Struggle with the juggle? Become a self-employed languages teacher!

It’s sad (but true) that nowadays, more and more women I talk to feel unfulfilled in their lives; often as a result of trying to balance work, home, family and self-care. For mums who are looking at going back to work, the thought of returning to their previous career may incur a feeling of dread. I remember the first day I had to leave my baby daughter behind…that in itself was hard enough! Add to that a demanding boss, a long, tiring commute, hefty nursery fees and a job that leaves you less than fulfilled…it’s no wonder that so many women are left feeling guilty, exhausted and wondering what the point of it all is.

What if you could work, have fun and reap the benefits?

Becoming self-employed languages tutor can be a great option for mums blessed with language skills. Say hello to flexible working hours – and even deciding what your hourly rate of pay is.

Not only is it incredibly rewarding, but being a teacher can be great fun too.

So how easy is it?

If you have a passion for teaching or a passion for languages, then that’s all you need to get started. Business is likely to be slow at first as you get to grips with who to teach, how to teach them, planning and of course how to market your classes…but don't be disheartened! It may take a while for you to find your feet but when word of mouth kicks in, your language classes will soon take off.

Is this what I’m looking for?

Teaching languages might be just what you need. It could offer the perfect balance -  it doesn't have to be full time if you're not ready for that. You get to choose the number of hours you do and that's the beauty of becoming your own boss.

Should I buy a franchise?

If you're seriously considering becoming a languages teacher, then that's great news. The next step is to determine whether you should explore buying into a franchise of an existing teaching business or set up on your own, and there are a number of benefits to each method:

Going it alone:

Setting up on your own can be very liberating, but also time-consuming.

As much as you might relish the challenge, there could be a lot of added stress that comes with it.

Setting up your own business means you have the freedom to choose your branding, business plan, website, write your own lesson plans etc.

Franchising:

Although setting up on your own can be rewarding and fulfilling, you may miss having colleagues and the great support network associated with a franchise.

By choosing to invest in a franchise, you can take on board a business plan, teaching methodology and brand that already works, and you get to cut out a lot of the nitty gritty details of setting up a business.

You can get started straight away without too much delay – it’s literally like buying a ‘business in a box’. Training is readily available as is ongoing support (something we at BilinguaSing pride ourselves in)!

You can invest in something that is a little special and different without the stress of trying to run your own business, and become part of a wider community.

My franchised business, BilinguaSing, has enjoyed great success thanks to our amazing franchisees (most of whom are mums looking for balance in their lives). We value them as the heart of our business. It's their passion and dedication that keep languages alive for so many families across the UK.

Are you looking for a change in career? Perhaps you want the independence of your own business without the stress of setting one up? Or perhaps you just want a part time job to work in and around your children? If you are interested, fill out our enquiry form and one of our friendly team will be in touch.

 

Ellie Baker

Author and founder of BilinguaSing LTD

From an Overtired Languages Teacher to Business Owner on a Mission, I found another way

As a little girl, I dreamt of being a teacher. As soon as I got home from ‘real’ school I would immediately start playing ‘schools,’ my younger sister and her friends often bearing the brunt of my enthusiasm for spellings and maths!  My passion for languages, sparked by many family holidays in France during my early years, made my career path clear early on. I still remember filling in my UCAS form for my PGCE, so focused and happy that I knew what I wanted to do with my life while many of my peers seemed to be stumbling in the dark. I was going to make a difference. I was going to help young people to open their eyes to the big wide world,  share my love of languages and enthuse the next generation of linguists. This is why, when my dream turned into a nightmare, the pain was palpable.

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It’s funny the things you can choose to ignore when you’re young and idealistic. I had heard that teachers were overworked, undervalued and underpaid but until I actually experienced it for myself I had no idea how soul destroying it could be.

