Y'all know that I am a HUGE fan of running my English teaching business like a well-oiled machine.
You'd think that because I teach ESL / EFL teachers how to create organized, profitable, sustainable teaching businesses that my entire life has always been one color-coordinated walk-in closet.
That is, until I found TRELLO.
I came to TRELLO (a free web-based app!) after YEARS of messes. There were stacks of ESL lesson plans and exercises littering my flat and to-do lists littering my headspace. That's why I feel confident proclaiming for the rooftops that TRELLO was the solution that finally saved my buns.
Think your ESL teaching business is beyond saving? Not true. Trello is here to help.
So without further ado, here are 15 things I do in Trello to save my time, money and sanity:
- I've mapped out the entire English language one board. (Well, almost!) My teaching day starts with a B1 class, then an A2, then a C1, C2 and back to a B1. How do I know who needs to learn what? It's all mapped out on my LEVELS board. Each level is a "list" and each lesson is a "card". I use these cards to feed the syllabus of each class or private lesson I teach.
- I keep every single lesson I've ever planned, visible and organized. Every time I create a new lesson plan or create a new exercise, I attach it to that lesson card in my digital library. No more hunting through stacks of paper for photocopies I swear I saved!
- I never forget lessons at home. There's nothing worse than realizing you left your lesson on your kitchen table. Never again. I can access my entire library of materials from any phone, tablet or computer.
- I never plan the same lesson more than once. I had literally planned my A2 Present Perfect lesson 12 times and misplaced or thrown away the lesson plan & exercises each and every time. Now I save every lesson I create to Trello. Each time I teach, it's ready to print.
- I keep every scanned worksheet, exercise and textbook clipping. When I find a good exercise, I scan it (with my phone!) and attach it to the applicable lesson card. No more scavenging the teacher's lounge for materials 10 minutes before class starts.
- I have a library of templates for ESL exercises. When I run out of ideas, I just go to my lesson planning templates. *Templates included in the Trello for TEFL System.
- I capture years of well-earned wisdom. After years of teaching, I know the best way to explain certain concepts. But they're not always on the tip of my tongue when I get the questions. So I keep track of common student mistakes and the best ways to teach difficult grammar points, so I never struggle for the right way to explain something. **All lesson cards in the Trello for TEFL system come with my wisdom included. ;)
- I keep track of students' names, phones, emails, skype #, meeting addresses. Running late on the way to your student's office? (Hey, it happens to the best of us.) All my student's contact info is right there in the Trello app on my phone. When I need to email pre-assignments or homework (right from my lesson cards) student emails are right where I need them.
- I know my student's partner's names, dog's breed, favorite cities, least favorite vegetables... When you've got 20 different private students per week, it's easy to take a quick glimpse at your students profile on their individualized Trello card the minute before you dial her up, so you have all the details ready for your conversation or example sentences. The personal touch makes a huge difference.
- I build an individualized student syllabus in just a few clicks. Never again will I struggle to know what to teach next (or teach something I've already taught!). My lesson topics are built out months in advance, for each individual student, thanks to the placement test I send to new students...*part of the Trello for TEFL System.
- I can see exactly what I've taught my students in a glance. I have a permanent record of every class I've taught every single student, so I never repeat a lesson (unless necessary). I can also see their progress, and what we need to focus on or study again in future lessons.
- I know what to teach next. I know when to teach what conditionals, what vocabulary, what tenses, etc. Never again will I teach something too advanced just because I've lost track of the student's progress.
- All my online resources are a click away. I keep links to my favorite ESL teaching websites and youtube channels, so I know exactly where to find tips, tricks and exercises. No more scouring Google for hours.
- My invoices practically write themselves. With one glance at my STUDENTS board, I can see how many classes I've taught this month, then jump over to my MONEY MATTERS board to fill out the invoice template. *Templates included in the Trello for TEFL System.
- It's as easy as working with Post-It notes. Except the notes are infinite, organized, searchable and home to every scrap of paper I'll ever need to teach English. Drop and drag, just how I like it.
Uh...how exactly do I get started with Trello?
Trello is free, super intuitive and easy to learn, but when you first get started, you see a blank board just like this one >>
How exactly are you supposed to turn that all that blankness into the #1 Tool for ESL Teachers??
You could spend months and months of trial and error, mapping out the English Language, creating templates, filling out cards and navigating the ins and outs of this powerful tool...
Or you could spend an afternoon with me. :)
Yep, after just a few hours, this system can be yours.
I've created the Trello for TEFL system with the life of a harried ESL / EFL teaching in mind. Do you struggle with knowing what to teach next? Keeping track of your student's progress? Organizing your lesson plans? I've got you.
Check out the awesomeness of Trello right here>>