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Week 5 - Justine

Page history last edited by Claire Hart 7 years, 2 months ago

 Welcome to Week 5! 


We are all engaged in doing our best for our students: reading, studying, researching, being part of interest groups, attending conferences and constantly looking for professional development opportunities. But do we remember to take the time to look inwards to find the true motivators that keep us going and make us unique?


During this last week of our EVO Developing Business English Teachers we will look into ways to improve our teaching practices by learning how to brand ourselves.


You will be invited to reflect on what you have been doing with regard to branding yourselves through the building of your own roadmap to enhance your managerial competencies as entrepreneurs in the teaching world. 


There are also two live sessions this week, one with Justine on 13th February, 2pm GMT and one wrap-up session with the EVO moderators on 15th February, 4pm GMT (see below for more information and the links you need to join them).




Building your own teaching business 


Task One – What is branding? (Monday – Tuesday - 20 minutes)


Before we dive into sharing experiences, stories and reflect on how to build or on how improve our own roadmap to be a thriving business as English trainers, let´s take a bit of time to reflect on what branding is for us:


  1. Based on your own concepts and ideas, define what branding is and post your definition in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 1.
  2. Browse through some of your colleagues definitions in Edomodo and comment on at least two of them.  
  3. Do you believe that the definition of what branding is has evolved? What has changed? Share with us your thoughts in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 1 and see if your peers´thoughts add some additional insight to your own ideas. Leave a comment to some of your peers on how their insight add to your own view of what has evolved in branding. 


Task Two – What is your story? (Tuesday – Wednesday - 45 minutes)


As English trainers, we often have a steady job in a language center or university, but we sometimes also have a desire of running our own business on the side or becoming a freelancer all together.


As our products and services rely mostly on ourselves, we need to have a good, interesting, engaging and convincing story that will attract new clients and will keep the existing ones. And, most often than, not we set up a bootstrapping business.


Learning the business lingo:


Do you know what a bootstrapping business is?


Please find below a link explaining what a bootstraping business is:



And here is an article on bootstrapping a business:



1.The bootstrapping mindset


While watching the video think about the following questions:


a)      According to Seth Godin, what a bootstrapping business should be about?

b)      What are the highlights that he lists in the video?

c)      After your business grows, how do you keep the risk taking mentality?

d)      How to be a successful underdog?




After watching the video, post the answers to the questions below in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 2.


a) If you have already started a bootstrapping type of business, share with the other participants your experience:

      1. What were the steps that you took to start your own teaching business?
      2. What were your successes?
      3. What were your pitfalls?
      4. What can be a struggle while setting up a small business?
      5. What is the best part of having your own business?
      6. What tips would you give to other participants?

b)      If you haven´t set up a business of your own, would you like to set up one? Why? Why not?


2. Not Slogans, Stories! 



There are times that we focus so much on getting things done that we forget what our business is all about in the first place. We can only do something that is worth people talking about if we know what our story is. As Seth Godin points out, people will remember our stories and not facts of the business itself.





While watching this next video, try to answer the following questions:


a)    What are some of the traps that we fall into?

b)    What should we do so we don´t fall into the same kind of traps over and over again?

c)    How can we change our mentality when something is not working?

d)    What is our strongest marketing tool nowadays?




After watching this second video, post your answers to the questions below in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 2.


e)   What is your story?

f)    Why should clients pick you and not the other professionals in your area?


Task Three – Let´s share! (Wednesday – Thursday - 60 minutes)


Listening to other people´s stories and sharing my own story has always given me some great insights and it has always been a great learning experience. For instance, listening to Bethany Cagnol´s talk in the last year´s IATEFL BESIG PCE (pre-conference event) reminded me of how great pecha kucha is in the classroom as a tool for students to practice their presentation skills, fluency, vocabulary and speaking English under pressure. A nice conversation at a café with a friend made me think how important it is for our students to learn at least a bit of phonetics and connected speech to help them with pronunciation, fluency and understanding of the language. Therefore, I asked a couple of people that I admire and few students to share their experiences here with us.




