Teacher Co-op Confronts Inequality in Virtual Education
A new virtual learning platform, owned by freelance teachers, confronts inequality, and discrimination in virtual education by forming an international teacher cooperative.
Poised to open this Spring, MyCoolClass is an international cooperative of freelance teachers who plan to address the many problems online teachers face, such as low pay, draconian policies, and workplace discrimination.
MyCoolClass co-founders John Hayes and Scott Anderson, both American ex-pats residing in Poland, believe that creating a teacher cooperative could be a big blow to major online education platforms by inspiring educators to come together and take control of the workplace. As a cooperative, each member teacher will have an equal stake and vote in the company. Instead of profits going to corporate shareholders, the teachers will receive benefits and build equity.
“Many online platforms often have discriminatory hiring practices. Some companies pay teachers according to where they live or what passport they have. This means a teacher in South Africa or Vietnam will get paid significantly less than a teacher who lives in the USA, even though they teach the same course with the same qualifications and experience. Another issue is that teachers get burned out being overworked and underpaid with no sick leave. This causes teachers' performance to suffer and can lead to getting fired over petty reasons. Students who have built strong relationships with their teachers are often left stranded and given poor excuses by the company as to why their teacher is no longer available. The bottom line is that a teacher cooperative makes sense and is necessary to benefit everyone.” - John Hayes – Co-founder of MyCoolClass
The cooperative seeks to connect eager learners with passionate teachers around the world in a variety of languages and subjects. Refusing to take out bank loans, MyCoolClass hopes to crowdfund $20,000 USD by the end of February to cover legal and start-up fees. Hayes and Anderson plan to formally register MyCoolClass in the United Kingdom as soon as they reach their crowdfunding goal.
For more information or how to help, please visit the cooperative website at www.coop.mycoolclass.com