Tools of a Teacherpreneur

Hello and welcome to my Tools page.  In a few short months, I’ve done a lot of research on courses & products…looking at price, ease of use, support, etc.

I’m only recommending online resources that I’m personally using to manage and grow my business.

Nowadays, there are so many options out there and you have to choose the products that best fit your business.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: PLEASE READ BEFORE PROCEEDING

I’m an affiliate for some of these tools. Affiliate links are used for each tool that I’m an affiliate of, which means that if you click on that link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. What this means is you pay nothing extra; any commission I earn comes at no additional cost to you. Several of these I came across through my thorough research & some them came highly recommended to me via other teacherpreneurs.  If you want to know what products I use and what I recommend, you will find the tools or courses listed on this page. My intention is to help the next person that comes along by providing a set of resources all on one page, not the small commissions I may receive if you choose to buy something. Please don’t spend any money on any of these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
 
 

Professional Development for Teacher Re-certification

Virtual Education Software

I was able to complete my recertification online through various courses provided by VESi.  Living overseas makes it harder to maintain my certification without yearly clock hours.  Everything is online, courses are well-organized and they provide courses that are applicable in many content areas.  My last 2 courses were on Differentiated Instruction (DI).

If you want more information let me know.  Through referrals, I believe you receive a very small discount on the price of the course.

Becoming an Online Teacher...languages or other subjects

Lindsay Does Languages

Lindsay was one of the first people I found when I started looking at the online teaching world.  She has a thorough program for those wanting to become online language teachers called the Online Teaching Starter Kit (OTSK)

She has many resources on her blog for not only learning languages, but for online language teachers.

She also collaborates with several members of the Online Language World to host a language learner membership and a teacher’s membership.

Lindsay is also the host of two different podcasts: Teach Languages Online and Languages Stories

Elena Mutonono

Elena is another resource for online teachers, especially for teachers trying to grow their business in a smarter way. 

I found Elena by coming across her books, which I’ve read as I’ve been going through my own personal journey from the classroom to the online world. 

I highly recommend her books for anyone looking to explore a similar transition. 

Her books are Opted Out of the *Real Job*, “Flowers in the Frost: The Untold Stories of Online Teaching“, and her newest book is “Music in the Silence: Build Authentic Communities Online”

Elena also has a membership for teachers called the Smart Teacher’s Library.  It’s an online community and a resource center for language teachers who want to grow their online businesses the smart way.

Check out the link for more info on the membership or to grab her freebie, Smart Teacher’s Kit

Alissa McDonald, Teacher Hustle Podcast

I came across Alissa while looking for podcasts to listen to for teachers. 

She’s the host of Teacher Hustle Podcast and creates resources for educators trying to create a side hustle. 

She has created courses to help teachers with their TpT products, email marketing, etc.  

Email

ConvertKit

Email Marketing Service (EMS)  And I thought the education world was full of acronyms! 

I’ve had to learn all kinds of new acronyms & lingo just to understand the online business world. 

Also,  there are many EMS programs out there.  Some are free, some have automations others don’t.  This was one of the hardest decisions to make…which platform to use. 

After lots of research, I went with the EMS that many people recommended to me. 

ConvertKit also has a free plan where you can send broadcasts, you can create unlimited landing pages, sign-up forms and Call To Action (CTA) forms.  The customer service has been phenomenal, especially when my account got a bug.

Another Email Marketing Service (EMS) that I’ve tried out and enjoyed was Flodesk. 

With Flodesk, you get it all for one monthly price, unlimited subscribers.  Unlike competitors, Flodesk doesn’t penalize you for growing your list. Whether you’re looking to start a small newsletter or build an email marketing empire, you pay the same monthly price. 

If you use my affiliate link, you get it for 50% off the monthly plan so you pay $19/month.

Tripwire Training by Elizabeth Goddard

If you’re looking for guidance on email and ConvertKit then Lizzie is your go-to. In 2016, she was one of the first 4 people chosen to become a ConvertKit Certified Expert.  She’s also my go-to for all sorts of ideas since she believes in creating what you feel like doing.

She has a great blog for ConvertKit and different courses from email to tripwire to using Voxer in your business.  

Lizzie has several Facebook groups where she is extremely active answering questions, giving advice and sharing personal recommendations for tools and courses.  

Definitely someone to check out for an abundance of information, trainings and great leadership.

