Meet The Educator's Place, who were recently featured in Canvas Rebel. Read below for the full interview.
Melinda and Stacia, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Showing clients you appreciate them is something I think most folks want to do – but it’s not always clear how to do it in a meaningful way. What’s one of the best examples of client appreciation you can share with us?
We believe showing appreciation to our clients is essential at The Educator’s Place! We know that there are many choices for teachers when it comes to their professional development and we want to thank them when we have the opportunity. We offer substantial discounts to teachers who register to take all of the required classes for an endorsement program. Teachers who are “frequent flyers” with The Educator’s Place are also offered discounts after five classes with us. During different times of the year, we will run a Flash Sale with significant savings on all classes for a limited amount of time. Schools that use us as their primary source for professional development for staff receive a group rate. We are always continuing to find ways to thank teachers!
We also know that good teachers make a difference in the classroom, and we’re hoping to build on that by making a difference outside of the classroom as well! With Educators Give Back, a program within The Educator’s Place, we are committing proceeds from sales of our courses to causes that we believe in, in order to help those in need, in whatever capacity that may be.
We feel it is our duty as educators to lend a helping hand where we can, and so we will continue to work with organizations in our community and give back throughout the year.
Melinda and Staci, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
The Educator’s Place was established by Melinda Younger and Staci Araiza in 2013 with the intention of assisting teachers in enriching their knowledge of teaching strategies, techniques and methods in order to make all students successful learners. Melinda is a retired teacher and Staci was a classroom teacher, who is now working with autistic students.
The Educator’s Place is a Colorado company that meets teachers’ needs for recertification, professional development, and salary advancement credits nationally. We are teachers who know what teachers need! We know what they want with regard to the ever-changing curricula and the overfilling plates. We also know that teachers’ time is very limited, so we offer quality online classes and training with information that can be used immediately in their individual classroom. All of our Colorado instructors are either teachers that are presently in the classroom every day, or have recently retired from careers in education. The background experience is vastly enormous!
Courses are offered for kindergarten to 12th grade, special needs to gifted, behavioral to technological classes. We offer online classes that best meet the needs of individual teachers, every month, for the best price that we can offer. We are here for teachers in Colorado and beyond!
All of our teacher recertification courses are designed to be completed within a four week period, however; teachers have a full year to complete the online classes and training. Courses may be taken simultaneously, and up to five courses at a time. No meetings are required. Teachers are able to obtain state endorsement certificates in several areas through The Educator’s Place that allow teachers to address the unique needs of all students. The credits for all classes are obtained from Colorado State University-Pueblo. We work closely with the university and are part of their Masters of Education program. Which allows teachers to use our classes in order to move their education to the next level.
Although there are many aspects of The Educator’s Place that we are proud of, knowing what we are doing to further teachers’ abilities to allow students to be successful learners in an affordable, online, stress free environment are definitely at the top of our list!
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
Building a reputation in any business is difficult; however, building a reputation in the educational field is especially difficult. There isn’t a specific platform that teachers automatically seek out for professional development; it seems to be a “word of mouth” type of business! On top of that, getting our name out there has been a real challenge because most teachers rely on the businesses that have existed for a long time and have a well-established reputation in the field.
Our very first hurdle in getting The Educator’s Place up and running was therefore building a reputation as the online platform that can best meet teachers’ needs for professional development. We reached out to our connections and came up with a fair amount of contacts, but definitely not the number needed to build a successful business!
Next, thinking like teachers, we made the decision to pass out fliers introducing our company and our mission. At first, the fliers were run on copy machines and shared with teachers we knew, who passed them along to their staff. This seemed to work well, and we began getting more attention from teachers, which ultimately led to more business. Our next steps were to get the fliers into more schools and to upgrade the look of the fliers. We started working with a marketing company called Adjectiiv Agency; their team designed our new fliers which Melinda then hand-delivered to schools around the Denver metro area.
We found our latter approach to be a very successful way to build The Educator’s Place’s reputation and get our name out to our target market!
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
The Educator’s Place has found that the best way for us to procure new customers is to continue to make contacts with school and district administrations. At the present time, we offer professional development sessions in schools within staff meetings; this allows us to make more personal connections. In turn, teachers share our information with other teachers, who then themselves share with other teachers!
There are a plethora of new clients for us to reach, and making those personal connections is the best way for us to keep bringing new clients to The Educator’s Place.