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Source of Side Money

 
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ahhemitsme



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:45 am    Post subject: Source of Side Money Reply with quote

Can anyone comment on their experiences private tutoring? I'd like to know how you set it up? If it made decent money? What the obstacles were. Thanks

trent
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The obstacles are networking and language, assuming you mean trying to get private students for tutoring in another country. You'll have to give yourself some time to get to know the market nd the langauge, so you can charge market rates. If you are new at teaching altogether, you'll need to brush up on how to do a proper initial interview and needs analysis, since private tutoring is so much more about an individual student's needs and less about teaching a program off the shelf.

In Latin America, it's quite common for foreign (and local) teachers to supplement their incomes with private classes. One pitfall - if you are mainly employed by a school, you best check that school's policy on offering private classes to their students. Some schools treat this as a big no-no.
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Scooby *Scott* Doo



Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience is that usually teachers who get to a local market are hit up by students for privates, and tempted to quit their gig with the language school and take these guys up, stifling the middle man lang. school owner in the process, who no doubt deserves it. But watch out, these privates can dry up and stick it on you as well! You're going to be doing this likely illegally, and what recourse do you have when they stop paying you or stop coming? Remember, in TEFL people learners always fade as the months in the school year go by, this is a fact no matter where you teach in the world.

I would not recommend doing this, but if you cash in, early on, you could have reserve funds to hold out the year.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a few people come out out of our TEFL course and go straight into private class teaching, but this is relatively easy to do in a town the size of Mexico City. The trickiest part, and often the most time consuming, is managing your classes. Scheduling around students is not that easy as everyone wants classes in the same block of time during the day. Managing cancelations can be tough too, if you don't have some kind of policy (pay up front, no cancels, for example).

Experienced ex-pats here have it down to a pat. Sell a block of teaching hours and a program and get paid up front. Especially important if this is your only source of income.
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Scooby *Scott* Doo



Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK I guess that makes sense, but you have to be a real business man. Wouldn't you have to put on the hard sell to get those guys to pay up in advance? I hate asking people for money, goes against my morals. And now I'd have to pitch to this beforehand.

But in response to Homeboy's question, I guess this is a good point, Guy. If you are a business man type, which is not a bad thing, its just that I am not, then you could do yourself nicely. Especially if you work out those margins and get that cash up front, you can milk that in the winter months, maybe even earn a little interest if you're in a more volatile economy where banks will give you 20% APR.

By the way, did you just change your picture?
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's true, it can be tough...someone here would have to manage, say, 5 students or groups at 5 hours each per week of classes, minimum, do the programming, handle the finances...I did some of this before getting my current job...the holidays can hurt when all your students are gone.

Getting a student to pay up front...that's built on trust. The idea is that you are selling your precious time, time that can't be allotted to another potential student if there is a late cancelation. I think most adult students or parents of younger students can understand that.

Yeah, I update my picture to something more current. 2 years older and a little heavier. Mexican food has me hooked. Wink
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Lee Hobbs
Site Admin


Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 141
Location: TheGulfCoast

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:55 am    Post subject: Mexican Interest Rates for ESL Investors Reply with quote

Scooby *Scott* Doo wrote:
If you are a business man type, which is not a bad thing, its just that I am not . . . banks will give you 20% APR


Scott,

For a man that claims to have such a disdain for (and such little knowledge about) business, it sounds like you are up to snuff on your investing and banking strategies. Are you sure that ESL is the right business for you?

Guy, I like the new "contemplative" pic: very debonaire I might add!

Best wishes fellas,

Lee

http://www.english-blog.com

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cballardphoto



Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Toledo, Spain

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:48 am    Post subject: private lessons Reply with quote

Hi

It can be a struggle to juggle your hours and won't always have classes in blocks doing it private. You'll soon find you need to have a policy as has been said before, re asking for money. The best way to do this, I think, is to go official (legal) and have a few hours with companies as well, teaching general or business English. Then you'll have a fall-back.

You must also be aware that you'll need to save throughout the year as you probably won't have much in the way of classes over the summer, nothing at Christmas or Easter either.

It can be good fun. You are in control of your time, though it doesn't always feel like that if you get lots of cancelations and are trying to recover the classes on other days. I would also say that it could be quite lonely. If you live alone and give the classes at home, you don't know many people locally and thus don't go out too much, you may find it a rather solitary experience.

Selling a block of hours sounds like quite a good idea, but it would have to have a date attached to it, for when the hours run out, like a best before date! If not it could drag on and on.

Another issue can be access to resources. You'd find yourself creating quite a collection whatever way you can.

Where I live it's common to advertise for things by fly-posting in the street, some poeple even stick up hand-written adverts. Put in your mobile phone number, write in the local language and cut up tear-off strips for people to easily take your number with them.

Bascially if can be rather frustrating, and you probably wouldn't make that much more money in the end than you would working for a language school.

But do think about balancing out private classes with doing company classes.
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Scooby *Scott* Doo



Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy,

That picture is debonair as Lee suggests, that's a great word, quite European. I take it your from the good old UK and hence the UnionJack reference?

