MYU Teacher Newsletter ¡V April 2005
Welcome to the first newsletter of the year!
First off, a big thank-you to all the new teachers who registered. We now have more than 180 active teachers, which greatly exceeds our initial goal.
Of the teachers actively looking for students, 31% had their contact information viewed by at least one student. Many teachers received two or more views. Of those viewed and contacted, we estimate that most were successful in starting a class.
Based on our statistics, a teacher¡¦s location was not an important factor as to whether they got viewed or not. For example, teachers in Kaohsiung city, county, and Pingtung county account for about 8% of all registered teachers, and likewise accounted for about 9% of the teachers viewed. The percentages were close for all regions across the country. So, don¡¦t despair if you live somewhere special, your chance of getting viewed by a student is as high as if you were in Taipei.
English teachers accounted for 85% of teachers who got viewed, while all other languages made up 15%. This is about the same split as all teachers registered, which is good news for teachers of other languages: you are clearly in demand as much as English teachers are!
The great majority of the teachers who got viewed (over 95%) indicate themselves as native speakers in the languages they offer to teach. Our suggestion is don¡¦t bother offering to teach your non-native language if you see many native speakers already registered in your area. The numbers suggest that you probably won¡¦t get picked by a student.
The languages most in demand and that we don¡¦t have nearly enough teachers for are Italian and Korean. So, if you have a friend or two who can teach one of these languages, please pass the word along.
More numbers. The average hourly rate range of those teachers that got viewed was 600-900 NT/hr.
So, thanks again for helping make our site a success! The rest of the newsletter is about our new features and tips for getting students.
Make that feature. Just one this month, but more are in the works.
- Teacher Additional Information (comment) can now be up to 250 Western characters (or 126 Chinese characters). We found that many people ran out of space. Feel free to login and expand your comments, we¡¦ll approve them quickly.
HOW TO GET MORE STUDENTS TO VIEW YOUR CONTACT INFO
One of the most common questions we get from teachers is: Does the site actually work?
Our answer is ¡§YES!...but it¡¦s not magic.¡¨
As you already know, our system sends an alert e-mail to you when a student views your contact information.
Didn¡¦t get enough e-mail alerts? Well, here are some tips for getting students interested in contacting you:
- The most important factor a student considers when using our site is--you guessed it--lesson price. Consider using the search feature of the site to find other teachers in your area and compare their hourly rates to yours. Don¡¦t forget to compare their experience and qualifications too, since these also come into play. If there are better qualified or more experienced people willing to teach for less, this could be sign that you need to change your listed hourly rates.
- Another point about money (it¡¦s an important factor). If you have an hourly rate higher than similar teachers in your area, then your profile should justify it. Consider using your teacher comment to tell students why you¡¦re worth more.
- The last point about money (hey, it¡¦s really important!). Teachers with a narrow range of hourly rates (e.g. 650-950) got viewed more often. If you¡¦ve listed a wide range of hourly rates (e.g. 600-1500 NT) then you should definitely consider mentioning this in your comment. You could write something like ¡§Kids: 600 NT/hr, business class: 1500 NT/hr.¡¨
- Some students prefer to make initial contact by telephone. Most students like to have the option open to them. This is reflected in our statistics: 68% of teachers who were viewed had phone numbers available. If you are not getting viewed, then consider making your phone numbers available. Remember only students who pay for your contact information get to see it, not the public.
- Use the teacher comment (Additional Information) effectively. If your schedule is tight, use the comment to tell students the exact times that you can teach. If you don¡¦t want to commute, use the comment to specify the districts where you are willing to go. If you are available in multiple areas, use the comment to tell students why (Most students tend to shy away from teachers that say they¡¦re available in BOTH Taipei and Kaohsiung. It¡¦s just not realistic!...Unless you explain it in the comment.). No matter what you write, don¡¦t waste the teacher comment by repeating what your profile already says.
- Lastly, and nearly as important as your hourly rate: your date of last update. Of teachers who got viewed, 61% had profiles younger than two weeks. Although profile ¡§freshness¡¨ was a more important factor in areas with many teachers such as Taipei, we¡¦ve noticed that teachers who haven¡¦t updated their profiles in the last month are rarely viewed. Please feel free to return to the site and click the ¡§update¡¨ button in your profile from time to time, even if you don¡¦t make any changes. You may just be surprised!
TIPS ON GETTING MORE STUDENTS TO CONTACT YOU
So, what if you got some alert e-mails, but no students contacted you? First, don¡¦t get discouraged, and remember that you¡¦re one of several teachers that have been viewed by the same student. Second, here are some tips for making that first contact happen:
- Students who contact by phone typically view a group of teachers all at once before making a series of telephone calls. The bad news is if you don¡¦t answer right away, odds are someone else is going to get the job. So, if you¡¦ve received an alert e-mail, maybe be prepared to answer your phone when you might normally not. Get a bunch of ¡§Unknown Number¡¨ calls lately? Don¡¦t forget that many people in Taiwan like to hide their phone numbers when calling people they don¡¦t know.
- Most students try to contact teachers within two days of using the site. So, if you get an alert e-mail from us, then perhaps you could check your e-mail more frequently for a few days. And remember, as with phone calls, if you don¡¦t respond quickly someone else is going to get the job.
Our final tip is for teachers who got viewed, got contacted, and--just when everything seemed to be falling into place--got stood up.
We¡¦ve all been there, at least I hope it's not just me. You agree on a time and place to meet the student. You¡¦re there on time, waiting. After about fifteen minutes, no student, no phone call, nothing except a strange feeling that someone¡¦s been ¡§checking you out¡¨ from a distance. For some reason, this happens most if you¡¦re teaching casual conversation classes.
The best suggestion that we can come up with is to include a photo in your profile. That way any student (or parent) who wants a teacher having a certain ¡§look¡¨ won¡¦t bother you if you don¡¦t have it. Never been stood up? Don't worry about it.
That¡¦s it. Except for...
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That¡¦s really it. Good luck, and happy teaching!