Most of the time, teaching wasn’t the problem. The children were not the problem. It was the immense workload and pressure from above, which I knew was a systematic problem, one that couldn’t be solved by moving schools or changing roles slightly. To make things worse, I found that my beloved subject, MFL, became increasingly marginalised. It wasn’t considered important and continuous changes to the National Curriculum changed the goal posts daily and pushed languages further and further down the list of priorities.

On the edge of burnout, I struggled to think clearly. I knew in my heart I couldn’t continue this way but inside I was still the same little girl with a dream, and leaving the profession would have felt like failing. I had worked so hard for a secure future in teaching but it got to the point where I had to make a choice.

Take a risk and find another way OR take a risk and stay, risking my mental and physical health and just settling for a life that no longer brought me joy. I started to wonder which was the greater risk.

When I had my little girl in 2012, everything changed. I no longer felt willing to compromise and a small seed of an idea that I had had at the back of my mind for years began to grow, evolve and form into something real.

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was born.

 Up until this point I had worked with children (and young adults) ranging from 4 - 18 but now, suddenly, I had a precious little baby in the world. I truly believe that a language is one of the most precious gifts you can give a child and the younger we can start teaching them, the more adaptable and capable their little minds become, instilling a love and seemingly natural flair for languages all the way through their life.

I started a small group with my own little girl and a group of local mums. I had no idea how it would grow and develop but it just felt like the right thing to do. We had so much fun as I used this group to develop a unique sensory music class with a second language at its heart. What shocked me most was the high demand.

Parents of small children recognised the value of this new type of class and saw their attendance as more than just a morning out of the house, but an investment in their child’s future. Soon I was running multiple classes every week welcoming children aged 0 - 5 to different classes and being invited into nurseries and even primary schools. This time though when I stepped into the classroom, that deep feeling of dread was completely gone.  

Looking back now, it’s hard to describe what I felt at this time. It was as if I had been injected with life again. I was excited about work again, I had more balance, I knew I was making a difference and financially, within 6 months, I was already making more money than I been making as a teacher.

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I never looked back.

Now, in all honesty, as time ticked by there were moments of doubt that crept in.  I knew I didn’t want to go back to teaching but setting up a business on your own is tough. While I was once conditioned to follow rules, I now had to make my own. Website, branding, logos, accounts, social media. There were many aspects of business I hadn’t even considered when I started and it has been a huge learning curve, but after 6 years in business, I am amazed by how much I have learnt.

After all, every day is a school day right? Even when you’re not in school!   

The best part was the difference these classes were making to children and parents. I wanted to do more but I physically didn’t have the capacity. I simply couldn't meet the demand on my own. This was when I decided to franchise the business. I had created a class that was unique and valuable. I had done all the hard work creating music, content and a brand that was now bigger than just me and I was ready to unleash it to the world. When I took on my first four pilot franchisees, I was terrified but after watching their success and those that have followed them, I got so much joy. Seeing these women transform their lives and take back control by living a life on their terms again felt like nothing else!

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BilinguaSing had become more than I could have imagined.  It might not have been my original dream as a little girl, but my classroom teaching career gave me the best foundation to build an even better dream.

Time is not the enemy

Looking back on my teaching days, it felt as if time was my nemesis. I was constantly fighting it and never winning. The to-do list never got smaller. This constant feeling of failing to do everything is wearing and the anxiety it causes can be extremely damaging to our mental and physical wellbeing. The problem is that as teachers, we become so conditioned to believing that ‘this is life’ and that there is no other way. It took having my first child to step away and see what teaching had been doing to me. Since starting BilinguaSing, time is no longer my enemy. Don’t get me wrong, with three small children and a business to run, life can be pretty hectic, but it’s my life and I am in control of how I spend my time.

