although this isn’t technically a festival, International Day of Friendship is a nice theme for classes for students of any age. Activities could include discussions about friendships, asking younger students to bring along and introduce their favourite toy or reading books about friendship.

You could even plan a special class that your student can invite friends to join. You can play games, read funny poems, or have an online party. It could help you get to know your student a little bit better and give both of you the chance to have fun together.

The Edinburgh Festival

Although the Edinburgh Festival isn’t traditional, it is a popular celebration of culture and the arts, making it the perfect inspiration for an online class. A fun activity would be to have a talent show, where your student can show off a skill they’ve been working on.

As comedy is a big part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, you could arrange for more playful ESL lessons encouraging your students to laugh about something they find difficult. For example, you could teach them a tongue twister using sounds they’re struggling to pronounce and laugh at yourself when you get it wrong. You could also read nonsense poems and try to draw pictures based on them.

La Tomatina

This interesting Spanish festival is a street party mixed with a food fight. It started in 1945 when people watching a parade got into an argument with some other people who didn’t want to take part. This took place near a market stall selling vegetables and the two groups started to throw tomatoes at each other, something local people repeated every year until it became one of Spain’s biggest festivals.

While it’s not practical to plan a food fight during your lesson, you could use this opportunity to talk about the significance of food in different cultures. Maybe your student could plan their perfect meal, or even their own festival.

Because this is a Spanish festival, you could also play Spanish music as a part of your ESL lesson plans. You could use the rhythm of the music to explore the rhythm of the English vocabulary and sentence structures you’re working on with your student.

Here are a few enjoyable activities you can do.
https://kidskonnect.com/holidays-seasons/la-tomatina/

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