Hi Rob, so tell us a bit about what The Really Great Teacher Company does?  

We provide high quality teacher management services to the global online English-language training market, including our core services of: finding and managing online teachers at our state-of-the-art teaching centers; the management of home-based teachers, within custom built virtual teaching centers; as well as the recruitment of home-based online teachers for clients. Our promise and guarantee to clients is to ensure that they have the best online teachers 24/7.

How do you make a difference your clients’ businesses? 

A big challenge for companies providing online English training programmes to their students is finding enough teachers of the right quality and then managing those teachers to always deliver online classes on time and to the required standard. This can be a BIG challenge for companies when they are scaling up their business, because maintaining service quality and business continuity become critical for them then. So by finding and managing great teachers for our clients, we can really help their business in a meaningful way.

As the COO, what does your role involve? 

Basically, I am responsible for ensuring that we deliver on the promise that we make to our clients that: they have the best online teachers 24/7! Guaranteed. Obviosuly, I have a team of great managers and support professionals who report into me and are responsible for particular areas in operations.

What’s your background and experience in the online learning & teaching industry? 

I started in ESL (i.e. English-as-a-Second-Language) in Taiwan, by chance – actually I had gone to Asia to puruse a career in industrial chemistry, but I found myself in the ESL sector instead. I began as an English instructor teacher at a conventional, face-to-face English academy. It was around the time that there was a big SARS flu epidemic in East Asia, so the students couldn’t come to class because of the ‘stay-at-home’ quarantine that was in force there at the time. So the owner decided that if the students can’t come to the classroom then we need to take the classroom to them! We did this by providing online English lessons to these students so that they could join in from home. That’s how Tutor ABC began and it is now one of the biggest online teaching companies in the world!

What are the top 4 priorities when running a modern online teaching-center?

First, infrastructure. When it comes to infrastructure, you need to make sure that you have the best of the best of the best! This is because the technical service quality of  online lessons is absolutely everything for the user-experience of the student!

Second, embrace the client’s methodology. The client will have a set of principles and methodologies underpining their teaching programmes and courses, which we respect by understanding them and then applying them consistently.

Third, apply proper performance management and provide continuous professional development for your teachers. High teacher engagement definitely results in better performance.

Fourth, you need to be clear  what sort of teaching solution or set-up you want for your business: a teaching-center or home-based teachers (or a combination of both)? Each has its own set of operational requirements and outcomes, both have their pros and cons. A con of the home-based teacher model can be more work in teacher management, while a pro of the teacher-center model guarantees uniform technical session quality. The Really Great Teacher Company can help you with both

Thanks for sharing, Rob!

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