Working together to make language classes better for everyone.
Teacher Collective reimagines the relationship between education provider and teacher, which results in a better service to students and the companies they represent. We hope to be the catalyst in a paradigm shift in language teaching, where teachers are valued for their professional abilities and expertise, and are supported to use their creativity and initiative. In doing this, we attract and retain talented, engaged teachers: benefits that are passed on to our clients.
Why a collective?
This circular approach, where all parties benefit, is in stark contrast to the current academy model of language teaching, where teachers are too often an afterthought and the service to clients suffers as a consequence. As a collective, the teachers are the foundation of our business, contributing and sharing resources, actively creating and evolving our services.
Why a manifesto?
Our vision must amount to more than good intentions. In declaring a manifesto, we can set out clear principles underpinning our business model. This also holds us to account, ensuring that we don’t become “just another academy.”
We are called Teacher Collective because we are an interacting community of teachers, pooling our expertise and creativity. We communicate with each other via our online portal, build and share teaching resources, explain how we have resolved issues, and teach each other through training sessions and peer observation. Every teacher has more than six years’ experience and every teacher benefits from the experience of the collective.
We aspire to making the world of teaching fairer and more transparent. We are committed to improving conditions for teachers and ensuring that they are not left in the dark when it comes to understanding their value to the company. To this end, we spend 70% of the cost of a class on our teachers.
We have a low administrative burden by design, and the 70/30 commitment ensures that it will remain efficient.
We work on the principle that finding the balance between structure and adaptability is fundamental to delivering an effective language course. Students must be able to perceive their progress but should also feel that their own specific needs and aims are being addressed.
Our courses follow a 50/50 approach: 50% is orientated around a syllabus which emphasizes speaking and listening skills, provides an underlying structure, and makes progress easy to measure. The other 50% is personalised according to agreed course objectives and continual feedback throughout the course. This ensures that content is fresh, relevant and student-orientated, and that teachers can put their skills and experience into practice.
How we communicate with each other is crucial to maintaining our professional relationships and delivering high quality services. We will ensure that clients, students and teachers are part of the conversation when it matters. We will endeavour to establish clear expectations for all, report regularly on progress, and act on early feedback, adapting classes according to student requirements.
Frequent communication between teachers also allows resources and approaches to be shared with ease, as well as finding solutions to problems, linguistic or otherwise.
Technological advances have opened up a huge range of possibilities for language teachers and learners alike, and we want to take full advantage of this environment. Our online resource centre directs students to the best content on the web and encourages them to interact with each other in English. Teachers integrate an “English toolbox” into their classes, introducing apps and websites that can be used to practise and develop skills outside the classroom.
We believe that teachers can enrich the learning experience by integrating new ideas into their teaching. We encourage them to stay abreast of new developments and share their discoveries and experiences.
Providing quality language services requires the efficient administration of the course from its initial set-up through to its conclusion. Attendance, grading and reports are administered online, allowing HR to check progress easily and ensure that standards are met. We can also assist in managing the bureaucracy associated with courses subsidized by the Fundación Estatal (FEFE, formerly the “Tripartita”).
We will pay special attention to administration, so that HR appreciates us as much as our students do.
We believe that classes really come to life when teachers are able to use their initiative and creativity, along with their professional skills. In the personalised element of the course, teachers are responsible for sourcing and adapting materials that are both relevant and inspiring to their own particular groups. This contributes to a bank of resources that evolve as they are shared and adapted by other teachers.
Beyond this, we give teachers the opportunity to bring skills and expertise from outside their teaching experience into the classroom. This constitutes a growing range of specialist courses, enabling students to develop other skills through the medium of English. We also offer social activities in English, such as cinema nights and meetups to give students an opportunity to use and practise their English in a real world environment.
What binds many of our principles together is the attitude we take towards our business, our teachers and our clients: that we can create mutual value through collaboration and through processes that complement each other. This circular framework is at the heart of Teacher Collective and is reflected in our logo.
Teachers are our most valuable resource and they are respected and remunerated accordingly. Together, we create a stimulating environment, teachers actively participate in their own development, and our clients benefit from talented, engaged teachers.
Our processes are designed to work together too. We have no physical paperwork, which not only reduces waste and bureaucracy but also makes our billing and reporting more efficient.