This is the first written interview ever in Knowmad Teacher, yeehaaa! and our first guest is Adrián Hernández, who can boast about holding the record of having taught the largest amount of Spanish classes in Preply. Therefore, there’s no-one better than him to tell us about this teaching platform, right?
Many teachers prefer to teach in these platforms because they don’t need to worry about marketing themselves, they can find students easily inside the portal. If you have just begun in the online world and don’t have your own website yet, registering in one of these portals may be an easy start for you.
So, if you want to know everything about how it is to teach in an online teaching platform such as Preply, keep reading!
Tell us about you. Who is Adríán Hernández?
Hi! I´m from Venezuela but now I live in Peru. In my free time, I like watching comedy videos, listening to rock music and learning about general culture on YouTube. I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to talk with other people about cultural aspects such as music, food, lifestyles, politics, economics, etc., so being a teacher was the perfect way to do that. Besides, it was a personal challenge for me, because speaking in public wasn’t very easy for me.
How long have you been teaching?
I’ve been a teacher since 2010, when I finished my degree as an EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher in Venezuela.
Why did you move online?
I decided to teach online because I considered myself a computer savvy so it was a fun way to fuse technology and teaching.
How long have you been teaching in Preply?
I’ve been teaching in Preply since 2016.
Why did you choose Preply? Have you tried any other platforms?
I tried Verbling, Italki, VIPKID and many others but, because of my slow internet connection in Venezuela, I wasn’t accepted in any of them. Finally and fortunately, Preply was the only one that accepted my request.
You have given more than 3,000 classes and have great reviews, What’s your secret? How do you get so many students? And what do you do to make them so happy?
That’s a good question. Well, it may sound like a “cliché” but I think the secret is to do what you love with passion, perseverance and discipline.
You have to be patient. In my opinion, you have to dedicate at least a year working on a project. If by the end of that period you haven’t achieved your goals probably you should do something different.
According to the reviews, students say that I’m very patient, very focused on my lessons, and try to offer them different kinds of resources and activities such as online exercises, audio and video activities, textbooks, online games, speaking activities and even humour.
In conclusion, you have to give your best as a teacher and show your students a wide set of resources to help them become fluent in the target language while making them enjoy your lessons at the same time.
How can teachers register in Preply?
Registration is free and easy. First, you have to fill out your profile with all your personal information about courses, workshops, and studies you have done in the past.
Then, you must also record a video where you talk about the activities and tools that you use during a lesson.
Can you offer a free trial lesson?
According to Preply policy, it’s forbidden to offer a free class, all lessons are paid, including the first trial lessons.
Can teachers choose their income, availability, holidays, type of students…?
Yes, sure. Teachers decide how much they charge. However, Preply keeps a low percentage of each lesson because of the marketing work and platform maintenance that they have to do. Also, teachers can choose their target students, availability and holidays on the platform.
How can teachers find students in this platform? Any advice?
Students do check your profile before choosing you as their teacher so I advise putting some effort into filling it out.
Also, the presentation video is important. You must talk about which goals students will achieve if they choose you. You have to demonstrate that you are the tutor that the students are looking for.
Then, you have to check a tab called “Find Students” where you will see all the students’ requests. I advise you to only contact those students that match your experience and background.
How much can a teacher expect to earn?
It depends on your students’ country, your experience, target language and studies that you have. Most online teachers take this as a part-time job, but if you work hard it might become your main job.
How do teachers get paid?
By Payoneer, PayPal or even a money transfer to your bank account.
Does the platform have its own video conferencing software or do you have to use Skype, zoom or others?
It has its own software called Preply Space, but most students still prefer to use Skype. Sometimes, when I have some connection problems I use a web app called Jitsi.
What are the main tools and resources you use in your classes?
I use a book called “Español en Marcha”, Google Docs to share activities with the students, different YouTube channels for learning Spanish, websites such as ProfeDeEle.es, VideoELE.com, aprenderespanol.org and my own Facebook fan page called “Español para todos”.
To conclude, what would you tell someone who is planning to start teaching online?
Read and watch a lot of videos about it and learn from people that have more experience than you. Search information on Facebook groups such as Online language teachers and Red de profesores de español – ProfeDeELE.es. All your doubts will be clarified there. There are lots of wonderful teachers on these sites that will help you. Finally, don´t hesitate anymore, trust in yourself and do it. You will have fun.
Thank you, Adrián! Where can readers find you to contact you if they wish to do so?
My Facebook page: Español para todos
You can also leave a comment here below if you want to ask Adrián anything else about Preply or if you want to share your experience in Preply or any other teacher portal.
Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter if you want to get notified every time I post something new. There are many more interviews to come!