So I mentioned in my post about my new Portuguese teacher that I discovered that I am charging far too little for my English classes, and also that I am not very professional in the way I'm going about the structure of my classes and schedules.
After a couple of days of sulking over how "I don't know how to DO things here" (a phrase I repeated about 50 times to Alexandre) and how I'm totally letting myself get ripped off by my students, I decided to do something about it. I have all the material and ideas for how to have a GOOD English class-- I just need to organize it and streamline it into something presentable. I could maybe eventually have a bona-fide business from home.
I spent the good part of last night making 2 lists: one that was curriculum-based (how I can improve the classes themselves), and the other was business-based (how I can market myself better and be more professional as a teacher, as well as how to improve the admin side of private teaching).
I sort of get myself overwhelmed in situations like this, so I decided to start by strengthening the curriculum side first so that I have something available to actually provide and start teaching the "new classes" with. (People reading this who are more familiar with Brazilian business culture may realize that this goes against the Brazilian idea of "if you market it and SAY it exists, that makes it real!" Ugh.)
I'm also more comfortable with the curriculum side of things and I feel less overwhelmed by it than I do by the idea of making a website, business cards, logo, etc. I know much less about business and marketing than I do about teaching. I guess that's a good thing in this situation.
My first big project is developing a workbook to go along with the textbook series I use in my classes. I've already made a ton of documents over the last year that supplement these books; all I have to do is make all the formatting equal and organize them into units and stuff. Then I can SELL them. :)
At the rate I'm going today, that's probably going to take me like, 100 years. At least Open Office is slightly easier to work with than Microsoft Office. (And it's freeeee..... Open Source software plug!)
So yeah. That's my new long-term project. Operation: Be a Real Teacher.
On the marketing side, if anyone has any talents, ideas, or tips they'd like to donate (web design, graphic design, business ideas, Brazilians who know how Brazilian business works), I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm a bit slow in these areas but I'm trying to avoid overhead at this point. ;) Thanks in advance!
Hope everything's going well, wherever you are.