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First online meeting of TEFL academy owners. First of many!

At last! On Friday were finally able to organise something which we had been trying to do for AGES (at least two or three years).

Our first meeting of academy owners.

Due to obvious reasons, it was online. And, the good news, is that we will be doing this periodically (about twice a month). We were all very satisfied with the meeting. Even though it was a first introduction, where we didn’t go into anything in detail.

Why was this necessary?

For various reasons:

  • As everyone said at the end of the meeting, “it is good to know you are not alone, and that there are others out there with similar problems“.
  • Our sector is a mess. We need to get together and start to produce solutions to this mess (too many academies, low quality, absurd prices, low standards hiring etc…).
  • We are suffering a hard blow from this coronavirus crisis. And we weren’t precisely in our best moment before it hit us.
  • Teaching is changing, gradually moving online. It implies new ways of teaching, new techniques, new tools….

What can we get from these meetings.

I’ve always collaborated with other companies, but academies have always been reluctant to meet and share ideas. Mainly because of two reasons:

  1. Fear of competition and of losing clients. Which is absurd…every academy is different, situated in different locations and specialised in different types of teaching (adults, professionals, teenagers, exams, business…). Sharing with other academies means you can transfer clients to them and offer more services (which they can provide for you and charge you).
  2. Fear of being “caught doing things illegaly“. Many academies don’t do things “by the book”, and are afraid of being caught. I know what it is do operate that way, you live in constact fear of everyone and everything, and are constantly looking over your shoulder. Some people get used to it, and live with no concers ( I couldn’t).
    But many are not aware that you can do things correctly and do well. So those of us who are working  this way, can show them how. You can’t imagine the ease of mind it produces.
    Plus, we don’t really care how people work…we are talking, not auditing.

There are many things to gain by these meetings. Each one will get from them what he/she is looking for, or what he/she needs. And it will be different for each case.
Furthermore, I am sure we don’t realise right now, many of the ways we will be helping each other in the future.

NB: It was mentioned during the meeting that this was done before, and the organisers ended charging the members for meetings or resources. I can assure you this is not the intention of these meetings. I don’t want to sell anything, and will not charge for meetings or anything derived from them. I have no hidden commercial plan behind this.

Things we can gain from these meetings:

  • Services or products which have worked out for other academies.
  • Solutions to specific problems we have and others don’t.
  • Answers to questions we might have (Fundae, legal requirements, convenido….).
  • Information about online technology and solutions.
  • Advice about how to deal with problems, based on what other academies might have faced before.
  • Networking: it is always good to have contacts.
  • Ways to tackle new problems (such as the rumoured and much feared increase in VAT).
  • Brainstorming (about new ways of increasing income, about how to improve teacher’s conditions etc).

And much more.

Conclusion.

It was really nice to get together and talk about common problems. The atmosphere was relaxed and confortable. This has been A GREAT IDEA:

Thank you all who attended. Specially Rebecca (who has helped a lot to get to this day through her Facebook group) and David, not me, the other David, (who is always ready to help). And I know some couldn’t make it and would have liked to. Don’t worry, we will see you in the next ones.

 

When will the next meeting be?

Friday the 16th of October.

We are planning to do two meetings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  So if someone is interested, please contact me at david@smythacademy.com or post in Rebecca’s Facebook group.

My proposed time for the afternoon is again 17:30, but I can do anything from 17:00 to 18:00.

See you in our next meeting!

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “First online meeting of TEFL academy owners. First of many!

    1. Sena, I don’t know if I replied to this, but morning meetings are not being run right now due to lack of attendees.

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