Ah Mexican, I love that stuff too. Can you answer a question for me, non ESL-related: Is Tex Mex back in the States really a joke compared to the grub down in the homeland? I am still considering going to Mexico although safety is an issue for me. But that aside, I mean can you get a regular old taco down there with a crisp corn tortilla, ground beef (spicy), grated cheddar cheese, slicked onions, lettuce, and tomoto? As for the salsa, that's probably a slam dunk down there so I won't even bother to ask you to compare that.

You gave some good bussiness advice coming back to the origianal question of privates, you definiteily know your proverbial a*se from your elbow, and you're a good salesman. As for me, yeah maybe I should consider joining the futures exchange and trading in pork bellies - remember Mortimer from "Trading Places?"
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dcole



Joined: 22 Dec 2005
Posts: 4
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Private tutoring Reply with quote

Hi Everyone

I have only been teaching ESL for six months in China - a wonderful experience. I was approached very early to do some private work, and the money was certainly far more attractive than the University salary. I took on one business student for 4 hours a week, and the only downside that I can see is he expected me to change my own schedules to fit in with his. Of course this clashed with the full time job, so I had to put my foot down. I find this one to one tutoring far more challenging than class work, because it has to be very specifically tailored to the application, which in this case is financial services, an area in which I have had a lot of experience. My Uni knows that I am doing it, because I was referred by one of the other Chinese lecturers, and as long as it stays very low key, I don't think I will have any bother.

It has naturally led me to investigate the possibility of multiplying this private income to a full time situation, and I am in the process of setting up a legally constituted company to enable that to happen. I am in a relationship with a lady who already runs a language school here, so I have some very useful 'inside' information. I have heard a number of stories of teachers being deported because they have upset the wrong person, at the same time as carrying on their moonlighting. I can only suggest doing everything above board, especially where the political situation is, shall we say, delicate.

Regards

Duncan.
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PittsburghPete



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Not of this world

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:43 am    Post subject: Undercover Info on Getting Ahead Quickly in the ESL industry Reply with quote

dcole wrote:
. . . I am in a relationship with a lady who already runs a language school here, so I have some very useful 'inside' information . . .


Well now, there you have it folks: the golden KEY to success in the ESL private lesson market.

Stop wastin' your time with all those dang degrees and whatnot. Buy my book: "how to go overseas and pick up a language school owner in six months or less." It's the ultimate hook-up guide. Why, just look at the success this fine chap has had.

Now, that's advice we can all use!

Must be nice to have a girlfriend. Crying or Very sad My old one got tired of my dippin' snuff.

P.Pete
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brazilfarmer



Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Private Teaching Reply with quote

As a new person to this forum and therefore this thread I'd just like to say how interesting it is to read all of your opinions, views and experiences. I guess we all have our own little stories to tell, so here's mine.

I've been teaching English since 2000 but it seems longer, having tried my hand at a variety of business-related jobs/careers. I never really found anything that grabbed my attention and at that time had a French 'other half' who convinced me that teaching was my destiny.

Now I live in Brazil and teach at a local college in their Language Centre, but have managed, over about three years, to generate a steady stream of private students. I now work about 35-40 hours per week with 25 of those being at the college. The interesting thing is that I make as much from my private students in one month as I do from the college. This is important because it means I still receive my normal during the holidays and can also teach some of my private students who still want classes. The holidays in the summer in Brazil are far too long, starting basically at the end of November and going on until virtually the end of February. Imagine not earning anything for 3-months! This is one of the reasons I decided I needed to supplement my main income. It was quite slow to start with and my first student was actually my driving instructor and he still has classes today. Now I'm actually in a position where I'm turning people away although that doesn't mean I don't have any spare time as I don't work on Monday and Thursday mornings. The downside is that I work upto and sometimes beyond 9pm five nights a week.

My policy with regard to charging and collecting payments is quite straightforward and seems to work fairly well. I charge a little bit less than the college and I send the student an email of their account at the end of the month, after their final class. If the student has two hours or more per week, then I allow them the first hour free if cancelled, any cancellations after that I charge at the full rate. This has worked very well so far and I haven't had one student complain. Also, because my schedule is very tight, I insist on punctuality. Being British this doesn't surprise most of my students and they respect this. So if they turn up 30 minutes late for a one-hour class they know that they're only going to get 30 minutes but must pay for the full hour. I teach at home in an office so it's much easier to have students organised with their times so that I don't waste my time. The college I work at is a five-minute drive away so I just have intervals of 15 minutes which allows me just enough time between classes.

I think that's enough of my story but if it helps anyone or if you're interested in knowing anything else about teaching privately and you think I can help, let me know. However, I guess every country and even every region is different so I think any advice needs to be general and culturally-sensitive.
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GringoGuy



Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: ESL Private Lessons Reply with quote

BrazilFarmer, curious to your visa status.

GringoGuy
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brazilfarmer



Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject: ESL Private Lessons Reply with quote

Hi Gringoguy - I have a permanent visa as my wife is Brazilian. For the job at the local college I needed this but for teaching privately you really don't need anything official as it's all cash in hand. However, quite a few of my students have their classes paid by their company and they require my CPF, which is like a social security number.

Are you in Brazil/South America too?
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