IN A NUTSHELL
24 years of experience in Information Technology
22 years of speaking Spanish
15 years of teaching English
15 years of assisting with university admissions
10 years of interviewing job candidates
Master's Degree in English
IN A STORY
Donald's English Corner is both a beginning and an end. Launching this business drew a line in my life that separated one kind of professional life with a very different one. On the distant side of the line was my nearly 25 year long professional life working for institutions. I said goodbye to a career working for huge companies, small non-profits, and universities. On the closer side of the line was my future professional life working for people. To launch The Corner, I brought together all of my educational and technological experience for the benefit of those all around the world who needed and deserved someone to help them improve their language skills.
Donald's English Corner opened its virtual calendar in Autumn 2021, after I officially crossed to the happier side of the professional line by resigning from one of the best universities in Chicago.
You might wonder what came before this point? My first English class as a teacher happened waaaay back in 2007. I was a graduate student at the time. Most graduate students are obligated -- often through financial necessity -- to teach undergraduate courses. I wasn't most graduate students. I had a very well-paying Information Technology position that exempted me from the pool of graduate teaching assistants. But, I wanted like hell to teach classes so launched a charm offensive with the English Department. It worked, and I began to teach English 101 as tens of thousands had done before me. I was hooked on education in that first class. I was also, in many ways, screwed. :) I would work in those two different careers for nearly 25 years: Information Technology and Education. You can see that history written in detail in my CV posted at the top of the page.
Necessity is the mother of invention. In 2017, I began working in the Information Technology Department at a university in Chicago. I had a great time in that position, but still felt the familiar desire to teach. That same year, I began teaching English online on the website Verbling in my spare time. My hope then was to offer the highest quality language lessons at the lowest possible price to people all over the world. I had never taught online before then, so I started with baby steps offering classes on the weekends. The students found me. Slowly at first, but within a few months they filled every available hour.
The COVID pandemic made hundreds of millions of people around the world into experts (or, at least, users) of online education. The number of students asking me for classes at impossible hours forced me to re-think how I wanted my professional life to develop: as it had been in a traditional context, or as it could be by taking an entrepreneurial leap of faith.
I chose to leap.
Donald's English Corner became a real company in October 2021 (hello, IRS!). I have been teaching English online as a full time profession since then, after resigning my position at the university. I have not regretted the transition from traditional employee to entrepreneur even once.
Being fully dedicated to student language success is an absolute joy. Students all over the world want to join the community of English speakers. They also want to take advantage of my diverse experiences. I am an English teacher with over twenty years of Information Technology experience. I have served marginalized communities (LGBT, immigrants, neighborhood associations, churches, etc...) for over ten years. I have lived in Chicago, Michigan, New Mexico, and Florida while also spending a lot of time studying/working in Spain, Mexico, and Australia.
Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about how Donald's English Corner can help you reach your language goals. Every one of them is possible. Everyone can achieve them.
Also, my dogs Taco and Queso regularly explore my office. You might see them during our lessons. :)