Engage with E-mail: Course & Template Vault by Alissa McDonald

Ohhhh, you mean I have to write?  I remember talking to Lindsay and she said to practice writing emails.  I had to change my academic style to a friendly & personable style. WHAT?  I practiced & practiced…for me this was nightmares from my Master’s days. 

But now, after a change in my mindset, I’m finding pleasure and I like the newsletter I’ve created. 

I still needed something though…how to learn about writing engaging emails, welcome sequences, etc.  

Instantly I thought, forget trying to DIY this one Esther.

The Engage with E-mail Course & Template Vault walked me through e-mail marketing step by step and gave me all the tools, templates and checklists I needed to start and grow my e-mail list.  

I just needed the recipe and then I could add my own personality to the emails and newsletters I would be writing.  

If you’re ready to check out what the Engage with E-mail Course offers for teacher sellers, click on the button on the left to check it out! 

Online Course Platform

MemberVault

MemberVault also known as MV.

I’m excited to tell you about my go-to platform for hosting all of my courses.  I had enrolled in various courses that are hosted in MemberVault and fell in love.  As a user, I enjoyed the layout and the progression through each course. 

As a course creator, I can’t say enough about the platform, the creators, and the amazing community of content creators who help answer your questions when they arise.  It’s easy to brand and customize your entire school on MV.

If you’re just getting started on your own business, I highly recommend that you try out MV.  Or if you’re looking for a new platform, MemberVault should definitely be at the top of your list to check out.

Go ahead and try MemberVault by grabbing a forever free account using my link.

Teachable

Choices, choices, choices.  Again, I did a lot of research into this.

I had to learn the differences between Content and Learning Management Systems (CMS vs LMS).  I looked at several things and liked the look of several courses I had taken on Teachable. 

There are many choices out there, so like choosing an EMS decide what will fit your needs.  Teachable has a free plan and great resources to get started. 

I like the simplicity of creating the courses on the platform.  The platform allows you to upload documents for students to download, upload videos or audio files and you can create quizzes as well.  

Building a Website

FREE: 5-Day Website Challenge

One of the decisions that I had clearly in my mind was to DIY my own website.  However, I also knew I didn’t have a clue where to even begin. 

I used several courses until I came across this Challenge.

Shannon Mattern has created a complete and thorough Free DIY Web Design Course

This website was created proudly by me and by following her challenge.  I started as a rookie and now could build a website for others. 

If you want to learn to DIY your website, this is the course for you.

Bluehost

Website hosting was another choice I had to make.  As a beginner, I went with one recommended by several people.  The choices varied and this was one I had to just trust those around me.  Is it best?  No idea. Is it the fastest? Again time will tell.  So far, everything has been working fine on my end.

 

Elementor

Now this was probably one of the easier decisions, but gonna be honest it still took me some time to decide between Elementor and Divi. 

I’d heard great things from several people about Divi, but Elementor had caught my eye.  Remember, that I had no idea how any of these tools worked.  So, I went with Elementor, even though I didn’t know anyone else using it. 

I’m glad I did since Shannon recommended it also on the 5-Day Website Challenge, which made it easier for me to catch on. 

I can’t compare to other builders based on personal experience, but Elementor is easy to use!  I try out new things constantly to change up my design and you can use it on any theme.  There is a Free or PRO version of Elementor

FREE: Get Your First Web Design Client Webinar

This is a webinar I’m gonna check out once I’ve finished a few courses of my own.  I’ve gone from being a clueless, newbie web designer to really loving it! 

So as a continual learner and knowing Shannon produces quality stuff, this is on my watch list.

Marketing

How To Market Yourself Online, Shannon Mattern

Another free Shannon Mattern webinar.

This one I’m going to watch sooner than later.  As a classroom teacher, I knew nothing about marketing. 

As of July 2020, I can tell you I’m learning more and more every day, but want to check this out since I’m working with zero ad budget.

Canva Templates & Stock Photos

Canva

I started using Canva to create logo ideas for Basque in Languages and for my podcast.

I instantly fell in love with all the various templates available to use in the classroom.  I shared Canva with my nieces so they could use it for their school and 4-H projects and then I shared it with my students to create school presentations and/or projects. 

Again there are several popular tools out there like Adobe; however, I chose to use Canva for all my website banners, logos, Pinterest pins, etc and have been extremely pleased.

Stencil

I love Canva, but Stencil has many features and many templates that are not available on Canva. 

So I used Stencil to make my Basque Instagram highlight covers here.  

You can use it for free or use my code to get $10 off.

Basil & Bark Template Shop

When I started the process of thinking about logos, brand colors, etc, I came across Canva.  I instantly started using it and also using it in the classroom with students.  

