I often hear from teachers saying how they can’t afford this or can’t afford that, budgets are being cut, the economy’s bad or that parents don’t have money or won’t spend it on education.
Well, over here it’s a real eye opener! I now know where the money is going …
This week we’ve had teachers who’ve flown over to Tahiti, Korea, South America, India and Japan (several times a year!) just to recruit students. Your students! Parents everywhere are willing to spend their money, and lots of it, on educating their children – abroad!
And it’s not just from big cities, students from all areas are studying here.
Now obviously you can’t offer the English environment or activities that schools in New Zealand can offer.
But you can offer the same level of education and for a fraction of the cost.
This is an ideal opportunity for you to compete for the money and students that are absolutely out there.
How do they do it? It’s by being totally professional, upping their game and by almost guaranteeing students will get good. There’s none of this “study for 2, 3or 6 years and let’s see” business like in some countries, or playing around with an improvised curriculum or materials. Over here it’s “get the ability in ____ months” or they offer internationally accepted qaulifications such as IELTS or TOEIC.
If you can offer that locally then a whole slice of a very big pie is yours!
I know I’m going to get lots of comments saying “but we only have one hour a week”, “parents won’t pay”, “kids can’t use the English outside class here”. But you’ll need to get out of that mind set.
I’ve spent the last two weeks interviewing students here and many parents are willing to pay for several hours a week (people always say they never will, but actually do!) and take even primary school kids out of regular school for a whole year, to provide them with an international education. Some of the kids here only speak their own language with their friends and spend all night skyping their boyfriends/girlfriends back home but they still improve just from the class time.
And it’s back to the expectations thing, if a school doesn’t expect the kids to get good, they don’t. If they are mixing with really motivated kids (or teachers!) from other countries and see them whizz pass them in level, they know they have to up their game.
As I say, this is where all the money is going. It’s just a case of how you want to compete.
Anyway, I’m going to have some videos of some of the schools so you can see what they offer, I’m very impressed by the quality of what they have and I guess regulating English schools does have some benefits!