The autonomous teacher: 5 filters for professional growth and development

A2838466-0483-4400-8B31-9A33219E32F4I’ve been a self-employed teacher for 20 years and can say looking back at my professional history that I’ve made some mistakes, such as,  being too straight-forward with some students, letting students go on and on with their classes without making any commitment to actual improvement.  But also gotten some things right: helping them identify their strong and weak points and providing tools for them to set achievable goals and challenges. Helping them identify language learning as a tool not a 7-headed monster.

Noam Chomsky has developed the five filters of the mass media machine but those filters can be adapted to the self-employed career:

1. Ownership – you must own up to your mistakes, also understand that you must charge your students in a fair way while not compromising your source of income. Your rate can’t just be based on the hour you’ll be with him.

2. Advertising – you’re the top model who’ll inspire people to hire you. Looks are not the point. Transparency and motivation are great selling points when it comes to hiring a new teacher.

3. Elite – ordinary citizens can’t hire a private mentor or tutor for longer periods of time. The elite can afford you. But charging a low-income student and a high-income student differently, helps the latter finance of learning program of the former.

4. Flak – you may take some flak if the students fail. It’s part of the territory. Learn to cope with that.

5. Common Enemy – ignorance, laziness, lack of motivation, lack of payment.

Happy teaching,




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