About Teacher Oli

My Story

Hey there and nice to meet you! My name is Olivera, but my students usually call me Oli – this is a leftover from years of teaching people who can’t pronounce my name. 😊 But let me start from the beginning…

P.S. If you prefer listening to reading, check out my Instagram introduction video here.

Let’s start from the beginning

I was born in Novi Sad in 1991 (which seems like a looong time ago when you write it like this!) and I’ve been living in this city for my whole life. I have been speaking English ever since I could speak – my mom is an English professor and she made sure the language was a part of my life from a very young age. Fun fact: she never taught me, but she hired her ex-students to teach me. The first word I learned to spell when I was around 4 years old was A-P-P-L-E.

My love for languages (first of all, English, but I also took German, French, Spanish, and even a bit of Arabic) has always been a big part of my life. In primary school, I was chosen as one of six students from the entire school to participate in a student exchange with a school from Bedford, a small town near London. Can you imagine my excitement when I went there? I actually barely remember it, but people say that I managed to lose my passport at the airport – and it definitely sounds like me! What I do remember is taking photos of every window, wall and door, visiting Cambridge and the Tower of London, and surviving solely on Twix chocolates for 6 days because I was scared of trying English cuisine… 🤦‍♀️ Yeah… I was a weird kid. I also remember thinking how crazy fast they speak, but returning to Serbia six days later with a perfect British English accent… which I lost in the meantime thanks to the American movies, TV shows and music I have been surrounded with.

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Important lessons

I graduated from Karlovci grammar school, the oldest, coolest and most magical school in Serbia if you ask me. As a huge plus, it is also a high school dedicated to language lovers, so I truly found myself in it. Honestly, it felt like Hogwarts then, and it still does, in a way. I loved every inch of it and this is the place where I continued to develop my English knowledge. Actually, as most teenagers at that age, I was convinced to be the smartest and, in my case, the best English speaker in the world. That’s why I never forgot the words of my English teacher when I was in second or third grade. She said: “Yes, you have talent, but you STILL have to work on it. Keep going like this and you will never become extraordinary – just the opposite. You will be only decent.” I wasn’t very fond of my English teacher, to be completely honest, but what she said that day really got to me, and after a very long time, I actually started learning English again, and realizing how much there is still to learn. And even now, I always remind myself that learning never stops if you want to be extraordinary.

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The testing period

However, when it comes to my formal education, at the end of high school, I felt a bit sick and tired of English. I was tired of having five or six classes of it weekly and thought that there must be something else out there. Since I loved writing as well, I decided to enroll in the Department of Journalism at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad. At that point, I imagined myself as a brave reporter sharing the truth about worldwide events with my readers, telling amazing stories and investigating mysteries. This bubble of mine was burst very quickly when I realized what journalism meant in Serbia and in my second year I knew that I would never pursue this profession. However, I graduated from the Department of Journalism in 2014 with no idea what I was going to do afterward.

Turns out I didn’t have to think too hard – life kind of just happened. At the end of my studies, somewhere before my last exam, I found out that I was pregnant, and nine months later, there I was, a single mother with no job and a need for money. Going back to what I was best at – English – felt only natural… so I did exactly that.

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Finding myself

I started looking for online jobs back when it was still not that known in Serbia and stumbled upon Upwork – a job board that is much more popular today. After a few writing jobs, I ran into a Mexican online school of Business English that was looking for a teacher, and I thought – why not? I remember that Gina, my interviewer, told me that she thought I was American when I started speaking, and I blushed with pride. 🙈 That’s how my online teaching career started.

Teaching wasn’t a new field for me – I had tutored and taught my classmates and younger kids ever since high school – but this was very different. I learned so much since my first classes with Mexican businesspeople… The job was amazing! Working with awesome people, having super-cool colleagues, everything was just right for me – and who knows, I might have stayed there to this day if the working schedule was different. Alas, I was working from 3 to 7 AM every day and while that was cool for a while, I could not go on forever. In the meantime, I met my now-husband and got pregnant for the second time and, unfortunately, had to leave my perfect job. After it, I worked with people from Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China (and somewhere along the way, I acquired TOEFL, TEFL, and CELTO certificates, in case you are curious about my “official” education), but I kept thinking back to it. See, my other jobs mostly involved working with kids or young people and, although I thought I’d love it, well, I didn’t.

 

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English for Success

It was in one of my classes back in 2017 at my last online teaching position that I realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I had a class with Amy, a young Chinese girl whose mother signed her up for an advanced course of English, even though she could barely understand simple words such as hotel or novel. I asked Amy if she could get her mom so I would ask her to transfer the girl into a lower-level course, and things went horribly wrong. To this day I don’t know what exactly happened, but Amy came back in tears and kept crying for the next 45 minutes, although I did everything in my power to cheer her up – told jokes, made funny faces, played songs, and God knows what else. When the class ended, I told myself: “That’s it. I can’t do this anymore.” I didn’t really have any ideas about what I would do instead. But I kept thinking back to those amazing Mexican students…

A few days later I woke up in the morning and told my husband: “I KNOW WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO DO!” The entire business idea came to me in my sleep – the name of the company, the mission, the concept – everything! See, I kept thinking of my Mexican students and my subconscious obviously finally managed to figure out what it is that I really missed: working with serious, adult people who know what they want and what they need to do to achieve it. Once I figured that out, I realized that people like that exist around me, as well – and I could work with them. The next day, I bought a domain, opened an Instagram page, and… the rest is history!

English for Success was officially founded in 2018 and it is everything I ever dreamed of doing. Sure, the concepts, the courses and the visual identity have changed several times since then (and will probably keep changing as we keep growing) but the main idea remained: Work with adult people who have a goal in life that requires them to improve their English… and help them achieve it.

Today, I work with the most amazing people, and I’m constantly surprised by the devotion, passion, intelligence, and overall coolness of my students! I love every second of working with them and I finally feel that I’m living my purpose.

Well… that’s the story! But yes, I do have a life outside of English, in case you were wondering. I love spending time with my family and closest friends, singing, dancing Latin-American and Standard dances, reading crime and romance novels and being with my cats. 😁

Have a question for me? Don’t hesitate to contact me and ask!

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What can I do for you?

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I will help you become more confident when speaking English

The most common problem my students tell me is: “I understand everything, but I don’t feel confident enough to speak.” Are you one of those people? Don’t worry – you are not alone, and I am experienced in fixing this problem. The first thing my students experience after a few weeks of studying with me is more confidence and feeling ready to speak in English.

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I will support you regardless of what you do for a living

Whether you are an IT specialist, virtual assistant, whether you work in a call center or as a pharmacist, I’m here for you. My experience has shown that working on general business communication, while focusing on what matters to you specifically, we can achieve amazing results. Of course, this requires a lot of hard work, but if you commit as much as I always do, the results will be awesome!

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I'll adapt to your schedule because I know how valuable your time is

I understand how hard it is to organize your time between work, family, socializing, and adding a language school on top of that. That is why I always try to adapt to your schedule and give you as much freedom as possible when it comes to this. Whether you want to schedule on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, rest assured that we will find a time that fits us both.

I’m very enthusiastic about teaching, especially when it comes to Business English, which allows me to talk to so many great people and help them on their way to success. Are you ready to become one of them?

Sign up for a free consultation and let’s see!