1.   Interviews on personal Branding:


 Alexandre Inneco has done the ¨impossible¨ in Brazil. It can be very hard to make enough money to survive as a musician here in Brazil. I know quite a few talented musicians here who work with music as a side job because they were not able to find a way to survive by only doing what they love. But Alexandre´s story is different. He has become really successful doing what he loves: working with music and culture. What makes him different? Alexandre Inneco is a master on branding himself and was able to build a thriving business offering lectures on culture and music. He also created a wonderful choir in town that presents at least twice a year and fills up a big auditorium very quickly!



While watching this next video, try to answer the following questions and post your answers to the questions below in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 3.

a)What can we learn from Alexandre Inneco?

b)What are the experiences and tips that he shared with us that can be useful for our reality as English trainers?

      1. Meet Alexandre Inneco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfw8ux-pq8g 
      2. The idea behind the idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWPW7PiOsig
      3. The branding side of the business:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TWOiFUw2Lg
      4. Alexandre´s tips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbobnkq94-E



I´ve met Henrick Oprea because I became an active member of BrazTesol Brasilia. We´ve been sharing ideas and experiences, and he is one of the professionals in my town that I really admire. He is always ready to help, he knows his stuff, and he goes after what he believes in. He has been an English trainer for over 15 years and has a broad experience in working with young learners, adult learners and exam preparation. He also had his own language school here in Brasilia.



While watching this next video, try to answer the following questions and post your answers to the questions below in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 3.


a)   What do you share in common with Henrick?

b)   Tell us one of two things that Henrick said that made you think / reflect on?

c)   Would you add anything else to what Henrick said about personal branding? What would that be?

      1. Meet Henrick:http://youtu.be/0jWx-5LqgPc
      2. Henrick talking about skils and learning experiences:http://youtu.be/WgIS2UkYmcM
      3. What personal branding is for Henrick:http://youtu.be/bp9v6P5nYvg
      4. Henrick talks about how he goes about his own branding:http://youtu.be/PTpDFKmTQbY
      5. Henrick´s one sentence that would define him in teaching:http://youtu.be/LTJ7nnznH0E
      6. Henrick tips for you:http://youtu.be/GiONI0IsFaQ




I met Bia and Klaus as they flew to Brasilia, my hometown, to take part in a local conference.  I really enjoyed the conversation that we had as they were so nice, loving and enganging. And I could see they shared my passion for teaching. We met again in October of last year at another local conference and again we shared some interests and ideas. It was very important for me to listen to them as a reflexion to my own practice. 


They are married and run a business (Envision) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. They told me that Envision is the place that students go when they don´t want the traditional school setting anymore. They don´t follow books at Envision; they create individual plans based on each student´s needs and objectives. Their interview below is a summary of their path and experiences in teaching English as a foreign language and their tips on branding yourself. 





2Interviews with Justine´s students:


You will now watch interviews with three students of mine (I didn´t correct them during the interview because I wanted them to speak freely. Therefore, you will watch ¨raw¨ videos without any corrections or editing). Also, I believe that it is important to point out that a while ago (a year or so ago) most likely these students would not agree to give an interview in English. Thus, this is a big accomplishment for them.


While watching these interviews, try to answer the following questions and post your answers to the questions below in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 3 (if the sound is a bit low, try to watch the videos with your headset or plug in an external speaker).


a)    Based on the videos, what do you think my brand is?

b)    What do you think makes these students interested in having classes with me (they have been my students for a while now)?

      1. Paulo:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg2XWvVhCFc
      2. Antônio Sérgio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifDW7CUuWdM
      3. Ana Caroline: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtXwOoLHecs


Task Four – What can we learn from the milkshake case study? : To think out of the box!

