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Are the staff happy? I always try to work that out when I am in a restaurant. Are they smiling for real? Are they joking between themselves? Are they enjoying their day?

It’s important to me because I don’t want to be served by an unhappy worker. I don’t want to be part of a system that means my satisfaction depends on another’s unhappiness. What might make waiters unhappy? Well, low pay for one. Poor conditions? Yup. Money grubbing greedy boss? Well, that would be no surprise.

It’s the same with teaching. I’ve been doing it for over 25 years and I know a happy teacher when I see one. They are energized, creative and radiating empathy. Happy teachers create contented students. Rocket science, it ain’t. We all know this.

And that is why I am so angry at the Gig Economy Con. I am also a musician and I play gigs. Gigs are cool. You can not appropriate coolness by calling just anything a gig.

Online teaching platforms where they charge you for finding students and  – this is important – they KEEP the money for themselves are part of the ‘Gig Economy’. A massive confidence trick based on attractive user interfaces and good old Dickensian exploitation. Some teachers even get fined for supposed ‘misdemeanours’ such as drinking a glass of water in class! There is nothing cool about that.

Enough is enough.

Teachers are professional experts in the art of explanation. It is a demanding career worthy of respect.

That’s why when I heard about MyCoolClass – the teachers’ cooperative – I jumped at the chance to get in on the ground floor.  Cooperatives are non-exploitative, supportive businesses where every member owns an equal part of the company. One member, one vote when it comes to decision making.

Get out of the Gig Economy Con and into the cooperative and what you pay into the business (as a percentage of your class income)  comes right back at you as holiday pay and sickness benefits. Profits are shared between everyone. MyCoolClass is a game changer.

How cool is that?

 

 

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