what does a good teacher cost and how do you find one?

Something must be wrong.

According to my passport I’m 37. That means that I’ve been an educator in one form or another for over 21 years.


How did I get into teaching? By accident really.

Back in high school, I needed some extracurricular credit in order to graduate, so rather than be a camp leader, I chose to be an assistant ESL teacher.

Surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have been hooked ever since.

I think that’s one of the reasons I chose to make Japan my home. Here, teachers are referred to as “sensei” (which means teacher) which is also used for doctors.

Imagine that. Me, a doctor…crazy?!

In contrast, in the West we say such things as “Those who can’t, teach.”

A teacher may not have to do life and death surgeries, they are instrumental in shaping their students’ minds and helping them reach their potential.

Teaching, to me, is a very serious responsibility.

In my case, most of the students that I teach have made the decision to learn themselves so they’re serious. And as they improve, I’m always asking myself, how can I take them to the next level?

Whether I’m teaching English, success principles, time management, marketing or finance I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and different ways to present the material.

I ask two questions in the title of this blog:

  • What is a good teacher cost?
  • How do you find one?

Before I answer these let me start by asking an even more important question – What makes a teacher good?

I have come up with 10 qualities from my own experiences and those of my friends:

  1. Sincere
  2. Admit mistakes
  3. Constantly learning
  4. Never satisfied
  5. Fair
  6. Tough but kind
  7. Strict
  8. Funny
  9. Open to new ideas
  10. Passionate

Most of these should be self-evident but I would like to address a few. In my experience the best teachers are humble. They’re always willing to admit they made a mistake. That doesn’t mean they won’t give up without a fight, but they encourage their students to prove them wrong. I know I love it because the smarter my students become, the smarter I become.

Unfortunately, not all teachers agree. Some believe admitting mistakes is a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Students respect those teachers who are “man enough” to admit they are wrong.

Another item on the list is something that many parents seem to have an issue with these days and that is of strictness. Personally, I think the better we get, the stricter our teachers must be otherwise we won’t learn.

I push my clients hard. And that’s why they choose to work with me. I know what to expect from them and if their work is below their own standard then I point that out.

Good teachers never expect anything less than the best from their students, and more often than not, they get it.

Finally, I do believe that teachers should also be learners as people learn best by example. Seeing a teacher constantly trying to improve themselves is inspiring for their students.

So back to the two questions I posed. What is a good teacher worth?

That all depends. To me a good teacher (and I mean really good) is priceless because finding someone that is just right for you isn’t always easy.

Thankfully, in today’s world we have access to some of the greatest minds out there in the form of books, audio lectures and DVDs.

I have no qualms about spending $1,000 for a good DVD training set. Shelling out $5,000 for a 4-day seminar by people like Tony Robbins, Frank Kern and Brendon Burchard or other experts in their field of expertise is not unheard of. Heck, I even heard of one 9-year old earning $800 per person offering seminars to teachers.

Just keep one thing in mind, the better you get, the more you’ll have to spend to find good teachers.

People often think that a good teacher needs to be right there with you. I haven’t found that to be the case, but if you’re lucky enough to know a good teacher then stick with them.

As the expression goes, to find your prince (or princess as the case may be) you have to kiss a lot of frogs and the same can be said for teachers, too.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to ask around. I’m sure that someone in your network knows a good swimming coach, a good English teacher or math tutor.

Experts in marketing, business management, website design and the like may be harder to find, but you’re bound to find someone that suits you and your needs if you keep at it.

When it comes to finding a good teacher, one piece of advice – don’t try to get them on the cheap.

Good teachers are good for a reason, they work hard to be the best. They invest a lot of money to improve themselves and deserve to be rewarded if they help you achieve your dreams.

Teachers may not be quite on the same level as a doctor, but they often play a big part in our success.

“Sensei” – I like that.

Adrian Shepherd

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