(Thursday – Friday - 30 minutes)



Clayton Christensen is a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and he teaches a class called Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise, one of the most popular elective classes at Harvard. He is one of the most influential thinkers in the business world and he is well known for his book The Innovator´s Dilemma where he shares his ideas on disruptive innovation.

  1. Read the article and watch the video on the milkshake case (links below). Answer the following questions and post your answers to the questions below in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 4




a)   What is the most important message that we can take from the milkshake case?

b)   After reflecting on this case, who is your true competition? Other teachers? Language schools? Or is your true competition something else?





Task Five – Getting your hands dirty: Setting up your own personal professional development plan

(Friday – Sunday - 90 minutes)



The aim of this final task is for us to remind ourselves of our essence so we have a chance to reflect upon what makes us unique. This type of reflection will allow us to understand better where we stand and what we need to do in order to set up a development plan that is true to ourselves and our believes and that is realistic given our context. By doing so, we are empowered to grow as English trainers and become a brand of our own.





1. Let´s do a little reflection before we dive into questioning ourselves in order to set up our own roadmap.  


a)   Think about someone who runs a successful small business and who you admire. Post your answers in Edmodo small group for week 5 task 5.

      1. What is his/her brand? What is he/she known for? And what makes his/her personal brand strong?
      2. Why do you admire him/her? What is his/her professional and personal characteristics that make him/her special?


2. This series of questions will help you to understand what your core is and how to apply it into your own teaching / business practice. If you feel comfortable, share one or two points of your reflection in the Edmodo small group for week 5 task 5.


a)    Finding your fever: 

      1. What are the things that you like to talk the most with friends and family?
      2. How do these things can relate to the work that you do as an English trainer?
      3. How do you distinguish yourself from other English trainers?
      4. Who do you want to help and what do you want to help them to do?
      5. Why do you do what you do?


b)    The initial investment: 

      1. What is the initial investment that you have to do in order to be a strong brand in your field?
      2. What has been the best investment that you have made as an English trainer? How has it improved your practice?


c)    Hiring your students: 

      1. How did you start getting your students?
      2. How do you get new students?
      3. What do you do in order to keep your students?
      4. What type of students do you have?
      5. What type of students do you want?


d)     After sales: The classes! 

a.  After connecting to a potential student, what is the next step that you take?

b.  And how are your classes? How do you prepare them? What is special about them?

c.  And what do you do after each class that you teach?


e)    Professional Development: What have you been doing to become a more resourceful and better professional?

 a. What are the steps that you´ve been taking to develop yourself professionally? Be specific.

 b. What are the things that you´ve been reading about or learning that are outside of the teaching English as a second or foreign language scope? How do these things add to your teaching practice?


3. Let´s use some of the exercises from Michael Port´s book Book Yourself Solid as a final reflection on our talents and how we position ourselves in what we do. Click on the link below for the exercise. If you feel comfortable, share one or two insights that you had while doing this exercise in the Edmodo small group for week 5 task 5.





Task Six

And to end our week, let´s listen to what the EVO team has to say about professional development. Watch the videos below and identify one of the tips given in the videos which seems to be the most relevant to you at this point in your career. Share this tip with us in the Week 5 - Task 6 group and tell us how exactly you plan to implement it






Gabrielle                                                                 Dana











You can download the transcript of what Marjorie says in this video by clicking here: Transcript
















       Additional Resources: 


The British Council Continual Professional Development Framework 

Sandy Millin´s blog starter list - a list of blogs to follow   



Live sessions


Please attend the live session with Justine on Thursday, 13 February at 2pm GMT.  

You can access the recording of this live session by clicking on this link: Recording of the live session with Justine 


Additional Resources for Justine´s live session: 




The You Call Brand


The Good Life Project


Book Yourself Solid Illustrated


Business Model You


Business Model Generation


Eat That Frog






Please attend the wrap-up live session with The EVO moderators on Saturday, 15 February at 4pm GMT.  

You can access this live session by clicking on this link: wrap-up live session with the EVO moderators 

You can check your local time here: Event time announcer

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