Myngle introduces Waiting Lists for Teachers

This topic rumored around amongst the teachers in the Myngle forum for a while.
On saturday Marina Tognetti, CEO of Myngle announced officially that there is such a waiting list for new signed in teachers.

And today Elisa Delaini, the education manager of Myngle, explained in the Myngle blog how the waiting list works and how it will affect new teachers on Myngle.

Let’s have a look at the important points and my thoughts about them.

  • It is based on the demand of teachers per language.

What exactly is the demand of teachers? It’s not further explained in the blog post. So to my mind it’s the the number of teachers that are necessary to provide every interested student with an appropriate lesson whenever he likes to take one.

  • Teachers who sign up on Myngle can start teaching only after they have passed their “consultation” and after they got through the waiting list.

Before only a teacher who passed the consultation lesson with one of the Myngle education assistants was visible for the students on the list when they were looking for a new teacher. Now there is a second obstacle: you have to wait until Myngle “needs” a new teacher.

  • With the waiting list Myngle wants to guarantee enough students per teacher to make it worthwhile teaching on Myngle.To guarantee enough students Myngle lets the amount of teachers grow in parallel to the growth of the students registered.

Again, no numbers about how many students a teacher needs to make teaching on Myngle worthwhile. And how does Myngle know which students are interested in taking a lesson and who are not? Is there also a consultation session and a waiting list for students to verify if they are serious about taking lessons on Myngle?
If not, there are around 30.000 students registered on Myngle and around 270 active teachers. Does this mean that there are 111 students per teacher and this is not enough?
Yes, I know I don’t take the different languages and their combinations into consideration. But I think this number comes quite close to the biggest interest group of students who want to learn English.

  • Students who want to learn a language from a beginner level may need a teacher who speaks (and probably teaches) their language fluently. That’s why we could have an opening for English teachers speaking Dutch, for example, but not accept any English teachers speaking French.

First point I am able to follow.

  • When there is a new opening (depending on the growth of students and current teacher activity), Myngle will inform the teacher on the waiting list and give all the assistance needed to start teaching their first lesson. He/she will be required to send the Cv to our consultants and will be contacted to shedule the consultation.

No numbers about the growth and what is “teacher activity”? Why has the teacher to send a CV to Myngle? Is Myngle hiring the teachers now? I thought Myngle is a market place, not a school.

  • We will list you as a new teacher in a separate space on the webiste, called “Newly consulted teachers”. This way, students won’t mistake you for an unpopular teacher who didn’t teach any classes.

Good thing with the seperate space. But what is an “unpopular” teacher? And why are unpopular teachers listed on a website that offers quality teaching?

  • New students registering on Myngle will also receive a personal suggestion of two teachers, one experienced and a newly consulted one.

Good idea.

The blog post ends with

Hopefully this blog post answers some questions and offers more clarity to our future teachers.

Well, I am an old teacher on Myngle. Maybe that’s why I am confused now.

I really don’t see the benefit for Myngle or for new teachers on the platform. I totally agree that there have to be enough students on the platform to get the teachers into teaching though.

But shouldn’t a platform work on the issue how to get more students on the platform rather than limiting the amount of teachers if there are not enough active students?

I know that there is a big loss of teachers that start very enthusiastically but are not active anymore because they never got a student. But will setting them on a waiting list solve this problem? Won’t teachers that have to wait just go to another platform without waiting list like eduFire or WiZiQ?

Don’t get me wrong here. Basically, I think the fact that there has to be a healthy rate of teachers and students, sellers and buyers, is absolutely right and necessary BUT this changes the system of Myngle completely.

As I mentioned in my last posts here, I have the impression that Myngle wants to change the business model from a free market place to an online school. The waiting list is the next piece that matches in the puzzle.

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  • China_Mike

    You are right. This is a balancing act. They are trying to balance demand and supply. I think you are also right that this means effectively that you do not have a “free marketplace”, in its place is a “managed marketplace”. In fact I would prefer that they would use this term as it would clear things up.

    The CV addition is a bit of a puzzle. Going off in this direction seems to indicate that it is hard to really know if a teacher is qualified to teach. It does seem to be a mark of a school as you indicated. In other words, there is a hiring (as opposed to qualifying) process.

    But I am not sure they are a school yet. And that raises an interesting question, how will we define a school in the future. Is such a definition even useful?

    My particular problem with this post is that the conditions under which the two teachers are selected to be introduced to students is unclear. In jest, I suggested that I would buy the writer of this note chocolates for her birthday. In jest, she shot back that she couldn’t be influenced. Hmm, I wonder…….

    Anyway, I think the people who are now best positioned to teach at Myngle are people who speak two languages. This change could have been advertised more forcefully:

    Highly Valuable:
    Teachers who can teach another language whilst communicating with students in their language of choice.

  • Koichi

    Great write-up, Kirsten! I never thought about it in the respect that Myngle is becoming more like a school, and “hiring” teachers now. It feels like as time goes by, they are moving more and more towards “the old” of online teaching, and not towards (what I think) their original goal of really making a good change. But then again, I am extremely biased :)

    On a positive note, I really am learning a lot about how “not to communicate with users” which will help with all my sites :)

  • ChrisN

    I, too, watch with interest and some concern.
    One point: Although I speak German fluently, in all the years I have been teaching, I have never used German with my German clients in my lessons. Indeed, I only use German when answering initial enquiries. After that it’s English all the way! This applies for absolute beginners too!!
    Even online, I see no reason why a teacher should not be able to teach his or her language without recourse to another language (if that’s the way s/he chooses to do it). The only reason such a teacher might need to understand and speak the student’s language is to explain the initial “set up” or, online, how the platform works. This, however, should be the job of the platform provider, not the teacher!

    PS Who is “Godzilla”?

  • KirstenWinkler

    Hello guys,
    thanks for your comments. I took a walk on the walls of Saint Malo, watching the sunset over the ocean and came up with an other point ;).

    Again, what is the definition of an “unpopular” teacher? As far as I see it, all the teachers that are now on Myngle with a Myngle score of 1 or 2 (after the consultation lesson) and visible in the teacher list are becoming automatically unpopular because they are not new on Myngle. That would affect most of the teachers who are very active in the forum right now, trying to make Myngle a better place, hoping that things will change for them, e.g. that they get a student to teach.

    Up to now they have the problem with the big teachers like me who attract more students because of their stars, Myngle score, positioning etc. And now they are also getting “unpopular”?…

    Just a thought…

  • Débora

    If good teachers don't have classes enough to make money from Myngle, they go away and Myngle will also loose its students, because we want the best teachers. I reckon Myngle is changing its first idea of a language market because it wasn't sustentable enough. In this case, you can think in Myngle as a better Englishtown, which has lots of problems like crowded classes and you never know who is going to teach you today.

    • KirstenWinkler

      Hi Débora,
      the problem is they changed the idea before they had the chance to see if it works. To get enough data you need to stay with your concept for at least two or three years.
      And you cannot actually compare Myngle to Englishtown either because there are no group lessons. It's all 1o1 at the moment.