Hey, knowmad teacher!
I’ve just come back from a three-day workshop for teachers of Spanish as a second language where I’ve participated giving a talk about online teaching. Not only would I like to share my experience but I also want to encourage you to start attending a few important events.
Apart from having the opportunity to speak about me and what I do in front of everybody, I’ve made lots of connections and friends, I’ve been offered a couple of jobs to teach online for private centres, some people want to try my English lessons, some others may recommend me to their students for extra practice, I’ve arranged to meet monthly with some online teachers to share our ideas and progress, a few were really interested in starting a personal e-business and promised to follow me and learn from me….and last but not least, I’ve eaten lots of paella, drank sangría and horchata (a typical drink from Valencia), I danced and had lots of fun!
So intense, right? Yay!
Therefore, if you are beginning your journey as an online teacher, I strongly recommend you to start going to different events where you might learn, progress, make connections, get new ideas or find potential students.
Why is it important to keep learning?
New ideas and methods are constantly being implemented in teaching. You don’t want to fall behind all this progress!
As a teacher, you must update constantly and innovate as much as possible in your classes so that you can offer the maximum quality to your students. You will feel fresh and creative and they will appreciate it.
Learn how to explain better, how to motivate better, learn about new applications, websites, platforms and resources in general, learn how to make the class more fun, interactive, entertaining, learn about new useful materials…
In addition, as a knowmad, you must also learn constantly about marketing, new technologies, productivity, the art of selling, etc. So you must look for events about entrepreneurship and digital business as well.
Why is it important to make connections?
This is called networking and it’s about meeting people who have something in common with you professionally. It may be the same job or another that you might need services from or the other way around. Or maybe they do something totally different but you might be facing the same challenges or you may be sharing the same fears and frustrations.
One way or another, you will help each other and learn from each other. I’ve even got students in the past because I was recommended by some of my connections!
It’s important to meet people that are following your same path so that you don’t feel alone and you can share your emotions and celebrate your achievements together.
Why is it important to go to events where you might find students?
Because it’s possibly one of the best ways to promote yourself ‘offline’. Yes, you want to be an online teacher and you want to market yourself online to reach people from all around the world but, believe me, people really trust you when they see you, when they meet you and talk to you. So jump off your chair, get out and find them!
These are the five types of events that you might want to look for:
Do you know the ‘meet up’ application? It’s a great one if you are looking for events near you. It works really well, especially in big cities.
Apart from using it to find potential students, I also use it personally to meet people, to find interesting and fun events for me, to find people that share my interests and to learn new things.
There are events of many different kinds. For instance, I like going to events about veganism, lucid dreaming, hiking, entrepreneurship, e-business, language exchanges, etc. You will certainly find events that you like and where you may meet potential students.
It’s free and very easy to use. I use the premium plan (which is not expensive at all, something around 30 euros every 6 months) to organize and promote my own meet up, an English-Spanish language exchange in Barcelona.
Seminars, conferences, workshops, talks…about what you teach
As I said earlier on, you should always keep learning in order to offer the highest quality to your students.
I assure you that you will learn a lot while you make connections and many opportunities arise.
Attending these events will help you keep up-to-date with new methods and materials that you can use in class. I always come back from these events loaded with new ideas and tips for my classes which make me and my students enjoy more and make the most of our lessons together.
Entrepreneurship and e-business events
The more you know, the faster you will grow and improve and the faster you will find students. You have to learn about marketing, social networks, copywriting, advertising, selling, blogging…
In these events, you can also make a lot of connections, people who might help you or with whom you will collaborate in the future.
You will also become more visible if you go out there and spend some time with people who also work online. Some of them might start following your profiles or your blog after the event.
You will have the opportunity to learn from the best and maybe exchange some words with them! Pay attention to their advice!
You will surely learn loads, meet interesting people and have a lot of fun. What are you waiting for?
Some specific events for language teachers (if you are not a language teacher, you should try to find specific events in your field):
If you are a language teacher like me, you should look for these kinds of events, go and participate helping students. People trust you when they meet you and see you in action, when you help them correcting, explaining, advising…etc.
You will make friends, you will promote yourself and build relationships with potential students. You will find out what they need and which their problems are. If you have answers for them, they will love you, respect you and maybe hire you!
You may find these events announced in Meet up or Facebook.
International, expat and erasmus meetings and parties
These events are great to find students and also to meet interesting new people and have fun.
These people might have just arrived and they might be looking forward to learning the language. They might need help with finding a flat, a bank, a school for their children…If you are able to help them, they will be very thankful and will probably consider taking up classes with you, since you are so helpful.
Go, have a cocktail or two, have fun and find students!
IMPORTANT! How to make the most of all these events:
Please, don’t forget your business cards, give to everyone you talk to and leave some in the venue if you are allowed.
Don’t be shy and talk about what you do to everybody, introduce yourself and advise when they ask you for help.
Bring your smile with you, be yourself and be generous, give and share as much as you can.
Now, it’s your turn:
Do you often participate in some of these events or others?
In which events do you learn most? Which ones do you find more useful to attend in order to find students?
Are there any important events in your area?
Sharing is caring! Please, share your ideas and experience leaving a comment below.