Take the lid off the pressure cooker

If teaching were just teaching, the job would be amazing. Sadly though, for most of us it's a minefield of politics and policy, and the pressure on teachers on all steps of the ladder is intolerable. Teachers like us often stay in the profession so long due to fear of the unknown. Teaching might be stressful, but at least we know what to expect. I get it...the regular monthly wage, the career progression, the ‘security’. But when I left I realised that these were all illusions. My franchisees have proven too that they can create a secure business with financial reward without the intense pressure on them daily. I’m not saying it’s easy, it takes some hard graft especially in the beginning...but for anyone who has had to work in our education system, it almost feels like a holiday!

Cath

The real life results

Ex primary school teacher, Cath, runs her BilinguaSing business in the Blackpool & Wyre area. She has had great success less than one year into starting:

‘After 10 months I work with some amazing nurseries and run a few parent / child classes, some of which are now full with waiting lists for places. I am starting to receive party bookings, and hope to expand into school clubs this year. I love running BilinguaSing classes - it’s such a positive, uplifting, exciting and fun experience. I have met lots of people who are now more like friends. I am so excited to see the children and their parents developing and growing together in skills, confidence and creativity. And best of all …… to hear the little ones who have been coming to classes actually saying their first French or Spanish word is an incredible feeling! Bravo!’

I will never regret my teaching career. I have some wonderful memories, and I made many friends who are still important to me today.  The tough times were character-building, and for much of it I am grateful. It’s what led me to BilinguaSing.

But life shouldn’t be a continual endurance test. I wanted to be happier, calmer, less reactive, less frantic. I wanted to be a better mum. I just had to dare to give this dream a chance, instead of just living what had become my default.

If I could go back and talk to that young idealistic girl filling out her UCAS form, I wouldn't tell her to stop, because there would be rich life lessons to be learned through becoming a school teacher. I would just tell her to believe in herself more and to have the courage to make a change sooner when things don't feel right. We don't have to suffer, there is always another way. No matter where we are at in life, it’s never too late to turn a corner.

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Let me help you to understand that the other way could be BilinguaSing. I know that a career change isn't something anyone should take lightly, so I have created a brochure to give you some more insight into what life could be like as a business owner with my support and guidance. No obligation, no pressure. You get enough of that already!

I hope each page of my brochure brings you a sense of refreshing possibility - the possibility that your life can be less overwhelming and instead be more joyful, peaceful and fulfilling. You can still make a huge difference to others and stay true to your values, while taking time for yourself and your loved ones. BilinguaSing is like being part of a family. It can be scary taking that leap into the unknown, but the BilinguaSing tribe is here for you every step of the way!

BilinguaSing earns Gold Accreditation from the Children’s Activities Association Award!

Children's Activities Association gold BilinguaSing

BilinguaSing sings up a bilingual storm and earns Gold Accreditation from the Children’s Activities Association!

We are delighted to announce that we are now a fully accredited Gold member of the Children’s Activities Association! Achieving CAA accreditation means that we have been independently verified as having met the CAA Code of Practice, giving parents absolute confidence in the activities we provide. It is great to join the ranks of those providers proven to work to the very highest standards.

BilinguaSing combines music with language learning – and the results speak for themselves. Our unique sensory music and movement programme is tailored specifically to the developmental stage of each child, whether they be 4 weeks old or 11 years. The result is truly magical and loads of fun! Sue Nicholas from Fundamentally Children, who carried out the accreditation process, said activities were “nicely varied and interactive “and “There were enough active songs to run off some energy but sitting and singing was fun too”. Parent feedback was ‘positive’ with mums saying they “felt very comfortable in the setting”.

You can find out more about our high quality children’s activities at https://bilinguasing.com/

New classes in Blackpool & Wyre!

Here at BilinguaSing we are so pleased to announce the launch of new classes in Blackpool and Wyre, lead by Cath. She's barely got started but her arrival is already kicking up a storm...! Read the interview with the Blackpool Gazette:

It’s never too early to start learning another language. That’s the message from former primary school teacher, Cath Edmonds, who has recently introduced classes for babies and toddlers to learn French and Spanish, on the Fylde Coast. Cath, of Cleveleys, is now running sessions under the award-winning baby and toddler programme, BilinguaSing, at Knuckleheads Play Centre, on North Promenade, on Tuesday afternoons.

