> a day in the life
> the job itself
was given thorough, high-quality teacher training when
I entered the Smith's system. I was also taught all the
administrative aspects of running a franchise school.
the training, we were taught that we do not call ourselves
"teachers." We call ourselves coaches of communicative
confidence (C.C.C). Although we do teach our students
English, our main goal is to teach them to communicate
in English with confidence. The key to our coaching approach
is eliciting questions and answers from the students.
We keep the teacher talking time (T.T.T.) as low as possible
(not more than 30%) and the student talking time (S.S.T.)
as high as possible (at least 70%). This eliciting approach
is designed to make the students do most of the talking
during their lesson time.
the smith's curriculum
Smith's curriculum is a course of study designed to provide
a framework and direction for students and a commonality
students like to see that they are following some kind
of curriculum, which also provides direction. When the
coach uses the curriculum, the students can SEE their
progress, making them feel that they're moving forward
and improving their English. The material in the curriculum
increases in difficulty as the student advances, but is
built in such a way that material taught earlier is incorporated
into later lessons, making students continually review
what was taught earlier. If students do not feel that
they're following some kind of curriculum (providing direction)
and don't see their progress, they will probably quit.
commonality between coaches is important when more than
one teacher teaches the same student. The curriculum is
built in such a way that the next teacher who teaches
the same student knows exactly what was done the last
lesson and what has (or has not) been taught yet. They
make this apparent to the student by first reviewing the
last lesson's material. This lets the student know that
although the teacher's face may change, the next teacher
knows exactly what was done before. In other words, the
teacher changes but the material doesn't.
to make my own schedule
have a lot of freedom with the setting of my schedule.
Smith's does have some rules I must abide to, such as
having my school open a minimum of 17 hours a week, three
days a week, including the time of 6:00 p.m. to 10:00
p.m. But besides these rules, I can craft my schedule
to my liking. I simply let head office know when I'm available.
I like this freedom. It allows me the chance to do other
things besides teaching English.
can also close my school when there aren't any lessons
scheduled. For example, if I am at my school and don't
have any lessons scheduled until three hours later, I
can close my school for the next three hours and take
off, coming back only when my next lesson is scheduled.
I don't have to sit around waiting until the next lesson.
scheduling for lessons is done through head office. All
I have to do is show up for the scheduled lessons and
sizes vary between one and three students. I like this
because it gives students the opportunity to speak a lot
and the small size makes the lessons more intimate. All
lessons are 45 minutes long and scheduled on the hour.
This means that I have a 15 minute break in between lessons,
which is very nice.
Smith's curriculum is structured in such a way that virtually
no lesson planning time is needed. I simply open up my
student file, and in seconds, I can see what was done
last lesson, and what has and hasn't been taught to the
student. So my "lesson planning" is done in
seconds. That means my 15-minute break really IS a break.
my own income
monthly income is all the money I collected from students
that month minus the expenses of running the business.
As such, I have the power to determine my own income.
The expenses usually stay about the same. Therefore, if
I want to increase my income, I have both increase my
student body and keep students as long as possible.
to hire part-time teachers
now I enjoy teaching all the lessons at my school. However,
I have the option of sticking a part-time teacher (or
teachers) in my school to teach some or all of the lessons,
should I choose to. All part-time teachers are teacher
trained in the Smith`s curriculum by head office.
to get extra holidays
Smith's franchises have the same holidays, amounting to
about 90 days a year, which is quite impressive. Should
I want to take more time off outside normal designated
Smith's holidays, I can easily do so by sticking a part-time
teacher in my school. I love that freedom.