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  • Rachel Cicioni

From the Classroom to My Own Teaching Business

Updated: Jun 20



French classroom, High school French, Private French Teacher, French Lessons
My old French classroom, my home away from home

Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to be a teacher. As such, leaving the classroom was one of the hardest things I've ever done. 


My teaching journey began back in 2011, and I absolutely loved being a high school French teacher! I had the privilege of working in a small er private high school where I was the sole French instructor. Teaching five different levels of French was both exhilarating and challenging, but what I enjoyed the most was the fact that no two lessons (or classes) were ever alike. Our school was like a tight-knit community; I got to know the students and their families well. Being the only French teacher there, it was incredibly rewarding to witness their growth over multiple years of study together not just in the language but also as individuals.


Then came 2020, and everything turned upside down with the arrival of the pandemic. Suddenly, childcare became a major hurdle, and I had to make the tough call to transition to remote or part-time work. Despite knowing it was the right choice, leaving the classroom wasn't easy – especially after such a trying time. I felt guilty being away from my students and colleagues, witnessing their struggles while feeling somewhat powerless to help. I missed the classroom environment dearly and tried to find part-time teaching opportunities while juggling my responsibilities as a parent.

 

And then, something unexpected happened. A friend of mine, Abby, who happened to be the Director of Education at a local private secondary school, approached me with an intriguing proposition. She wanted to create and implement a French program for a handful of high school students, but due to logistical reasons, it had to be conducted online, and the school lacked the requisite number of interested students to hire me directly. However, the families were more than willing to hire me themselves, and so the journey began anew.


To my surprise, I discovered a newfound joy in teaching students in this virtual setting. I found that I not only enjoyed it immensely but also excelled at it. Word began to spread (in part through social media), and before I knew it, I found myself working with adult learners as well. What struck me the most was the diversity among my students – each one with their unique interests, goals, and learning styles. Crafting lessons tailored to their individual needs became a new passion.

 

It wasn't long before my students and their families started to ask me when I was ready to take on more students. I kept saying, “Wait until I finish my Masters.” Well, within a month of finishing that degree, my schedule was full and I had a waitlist of students.


I'm currently rounding the end of my 4th year as a self-employed, private practice teacher. My student schedule is exactly what I want it to be. I adore all of my students and families, and I have the professional freedom, respect, and work/life balance I always wanted. Plus, I get to help other teachers do this too.

 

I never thought the opportunity to own my own teaching business existed. I can’t wait to see where this journey goes from here!

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