Read more at: https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/babies-and-toddlers-to-learn-french-and-spanish-1-9038289

Follow Cath on Facebook

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Princess Charlotte Is ‘Already Bilingual’

BilinguaSing Huddersfield franchisee, Jade Braithwaite, is so passionate about early years second language acquisition that she is undertaking a Masters Degree in 'Bilingualism' at Manchester Metropolitan University! In this article published by HuffPost parents UK Jade explains why she think it is so important.

Princess Charlotte Is 'Already Bilingual': Is It Worth Introducing A Second Language To Your Toddler?

Princess Charlotte might seem too young to be learning words in another language but actually, the timing is perfect.

“It’s best for children to get exposure to another language as early as possible,” said Jade Braithwaite, who teaches babies and toddlers French and Spanish through BilinguaSing Huddersfield.

“When they’re babies their brains are already taking in everything around them.” 

Read the full article

Award-Winning Spanish and French CDs for Kids

Primary Teacher Awards 2016

 

Looking for an award winning way to nurture your child as they work their way towards key developmental milestones? Hit play on an exclusive BilinguaSing CD, developed by passionate bilingualism advocate, Ellie Baker.

Since 2013, Ellie’s unique, three-tiered, sensory music and movement class for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and primary school children have been making quite the impression. As the business evolved, Ellie created a trio of CDs designed to complement the classes. The catchy songs cover topics for all ages, and are a fantastic way to immerse little ones in a French and Spanish.

“Learning a second language is all about immersion. But in-between school, errands, extra-curricular activities and other commitments, it can be hard to find the time to immerse little ones in French or Spanish, outside of their BilinguaSing classes. This was the inspiration behind the development of our CD collection.”

– Ellie

So what awards did BilinguaSing scoop this year? Here’s a look at the top honour received by our leading language classes for babies UK, and our 10 bilingual CDs.

  • 2016 Primary Teacher Awards – Primary Teacher Update All Other Resources

This month we were so proud after receiving the news that we won silver in the 2016 Primary Teacher Awards, within the Primary Teacher Update All Other Resources category.

  • 2016 Mum and Working Awards – Highly Commended ‘Best Startup Business’ c category
  • As a business that was born from Ellie’s desire to immerse little ones in the wonders of a foreign language, we’re so incredibly proud to be considered a valuable education resource by such a prominent organisation.

    Our CDs are now used in schools across the country, with each track designed to support children, teachers and parents in the journey to early bilingualism. They’re fully compatible with the KS2 Curriculum for Modern Languages, which makes BilinguaSing a pretty formidable competitor!

    “The CDs are a fabulous learning tool for all.”

    – Primary Teacher Awards

    Needless to say, we’ll be adding the award to our already well-stocked trophy cabinet. It’ll join the awards we won back in 2015 and 2014.

    • Best New Children’s Activity 2015 – What’s On 4 Little Ones Award
    • Best MFL Product – Practical PreSchool 2014.

    Want to know more about the splash we’ve made across the UK? Check out our glowing testimonials!

    BilinguaSing Hits Play On New Franchises in Guernsey, West Yorkshire and Cheshire

    BilinguaSing Hits Play On New Franchises in Guernsey & West Yorkshire!

    From the vision of a new mother to a nationwide craze, BilinguaSing has grown in leaps and bounds since Ellie Baker launched her first class back in May 2013. What started in Windsor has now grown into a national enterprise that sees BilinguaSing centres host more than 150 classes a week. If you live in the South East, North or Midlands area, chances are there are BilinguaSing classes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and primary schools near you.

    Now BilinguaSing is taking the next step, and launching new franchises in Guernsey and West Yorkshire .

    ‘Bonjour’ and ‘hola’ to all you British babies, preschoolers and primary-school children out there!

    Ellie’s a passionate believer in offering all British children a chance to learn another language, which means expanding into new regions is a natural step. The new locations in Guernsey and West Yorkshire are part of BilinguaSing’s goal to offer its unique multi-sensory baby, toddler and primary school activities to a huge range of locations, across the UK.

    Helping babies go bilingual, before they can talk!

    So what’s fuelling the popularity of BilinguaSing? Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in demand for both baby focussed and post-natal classes. Parents seem to be developing a growing awareness for the importance of providing greater stimulation for their children during key developmental stages. From baby yoga and swimming to music and massage, little ones are enjoying a kaleidoscope of activities designed to excite, inspire and engage.

    As multi-faceted classes, BilinguaSing blends a handful of concepts to offer babies a unique and meaningful experience. The unique three-tiered sensory movement and music classes are created to support key developmental milestones, while introducing little ones to the sounds of French and Spanish before they can even comprehend what a language is.

    The benefits of bilingualism

    So why should parents immerse their little ones in another language? From zero to six months, the brain is at an incredibly flexible stage. Research has shown that babies are able to recognise sounds before they can speak, which means that early immersion in other languages can and does make an impact.

    As well as catering to newborns, BilinguaSing offers toddler and preschool classes, as well as primary school French and Spanish clubs. This means kids can continue their bilingual experience throughout their all-important developmental years.

    A warm BilinguaSing welcome to our newest babies, and team members!

    For families in Guernsey and West Yorkshire, the BilinguaSing expansion is a unique opportunity to join Ellie in her quest to endow little ones with the gift of a second language.

    But for adults that share her passion for bilingualism, the expansion represents an exciting franchise opportunity. Backed with fantastic support from the head office team, joining Ellie and the BilinguaSing family is a great way to enjoy flexible working hours, and change the lives of little ones in the process.

    Popular baby languages class expands across the border

    Popular baby languages class expands across the border

    Royal Borough Observer logoThe Royal Borough Observer wrote this about Bilinguasing: A Popular music and movement baby class is expanding. Baby and toddler programme Baby Loves Spanish has been running since September in Windsor.Parents and young children can learn a new language...

    [su_quote cite="The Royal Borough Observer"] A Popular music and movement baby class is expanding. Baby and toddler programme Baby Loves Spanish has been running since September in Windsor. Parents and young children can learn a new language in an environment which supports child development through music, singing, movement and play. Due to popular demand the classes are expanding. They are due to start running at the community lodge at St Peter’s Church of England Primary School, Minniecroft Road, Burnham, from today (Friday). Founder Ellie Baker, a former Burnham Grammar School languages teacher, said:

    “The best time for anyone to learn a new language is while they are still learning their own. This is why people who were exposed to a second language from birth or toddlerhood end up speaking more than one language effortlessly. It’s a real gift to give a second language to our little ones.”

    Free taster classes are available. For more information email contact Ellie

    BilinguaSing wins 1st prize award!

    Bilinguasing certificate of excellence

    BilinguaSing wins First prize award!

    Baby Loves Spanish, which runs sessions across Berkshire as part of the BilinguaSing group, won the prize for Modern Foreign Languages at the Practical Preschool Awards in Birmingham on Friday, September 19.

    The group is run by Maidenhead resident Ellie Baker, who was delighted to receive her award having only established the business last year.

    She said: “I can’t believe we won - the companies that entered included many well-known, long-established brands and we really didn’t expect to win a rosette, never mind the whole Modern Foreign Languages category. Needless to say myself and the team are chuffed to bits and it couldn’t have come at a better time now that we are starting to expand geographically.”

    Baby Loves Spanish teaches young children French and Spanish in a fun and interactive way. For more information visit https://bilinguasing.com or visit its Facebook page www.facebook.com/bilinguasing/

     

    Ellie Baker Founder of BilinguaSing with award
    Ellie Baker Founder of BilinguaSing with award

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