Should You Hire an Online Portuguese Teacher?
Finding online Portuguese teachers is as easy as popping your laptop open. You just have to Google it – hundreds and hundreds of profiles to choose from. I’m online, too, even though I have very limited availability for new students usually (you can ask me whether I’m available now).
And it isn’t true only for Portuguese – you can find a plethora of teachers teaching all languages of the world. You just have to have patience.
And with so much offer, prices usually go very low. And temptation comes in. We want to choose the cheapest teachers.
I know this because I’ve been in both roles: student and teacher.
As a student, I’m usually on a budget. And because in Brazil the dollar is a very strong currency, even eight dollars an hour may represent up to 5% of our monthly net income.
As a teacher, I want to get paid a decent living wage, but I know my students also have their budgetary restrictions. Finding the golden mean is never that easy.
What goes into teacher training?
Some online teachers seem to charge exceedingly high. Especially when you compare their prices to other teacher’s rates.
But there’s some logic to it. They don’t just come up arbitrarily with a price.
Professional teachers usually have put in years and years of intensive study at both college and home. Not only that, but they also have to keep up with the times, participating in seminars and presentations on- and offline, usually paying with pocket money…
And we know that college tuition in some countries can go as high as $10,000 per semester. Heck, it may cost even more than that.
But as a student, we think of teachers as a finished product, not as professionals in training. So, the question “why should I pay that much for a one-hour lesson?” needs a better answer.
Why experienced teachers?
Make no mistake: experienced teachers were beginner teachers a few years ago.
They had to pay for the training, but they also picked up a lot of knowledge along the way. Usually, they know the best techniques because they “have seen it all.” This means we usually don’t waste time as those who learn from a teacher who doesn’t know what he or she is doing.
It also means that other students have paid for this teacher’s hour, meaning that they have invested in this teacher’s training.
Then, when you hire an experienced teacher, you’re basically benefiting from others’ investments in him or her.
Hiring an experienced online Portuguese teacher might seem counterintuitive. After all, there are so many of them online, and so many of them are that cheap!
But believe me, if you’re coming to Brazil to either study or work – or even to meet your family –, you’ll want to see results… results my students have had… fast and easy.
Why inexperienced teachers?
But hiring inexperienced teachers also brings some advantage to the table.
If you’re just a college student on a budget, you might place your bet on a beginning teacher. As I mentioned, experienced teachers were beginner teachers before. You both might grow together. Building that kind of student-teacher relationship is priceless.
I hate clichés, but this is a win-win situation: the teacher is paid to learn, you pay less. It might take you longer to make progress, but the ensuing friendship might last forever.
All in all, it depends on your goals.
In the short run, hiring a professional, experienced online Portuguese teacher seems to be the logical choice. You might invest more right off the bat, but that investment would pay off in spades in the long term.
Hiring a novice teacher may be cheaper. But the wrong choice now means your progress could be stifled in the long run.
And if you want to hire a professional teacher has 7+ years’ experience teaching both online and off-line, in a variety of languages, contact me. There are a few remaining available spots for new students.