Starting a School Why not make schools into places in which children would be allowed, encouraged, and (if and when they asked) helped to explore and make sense of the world around them ... in ways that most interested them? - John Holt English teaching generates billions of dollars every year. ESL schools have become huge business worldwide. ESL School Nobody grew taller by being measured. - Philip Gammage You may be able to teach ESL perfectly well, but would you be able to start and run an ESL school successfully? Step-by-step guidance to make your business a success may not work for all. How to Start a School It is the kindness and not the harshness in the headmaster’s voice that pushes tough boys to cry. - Yiddish proverb Before you start a school, you should try to answer the following questions: 1. How big is your school going to be? 2. Will you rent or buy the premises? 3. Will you start from zero or will you buy a school? 4. Have you prepared a detailed business plan? 5. Will you manage the whole business by yourself or will you hire a manager? 6. What will the governing structure be like? 7. Which location will you choose? Why? 8. How many teachers will you need to hire? 9. Why should students or their parents choose your school? 10. Will your students be adults or children? 11. What about their level of English? 12. How many levels will you have in your school? 13. What skills will your students need to acquire? Why? 14. How will you motivate your students? 15. What teaching materials will you use? 16. What about sizes of classes? 17. How will the teaching be organized? 18. What teaching method will you ask your teachers to use? 19. How many classrooms will you need? 20. What size of classrooms will you need? Why? 21. Will you need an auditorium? How large will the auditorium be? 22. What is the duration of your course/courses? 23. How many classroom hours per week/month will your students have? 24. How much homework will be given? 25. Have you designed course requirements? 26. Have you designed a weekly outline for the whole semester? 27. Who are your competitors? 28. How will you advertise your school? 29. How much will advertising cost? 30. How much will the school website cost? 31. How much will everything cost? 32. How many computers will you need? Why? 33. Can you get computers at a reduced price? How much will they cost? 34. What language teaching software will you use? Why? How much will it cost? 35. Will you buy software or will you rent it online? 36. If you plan to buy software online, will the internet be fast enough for all students' needs? 37. Will you need extra space for computer labs? How many rooms will you need? 38. Have you thought of an option – buying laptop computers for your students at a wholesale price? 39. What skills will your students need to acquire? Why? What are their learning outcomes? 40. Will you teach ESP in your school? 41. Will you teach general English skills? 42. What about the library? What will you need to equip the library? Why? 43. Will your students need dictionaries? 44. What type of dictionaries will your students need? Why? 45. What type of electronic dictionaries will you buy for your students? 46. Will you buy the dictionaries and textbooks for your students at a discount price, or will they need to buy them by themselves at a retail price? Why? 47. Can you get dictionaries at a good price? 48. Where can you get good dictionaries for your students? 49. What about English newspapers in the classroom? 50. Will the school have day time or evening time students? 51. Will you need to buy testing software? 52. How will you teach reading? 53. Will you develop your students' extensive reading skills? How? 54. Will the abridged books be available in the library, or will you use only online materials? 55. How will you develop listening skills? 56. Will you need to acquire good educational movies? 57. What type of movies will be best for your students? Why? How much will they cost? 58. Can you get movies at a good price? Where? How? 59. Will you be able to design learning materials for your students? 60. What type of placement test will you give to the new students? 61. How will you teach writing? What software will you use? 62. Will you teach public presentation skills? How? 63. Will you teach face-to-face communication skills? How? 64. Will you have summer camps? Why? / Why not? 65. Will you teach on weekends? 66. Will learning materials be included into tuition fee? 67. Will you need to hire a secretary, a lab assistant, a cleaner and security guards? How many? 68. How much will you spend on their salaries? 69. What about their vacation? 70. Will you need to cover their health insurance? 71. Will you need to cover their accident insurance? 72. How will you deal with possible discipline issues? 73. How will you deal with students' or their parents' complaints? 74. What about all other legal aspects of your business? 75. How will you hire ESL teachers? 76. Have you written job requirements and selection criteria? 77. How will you fire them if you need to fire? 78. Have you prepared a good contract? 79. How will you draw up contracts with your staff – teachers, secretaries, assistants, etc.? 80. How many contact hours per week will your teachers teach? 81. How will you pay salaries? How often? When? Who will do it? 82. Will you pay the 13th salary? 83. Will they be entitled to any increments? How will you calculate them? 84. Will you hire full-time or part-time staff? 85. Will you award certificates or diplomas at the end of a course? How will you do this? 86. What are the mission and the objectives of your school? 87. What about education philosophy? 88. Are you going to integrate other disciplines into your curriculum? 89. Will you need to have a school cafeteria? Who will work there and how? 90. Who will be regularly updating your school website? 91. How much will you spend on electricity, water and all other fees? 92. How will students travel to school? Will you need to buy a bus or not? 93. Will you have a hostel attached to your school? 94. How many hours per week will you spend doing the school run? 95. Have you thought about partnership? 96. What about your school security? 97. Will you need a gym or any other extra facilities? 98. Have you thought of your school website logo? 99. How will you advertise your school website? 100. Will you have enough time and funds not only to start but also to run a school successfully? If you have answered the above questions positively, i.e. if you were fully satisfied with your answers, you can reflect on the possibility of starting an ESL school. Before you start a school, you will most probably need to study some reliable online materials, get experts' advice or read a few books, e-books, articles or manuals about how to start a school and how to run a successful private school business.
RELIABLE ENGLISH TEACHING, LEARNING AND RESEARCH RESOURCES
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