Teaching ESL

Increasing income and getting private students
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Author:  benny1380 [ Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Increasing income and getting private students

Hi, sorry if this has been posted somewhere else along the line. I did search for the topic but nothing came up.

So I really need to increase my income from teaching English. Ideally I would like to double it.

I currently teach 20 hours or lessons per week, with most spread throughout the day and some in different towns that involve travelling to.
My first question is: How many hours is seen as a lot or maximum each week?

My second question is, how can I get more private students? Currently I only have 1, and he was referred to me by another teacher! I have a website set up, and in this town of 40,000 people, there are only 3 native speakers. I would have thought that we would be in such a high demand, we would be turning people down!

We all work for the same language school, who wants to keep us all contracted to them so we can't work for any rival schools in the town. But if I only have 20 hours per week, then I will need to supplement that with the private lessons.

And of course during the summer, it is pretty much dead around here with hardly any students wanting lessons. Factor in holidays and students cancelling, and I rarely get the 20 hours all in one week.

If anyone is or has been in a similar situation, could you point me in the right direction?

Thanks a lot!

Author:  Leeann [ Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Increasing income and getting private students

Well first off, great job on getting a private website!

Here's my opinion on some of your questions.

- Twenty hours a week can be considered as a lot if it's not including prep time, and you have to create the curriculum and lessons from scratch.
- If you are given premade lessons, then 20 hours a week is in between a lot and a little. It's a little more than a part time job, but 10 hours short from being a full time job.
- I tend to include my prep time when I calculate how many hours I've worked because it lets me know if I'm working myself to the point where my hourly wage is less than minumum.

Question 2
- You're right, you should have tons of students on your website, but if they can't find it how will they book a lesson?
Try searching for keywords like "Learn English in [Your City]" or "Find a tutor in [Your City]" on Google. If you haven't purchased advertising services like Google Adwords, or used SEO techniques, then it's going to be very difficult for people to find your private services without you physically giving them the link.

Another way to advertise your website could be by handing out business cards, putting up posters in community centers and libraries, and offering tutoring services for other after school programs.

If your language school wants to keep you contracted, then perhaps you should speak to them about increasing your hours so that you're a full time teacher. If that doesn't work, then find another company that will give you full time hours.

As for dead seasons, I've definitely experienced that, but it happens. The best thing you can do is use that dead time to make activities for students on your website. This way you can share them online and in your community, and develop a name.

Or.... you could apply to multiple teaching / tutoring agencies and work at 2 places during the same time.

- I hope that helps

- Leeann

Author:  benny1380 [ Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Increasing income and getting private students

That does help yes, thanks a lot!

I am now teaching around 25 hours per week, plus travelling time, plus prep. It does seem like a lot of work and long days, but the money still isn't anywhere near what I hoped for or expected when I started!

You are correct about the prep time, I also class it as working time and when I calculate my wage including that it's quite a shock!

I always use any quiet time as my self improvement time. So definitely not sitting on Facebook!

I've spoke to the school a number of times, but they don't seem to be very understanding.

Although I should have some exciting plans for the future.

Author:  TeacherShawn [ Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Increasing income and getting private students

Be awesome. Use the materials from MES-English, color print and laminate them nicely. Put time and effort into getting good looking materials set up.

Then try to network through facebook with people in your city. Post pictures of your teaching, video clips of your students being awesome. Place well-made learning materials strategically in the photos. Facebook is the best place to create a web presence. You can use facebook to drive traffic to your web site.

Try to make your students famous... word will get around that you are great.

Remember that when teaching private lessons, you have to balance fun with performance. You must make the students feel good about themselves. Most of the time, if a private student isn't having fun, they'll quit. You have to make them WANT to come back.

Lastly, learn the local language (and how to use it politely) and schmooze with parents.

Author:  benny1380 [ Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Increasing income and getting private students

Thank you, these ideas are all great.

I have really been getting my head down over the summer as it is a quiet time here.

I have been studying every day, increasing or refreshing my grammar knowledge, teaching skills as well and my business knowledge.

The other teachers in the town have been doing the exact opposite so I am already one step ahead.

I created a Facebook page which has had over 60 likes in 1 week. I am working on a way to turn these likes into paying students.

I also updated my website and gave incentives for my current private students to leave an honest review.

I am still with the original school but I'm happy that all my eggs are not in one basket.

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