TEA founders Danielle Lloyd and Helen Stockton are at the forefront of online educational training. I met them recently to chat over coffee about the Teaching Entrepreneur Association (TEA). As an occasional tutor and workshop facilitator, I was excited by what I learned.
A network of professional support
I’m a self-employed writer with a post-grad qualification and like many others in my position, my career has been varied and peppered with stints of teaching in further education.
Many years ago, when I left Sussex University with a Masters degree, I was thrown into the world of accredited adult education as a creative writing tutor. I had the academic qualifications but no teacher training and no experience. It was a daunting experience and a baptism of fire. I wish TEA had been around then to support me in that process.
While people who choose to teach children need an approved Postgraduate Certificate in Education, teachers of adults don’t. The brainchild for TEA was born from an awareness of this gap in the market. With a huge library of resources, and a broad spectrum of modules, tutorials and courses, TEA provides the kind of comprehensive teaching and peer support that is simply not available elsewhere online.
TEA members get to cherry pick their learning and hone certain skill sets or key areas. For only £20 a month you can curate a bespoke programme of modules, with tutorials (Teatorials) to suit your specific needs. There is one-to-one guidance on offer too for more personalised mentoring and assessments. While the accredited Award in Education and Training (AET) means a beginner teacher can step into a community or further education organisation with confidence and authority.
Founder Danielle Lloyd demonstrates an infectious enthusiasm for excellent teaching; the kind of cleverly structured and creative teaching that inspires curiosity and increases the brain’s capacity to learn. With over 40 years of combined experience in adult education, including senior management and training positions, it’s little wonder Danielle and Helen have such a deep and thorough understanding of the terrain. They know the kinds of stumbling blocks and challenges teachers and workshop leaders face and they have designed TEA to provide expert, user-friendly solutions that are wide ranging and versatile.
TEA will guide you through the early, baby steps of deciding what to teach and how, to the later stages of creative lesson planning and sustaining interest. It offers value to newbie teachers seeking support and more seasoned professionals who want to refresh or update their teaching practise.
Putting the ‘Entrepreneur’ into your teaching career.
For a self-employed tutor or adult education teacher sustainability is key. What is so distinctive about TEA is that, alongside teaching support they provide specialist guidance on how to successfully run a small teaching business, from finding a venue and marketing to the right audience to getting the paperwork in order.
The payment plan runs on a month-by-month basis and I particularly like the fact that there is no obligation or minimum contract. You could, for example, sign up for a few months of support while setting up and planning a course and then return later in the year when you need more focused help in specific areas.
A really superb promotion on offer at the moment is the Teach in a Day course. Students learn the fundamental nuts and bolts of effective teaching in an intensive one-day workshop, and get three months membership to TEA for just £95.
If you’d like to try before you buy, check out TEA’s non-members resource page and get an idea of the many workbooks, videos and resources available: