The perks and perils of being a private teacher

After having taught at several different schools for a long long time, I’ve been teaching private classes for a while now. I’ve decided to do so so that I could have more flexibility and more time to study and work on different projects.

Needless to say, teaching private classes has its own features. Sometimes I feel as if I were learning how to teach all over again and that’s been a real challenge. By a stroke of luck, I’ve come across a lot of interesting articles on it these past few weeks and they’ve made me ponder over it a lot these days. That is why I’ve decided to write this post and share what I’ve been going through with you …

  • Being organized and getting things done: I’ve always been a very organized teacher. However, I’ve found out that being very organized was not enough. I’ve become an extremely organized teacher as I have to do everything myself. Planning the semester, printing roll calls, getting copies, buying materials, making coffee and tea, having all students’ phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. at hand are some of the things which have become part of my new routine.
  • Missing the teachers’ room: sometimes I do miss being in a teachers’ room and talking to fellow teachers over coffee. And I do feel all alone most of the time. Magically, I’ve come to terms with it while reading Vivian Magalhães’ post “The pains and gains of having your own blog or website”. In her post, she mentions that one of the webmasters of some educational sites she interviewed for her dissertation paper, “Neil Coghlan (from, once referred to the internet as ‘the biggest teachers’ room in the world’.” And never before have I been so connected. I may even start blogging! Over coffee, for sure!
  • Reflecting, learning, and sharing: as I don’t attend any teachers’ meetings and I have no one to share with, I’ve taken more and more online courses. These courses have helped me deepen my knowledge of some very important aspects related to learning and teaching and I’ve been able to share very interesting activities and ideas with people from all over the world.
  • Teacher development: as I said before, I’ve been on my own. Thus, in order to develop myself as a teacher, I’ve been trying to do much more than I did before – I’ve been spending more time working for the teachers’ association I’m part of – and to try out new things – after reading Carla Arena’s post “Try Twitter before ignoring it”, I’ve decided to try it and now you can find me there, as well!

If you ever decide to become a private teacher, just get in touch! I’ll be pleased to help you out!

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Michele Schwertner

Michele Schwertner has been an English teacher for over 25 years. She holds a B.A. in TEFL. She is currently teaching private lessons.

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