So, what does it take to be the owner of your own successful school? Well, it doesn’t take too much money but it does take willpower. Now, not everyone has the willpower that he/she thinks he/she does. I asked myself “Do you want to enjoy teaching English? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to be in a position to try different kinds of promotion methods to see which ones work? Do you want to take control of your destiny? Or do you just want to keep getting a monthly bank transfer of a limited amount of money for your efforts? “
School ownership is not for everyone. Many cannot do it. As human beings we tend to choose to take the “safe” road. But is it safe really? What are the possibilities for promotion and a higher salary? Do I get off all Japanese national holidays? Am I appreciated for what I am doing? Foreign teachers are the life blood of the English Conversation School industry in Japan. We deserve to get most if not all of the money for the product that is being sold. A corporate school only provides electricity, a place to teach, a simple curriculum and perhaps some free coffee and tea etc. We, the teachers, provide what counts, what keeps the students coming back and we should not count ourselves short! We have the basic talent and knowledge to teach. So eventually I asked myself “Do I have what it takes to own and operate my own business?” There is only one way to find out!
I have done it. Other Smith’s owner-teachers have done it. We have been doing it for almost 11 years! Anyone with the prerequisite willpower can do it. Think of all the fun! Teaching and preparing lessons using the Smith’s curriculum. It is a well laid out system with an excellent support staff and a curriculum that acts as a springboard to unlimited opportunities for our students to learn “living English”.
OK, in my case, I taught at Berlitz for a few years and privately for a large company for five and a half years before returning to the states to work as an engineer and a manager for 20 years. But even that corporate experience, a few patents and a high salary cannot replace the reward I now feel when I teach English. I have found it to be a great career change and now, as a business owner, I am happy to make even the smallest decision that might affect the success of “MY BUSINESS”, “MY SCHOOL”. But it would not be possible without being a part of something bigger and well established. The Smith’s School of English is a franchise system that has been well thought out and provides an opportunity to foreign English teachers to own and run their own school for a reasonable price and low on-going cost.
And the fun events that we can have or our students provide a great opportunity to be a part of the community, and to make friends for life. Just look at the fun events I have been able to have so far:
The fun continues as Smith’s School of English in Okamoto-Kobe!
Al Bartle (Smith’s School of English – Okamoto)