Teacher FAQs

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  • Creating Your Profile
    • I signed up, but can't see my profile on search?
    • In order to have your profile accessed through search you must fully complete all the profile areas; Name, Title, Description as well as Personal Details, Interests & Expertise, Lesson Details, Education Background, Available Times, Locations and add a photo.

    • How do I get around the sections in the Locations tab?
    • It's actually much easier than it looks. Basically, we give you the choice of being searched according to your preferred geographic area or according to your favorite train stations. Here's how it works. To begin with, choose a prefecture in the Areas box. Next, you can either choose a town/city, which are also located in the Areas box, or you can choose a train line in the Line box.

      Just remember that if you don't specify which stations you want, they will all be selected automatically. Once you have made your choices, click on the Add and Save button. Best thing is, you can repeat the process five more times, or erase everything and start all over if you like.

    • What does Main Location mean in the Locations tab?
    • Good question! The information in the Main Location that you select will be the information that first appears when your profile shows up in the students' searches. They will also be able to see all your teaching locations, but this will be the highlighted location.

    • My Profile completion % won't go to 100%. why?
    • This may be because you still need to fill out a few details in your profile, but more than likely, it is because you still need to upload your best mug shot. If that doesn't fix things, contact us at team@swikee.com and we'll get on it right away.

    • I did everything but I still can't see my profile when I search, why?
    • It maybe because you need to select a prefecture when searching. If that doesn't do the trick, then just send us an email: team@swikee.com

    • Why do you need my phone number?
    • To be honest, most of the time, we won't be needing it. However, there may come a time when we will need to contact you directly by phone because other contact methods are not possible.

    • How can I delete my profile?
    • Just send us an email: team@swikee.com All your information will be removed from our databases immediately. We will keep absolutely nothing. We value the privacy and security of our customers.

    • When can I add a sample lesson and video?
    • As soon as you complete your profile, and the blue bar shows that it is 100% complete, you will be able to add your killer sample lesson and accompanying video.

    • My photo won't upload. What should I do?
    • If this happens, the best thing to do is to contact us at: team@swikee.com. We'll be on top of it immediately.

  • Meeting/First Lesson
    • How will I know when I have been chosen by a student?
    • You will be receiving an email from the student letting you know of their interest in setting up a trial lesson. Please respond to the student as promptly as possible in order to ensure a smooth beginning to your relationship.

    • What should I do in my first lesson?
    • There are no rules, really. Depending on what the student has already told you about themselves, you should be able to get a sense of what they are looking for. That's why it is important to get as much information as you can before meeting for the first time. But generally speaking, getting them talking about themselves is always a good idea. This will put them at ease, and allow you to determine more accurately what their communicative level really is.

      As an aside, although we are not quite ready, yet, Swikee is working hard to develop loads of resources available for you to choose from in the future. And if there are any particular materials you'd like us to offer please don't hesitate to send us a message a team@swikee.com.

    • How long should the trial lesson be?
    • We recommend 20 to 30 minutes. Experience has shown that this is enough time for the prospective teacher and student to get a good feel for one another. Of course, if you want to go longer, that's fine as well.

    • Where should we meet?
    • Again, there are no rules, but it is common to choose a cafe like Doutor or a fast food place like McDonald's near a station. They are easy to find, the lighting is good, and your student will feel safe with all the people around.

  • Swikee Gift Cards
    • What's the Swikee Gif Card?
    • It's simple. Someone you know needs to, or loves to learn a language, right? Well, this is the easiest way to get them started. Just use the Gift Card page and send them a 5,000 yen Gift Card. They receive a Gift Card Code and just enter it during the Search or Payment process. They'll be able to contact 5 teachers, all thanks to you and your incredible kindness!

    • How long will they have to use the card?
    • From the time they activate the card they'll have 1 year to contact 5 teachers. Plenty of time to search, find, compare and choose the perfect one to meet their goals and dreams.

  • Search
    • Can I pay a fee to be guaranteed a good placement in the search results?
    • As we are trying to offer the best match possible to students, we think it is best to give everyone a fair chance at being chosen, with no preference given to those with more money to spend.

