I've noticed more and more over recent days that new tutors are promoting themselves on the Answers, Discussion and Notebook pages.
I've just seen a Notebook page on which a new member posted a piece of writing. No fewer than three tutors replied to this post with unsolicited offers of teaching. This reminds me of opportunists descending to the dock side, ready to pounce on new immigrants getting off the boat.
What do other teachers feel about this practice? And what do learners think about this?
How do you feel when you ask a question about English grammar and you receive a reply offering you a course of lessons?
In italki's advice for new italki teachers, it does talk about being proactive in order to get new students, and offer tips on attracting new students. The thing is, if we're already on italki I think it's a little redundant. If a member wants lessons, then s/he will have already bought credits and be seeking a teacher. Trying to sell yourself here can be rather like taking sand to the beach. Yes, promoting oneself like that can be off-putting just by its sheer parochialism.
Of course, just being visible (ie. active) on italki helps a lot. Two of my current teachers have written several articles and another is just generally helpful. I've also found students just by being helpful. Having a properly-presented profile also helps a lot (many are good; some make fatal mistakes). No need to be pushy beyond that. :)
I've noticed that too lately! Maybe it is not annoying or harmful but it is also not helpful at all, specially if they dont answer or correct the entry. I've seen a few tutors replying with things like "I'd love to help you with this question, feel free to book a session" haha I think it is better for students to search for their own tutors, that way they find someone they think they might feel comfortable with. Also, for tutors, I think that the best way to advertise yourself is by answering the questions and correcting the notebook entries. That way, if the student likes your corrections and your comments, they will contact you and want to work with you. ^^
I don't know this teacher personally, and I only showed my respect to his
advertising style by commenting on his entries that I liked so much, and
I think his 1500+ corrections speak for themselves. Being helpful to italki
community pay its rewards, especially when helping some students
knowing for sure that they'll never be able to take lessons and you do that
either to pay it forward or because pro bono work gives you inner satisfaction.
I have a lot of respect for those who help others (some of them already
commented on this discussion) because they are doing something useful
and students get to know them this way without posting pushy comments
under the name of "advertising".
Finally, I want to add that advertising is good, but for the love of God, do it
right and reserve some self respect, so prospective students will have some
respect for you too.
I've resurrected this thread from February because I've noticed a sudden increase in the number of unsolicited sales pitches from hopeful tutors on the Answers pages. Please note - the Community pages are not for offers of teaching services.
If someone asks a simple question about a vocabulary or grammar, all they want is an answer. They don't want a reply saying 'I'm a great teacher, contact me and I'll tell you how much I'll charge you'. This is aggressive and off-putting.
I've noticed that and I don't like it at all, but deep down I feel sorry for the way they're promoting themselves. I don't know how to explain that but I sympathise with them because they probably need their jobs here and without students, there's no way to earn money on italki.