I was trying to create my own templates to use, but needed to start working on writing my courses as well. 

I know creating marketing assets for your creative business or creating even nice looking worksheets can be tricky, especially as a non-designer!

To save time and effort on your part, I would highly recommend browsing the customizable templates from Alysha at Basil & Bark.

Using her templates, I’ve been able to customize some of my vocabulary handouts, notebooks, and covers for slides. They look like they were made by a professional designer (because they were!), and then customized by me. 

Applecart Lane

While building my website, I used the Site-in-a-Snap Template Pack put together by Shannon Mattern & Kristin  from Applecart Lane. 

I had already chosen colors for my brand, but using Kristin’s template I switched up some of the colors & my logo and created a perfect mixture to fit me. 

She also has many resources about using Pinterest.

Ivory MIX Stock Photos & more

There are several places to find stock photos online.  I actually try to use my own pictures for things related to the Basque Culture or I use my cousin’s pictures. 

While using the Site-in-a-Snap Template Pack, Kristin had used some the place holder photos from Ivory Mix.

I signed up for the Free Stock Photos and also bought a course about taking quality photos with our phone. 

If you’re looking to create more engaging pins and Facebook + Instagram posts, then go sign up for Ivory Mix Stock photos.  You’ll receive access to over 500 gorgeous stock photos that you can use royalty free. 

Podcasting

Power-Up Podcasting 2.0

This course by Pat Flynn is amazing.  Similar to building a website, I had no clue about creating a podcast. 

I had listened to Pat’s podcast, Smart Passive Income which led me to his course on podcasting.  He also has many resources on the Smart Passive Income website and several other courses as well.  

Buzzsprout

There are several podcasting companies out there.  I’ve started on Buzzsprout, and soon I’ll let you know how easy it is to send my podcast to Apple, Spotify, Google, etc.  

This was recommended by Pat Flynn.  But, just like everything else, I researched myself.  I started looking at Anchor, Libsyn, etc. and finally decided to go with the recommendation.  

Buzzsprout has a free plan, you can make your own personal podcast website, and I liked the look of the player that I’d seen on other websites.

AppSumo

Stop paying monthly for software by using AppSumo and getting the best deals on tools to help you and your business grow. 

I’ve used it to buy several resources and have been pleasantly surprised. 

Here’s $10 to get started. You can thank me later 🙂

Other Tools or Resources

Airtable

This tool is next on my list to try.  

So, I can’t recommend it yet, but I’ll leave it here for those interested in trying it out or you can let me know at kaixo@basquewithesther.com what you think if you’re a user.  

Several teachers in a community I’m in are raving about it, so as someone who loves techie stuff I want to check it out.  

Google Suite

I’ve been using Google for years in the classroom and for personal use. When I needed to create a business email account, I went with a product that is easy to use, reliable with storage and has the ability to create handouts, slides, etc. to share with my students.  

Loom

Loom is a video recording tool that makes recording videos and screencasting easy to do.  You can share your videos easily with students or with colleagues.

I tend to use Loom or Zoom for recording my videos, depends on my day. It’s a great tool also to use with students, where they can record questions or answers in video format.  

Teachers…Loom is now offering the PRO plan free for verified accounts for students & teachers.  The free account works great, but the PRO does offer additional tools.

So try Loom because it’s just that simple to record, edit & publish

Slack

I use Slack for several of the memberships I participate in. 

Great way to communicate with all members.  You can organize different channels or threads, and choose what is applicable to you.  

I like my inbox for email, but Slack helps to keep me more focused on the topics I want and free from distracting messages.

Trello

There are several programs out there now to help with project management, personal projects and course design. 

It all depends on what you’re looking for and what appeals to you.

I like the layout of Trello’s boards, lists, and cards which  enable me to organize and prioritize projects, organize some of my courses, set up calendars and participate in a teaching communities. 

Zoom

Have you heard of Zoom?  COVID-19 changed the way many people communicate, do work and even teach classes.  

I’ve been using Zoom since 2016 for meetings with the United States Federation of Pelota and instantly started using it with my online Basque classes.  

Suddenly, COVID hit and EVERYONE started using Zoom or other tools like Google Meet to teach classes, have meetings or catch up with friends & family. 

Why did I prefer Zoom? 

I liked the ability to have a whiteboard like in an actual classroom.

Sure, I could pull up a Google Doc to type up notes, but I like being able to circle, underline or mark up texts while sharing virtually with my students.