Meet Rob Schulenburg: COO of The Really Great Teacher Company

Rob shares a bit about his expertise and experience in the global online English-language training market

Meet Rob Schulenburg: COO of The Really Great Teacher Company

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. 

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.

Obviously, I have a team of great managers and support professionals who report into me and are responsible for particular areas in operations.

Can you share some more about your journey and experience in the online learning teaching industry?  

It all started, by chance actually, about 15 years ago. I had gone out to Asia to pursue a career in industrial chemistry, but I found myself in the ESL (i.e. English-as-a-Second-Language) sector in Taiwan, instead. 

I was teaching English for a private company at the time when the big  SARS flu epidemic struck in East Asia. The students couldn’t come to class so the owner decided 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.

It was so popular that the owner founded TutorABC, which is now one of the biggest online teaching companies in the world!

At TutorABC, as VP of Global Teaching Resources, I was initially responsible  for all aspects of global operations and ultimately the delivery of millions of sessions from multiple global teaching-centers across several geographies, as well as from of over 20,000 home-based teachers.

Recently, I joined The Really Great Teacher Company as COO. 

It's been an incredible journey so far, with a lot more to come.

What do you think makes an online-teaching company successful?  

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, generally speaking, English teachers have very little experience working a corporate environment and being "managed".

Providing clear expectations of what is expected from them in session delivery and in their job as a whole is very important.

As with any employee in any industry teachers need and respond to things like engagement and recognition initiatives, as well as continuous professional development.  

Once you’ve found and hired the right teachers then getting these things right results in higher teacher engagement, which definitely results in better performance from teachers and a better experience for the students. 

Thanks for sharing, Rob!

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