COVID-19 is transforming what it means to be a teacher, bringing financial opportunity.

Teaching is a noble but demanding job. It’s also relatively rare for a teacher to be paid well. Without an advanced degree and tenure, schoolteachers often get a pretty raw deal. It’s getting more difficult for a teacher to buy a house in the UK, and many U.S. teachers take a second job just to get by. Still, the emotional satisfaction of doing something truly important often helps teachers stick to their profession.

In 2020, teachers saw the typical lack of resources and support compound, as they went from educators to medical safety and logistics organizers, as well as de facto front-line workers. Some schools have opened and already closed again, due to positive COVID-19 cases. …

Some things you just can’t find in a book, or a video.

Visiting China for the first time in 2008 I remember seeing people studying English everywhere. On buses, in restaurants, waiting in lines, people would just pull out their flashcards or phrasebooks, poring over the words dutifully. I even remember trying to start a conversation with one such learner. Being still in University, I thought the half-hour train ride to Beijing would be better spent actually talking to someone.

I opened with an “Oh, you’re studying English” in a friendly, noncommittal tone. The guy (also a University student) looked up at me, terrified. “我不好以,我不會英文,對不起!” was his rapid-fire response before turning away and tucking back into the “Advanced English” textbook. Not wanting to disturb the poor guy further, I moved to a different car on the train. …

Why companies choose to ignore the problems that (eventually) kill them.

If you want to be an effective consultant or freelancer, you have to help your client deal with the big problems. You have to hunt these problems down, even as your client or employer actively tries to hide them from you. Weird, right?

I’m talking about those big, ugly problems that have become intractable, the ones that make everyone feel miserable. Those are the ones that people avoid talking about. Instinctively. The organization has learned to avoid mentioning them. These problems become “the thing that shall not be named”.

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Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

How an “Invisible Problem” Develops

I’ve seen this pattern develop in start-ups and in big, multinational companies. …

How to have “that conversation” with your students and clients

As a rule of thumb, educators tend to be shy about asking for money. Even when you’re running your own online education or coaching business, the love for sharing knowledge tends to get in the way of having “that conversation”. This is unfortunate, as being comfortable charging a fair price and ensuring that you get paid is a key skill that will help you continue doing what you love — teaching.

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While having this conversation may never be easy for you, here are a few tips that will help you navigate this interaction with a lot more grace and less awkwardness. …

Keep yourself healthy by feeding and exercising your brain

Stress, anxiety, disappointment … 2020 seems to come up with new ways to add these to your life daily. Managing stress is a key skill, considering how damaging stress can be to your health and habits. The Mayo Clinic suggests that prolonged stress can cause headaches, anxiety, loss of sleep, and a host of behavioral issues like self-medication, overeating, and social withdrawal. These can snowball into health, social, and mental health problems.

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Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

Our lives are filled with low-level, stress that drains us. While the stress response is crucial in live-or-die situations, what most of us experience is a sense of low-level anxiety that doesn’t help us navigate our life’s challenges. Instead, this kind of stress distracts us, all while lowering our immunity, interfering with our sleep, and taking away enjoyment from the small pleasures of the everyday. …

Spaced Repetition is more than a #lifehack

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

How many times have you wished you had an eidetic memory when you were in school? The idea that you could effortlessly recall anything you have ever seen or heard would make anyone’s life significantly easier. Of course, while the concept of a “Photographic Memory” crops up throughout pop-culture, there are serious doubts about whether this power even exists.

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Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash

For the average learner, all to often it feels like your brain is conspiring against you when you are trying to learn something new. Concepts, words, and images that are clear one moment seem to disappear and evaporate within hours of learning. …

How being creative with what you teach can help you find students and life-long friends

Why is Tony Robbins rich?

His brand is very recognizable, and he has built a long career creating a sense of trust, sure. But why is he more wealthy than other successful life coaches? The reason he has been able to build more than just a successful business but a brand is because he offers something unique, something no one else can.

This is also true for other mega-successful teachers, tutors, coaches, and thought leaders. From Maria Montessori to Gary Vaynerchuck, the big names become big because what they offer is unique. …

Supercharge your learning with this ancient memory technique

Matteo Ricci was the first Western foreigner to be invited into the Forbidden City of ancient China. He was a Jesuit priest who, after finishing his law studies in Rome, traveled to Goa and then Ming China as a missionary, scholar, diplomat, and tutor.

Ricci was the first missionary to seriously attempt to learn Chinese and made significant progress, eventually publishing a book in Chinese describing the memory palace technique that circulated in elite social circles of the Ming dynasty. He accomplished a lot and made significant diplomatic and cultural inroads with a government notoriously suspicious of foreigners. By the end of close to 30 years of his service in China, he was given the honor of an audience with the Emperor. …

How to make the most of your online tutor profile photo

It’s easier than ever to become an online tutor. Online tutoring services, agencies, and independent tutor platforms like provide you with a variety of choices about when and how to start your tutorpreneur journey. Whether you want to be an online math tutor, a yoga instructor, or career skills coach, you can start quickly and easily.

Starting is the easy part, however. Because all it takes to create a profile or a Craigslist posting offering your online tutoring services, lots of people are doing it. There is a flood of tutors on offer, and for anyone starting out, the competition is fierce. …

How to stop being terrified to ask for what you want.

Asking for what you want can be difficult. According to Forbes, four common reasons for not doing so are:

  • It makes us feel vulnerable
  • We are afraid of not getting it, and save ourselves the disappointment
  • We don’t know what we want
  • We wouldn’t know what to do if we did get it

These worries and problems are not unique to you, or to me, but are a rather common part of the human experience. As an educator, however, the anxiety that comes from asking can be greater. …


Ivan AD

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