    • How can I be chosen more often by potential students?
    • The best way to do that is to take advantage of all the options available to you when setting up your profile. In other words, put up a cool video of yourself, and take the time to post a well-organized lesson plan. Other relevant factors, of course, include smiling in your picture, and keeping your prices competitive (around ¥3,000/h).

    • How often should I update my profile?
    • It all depends. Basically, you should update it whenever there is a need to do so. Our system allows you to make multiple changes very quickly, so it won't take up too much of your time. Also, just in case you forget, we will be sending you periodical reminders every 3 months.

    • How long will it take for my profile to appear?
    • Shazam!! As soon as you create your profile, it will appear on our site. You can view it at swikee.com/yourscreename.

  • Payment
    • How should I deal with lesson payments?
    • That is completely up to you, of course. One thing for sure is that the rules should be set during the first lesson. This will avoid any misunderstandings in the future. Online payments are actually the best method, especially for handling cancellations that can really mess up things for teachers. We're working on that and hope to be ready to get you set up in a few months.

    • How much should I charge?
    • Around ¥3,000 per hour is about the average price. Feel free to go higher or lower. Experiment. Often times, teachers will increase their fees for future students as their schedule fills up.

    • What happens when someone cancels?
    • There is no official cancellation policy. However, as in all other aspects, we sincerely encourage you to be respectful to your students with regards to this question. We recommend giving at least one day's prior notice when you are canceling. And we recommend telling students they must give at least a 1-day notification if canceling or they will still have to pay the lesson fee.

      Let them know it's very easy for you to fill in that time if given at least a day's notice, and that same day cancellations create a big scheduling snafu for you.

    • Who should pay for transportation, drinks, etc?
    • Our suggestion is that you each pay for your own expenses. Just remember to set the rule from the initial lesson.

    • What if I want to raise my fees?
    • All you have to do is update your profile. Please keep in mind, though, that this will only apply to future students. If you want to charge more to existing students, you will have to notify them individually. Should you decide to go ahead and do that, we suggest that you give your students a few months advance notice of your fee increase.

  • Teaching TIps
    • I am kind of new at this. What do you recommend?
    • Welcome to Japan!! One thing for sure is that you should be honest with your students. Many of them have already studied English, and they will know if you try to deceive them. Besides, if their expectations are lowered, and you come well prepared for your lessons, you will impress them all the more.

      Having said that, the obvious thing is to find out what the students want to do. They may set your agenda for you. If they are not sure, take a trip together to one of the huge bookstores in town like Kinokuniya, Maruzen, or Sanseido and look for some materials that you can both agree on.

  • Swikee Worksheets & Materials
    • What and where is this?
    • Yes, this is coming soon. We're sorry for the delay but it takes time to make worksheets of the quality that Swikee wants to be associated with. And we'd love your ideas. What kind of materials are you looking for. Grammar worksheets? Conversations examples? Stories? Let us know and we'll be sure to add it to the collection we are building. Send us your ideas to team@swikee.com

    • Can Swikee recommend materials for me?
    • Sure. We have tons of experience teaching and listening to students. While there are so many factors that go into choosing a textbook for a Japanese student, there are some standards that we've come to count on. Here's our short list of quality textbooks:

      Beginner: Get Real, Let's Talk, Survival English, Active Skills For Communication, Passages

      Intermediate: Touchstone, Interchange, Communication Strategies, OpenMind

      Advanced: Raise The Issues, Communication Strategies, InsideOut

  • Membership
    • What is this Premium membership all about?
    • This is something we are still working on. The idea is to allow you access to all the tools you will need to promote yourself and be successful in your teaching career. With this membership, you will have your own customized business cards, access to hundreds of worksheets on which to base your lessons, access to our book selector, which will allow you to choose the most appropriate commercial resources in just a few short seconds, with much more to come.

      In fact, if you have any suggestions on services that you would like to see become available, email us at team@swikee.com and we will give it our due consideration.

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