Thanks for being interested in learning about how to use a personal assistant!
1. How are you going to find your assistant?
It will take you about 30 minutes to find your first personal assistant. You need to find an internet company that does outsourcing. If you type virtual assistant, you will find many different companies that offer virtual assistants. I personally use www.odesk.com. (I do not work for them in any way.)
What I like about this company is that it has many assistants that are under $5 an hour. I was able to find an education major who works as an English professor in another country. She sets her own rate. She charges me $3.33 an hour. She is amazing - she types of student stories, she finds vocabulary words and pictures for me, she creates student quizzes. I also have another assistant that is a professional translator and has worked for big name US companies, scoring in the top 10% of all translators on the site.
Make sure that you screen for test scores. I recommend that you find people that are in the top 10% for their English skills, spelling skills etc. You can do an advanced sort on the right. I normally find 2-3 people when I have a new job and offer them to do an interview. I do not post the job open to anyone.
You can see what the assistant is doing while they are working for you. The company takes a screen shot randomly every 10 minutes. You are paying for work that you can see was done.
2. You need to screen your assistant.
You are now hiring someone to work for you. You need to write up a job sheet, search for candidates that meet your needs and get started. I highly recommend that you pay for a 30 minute interview. In the interview, give your new virtual assistant a real task to complete. If he or she does the task to your level of satisfaction, you are good to go.
If he or she does not do a good job, you just wasted less than it costs to buy a cup of coffee! And hopefully you got some work out of that 30 minutes that was useful.
Once you have found your assistant, you are ready to go!
3. What can your assistant do for you?
you have a ton of papers on your desk that need to be graded and
entered into an excel sheet? Your assistant can do that. (You obviously
want to be careful and not send anything about IEPs or anything that is
confidential to the assistant.)
you like to have a bunch of vocabulary words for an upcoming unit? Here
is an example of the instructions I gave my assistant and the results. I
wanted vocabulary words in English and in Spanish (for my Spanish
speakers) to use in my electricity unit. Finished document. Initial instructions. (Feel free to use these documents if they are of use to you. They are designed for my 4th grade electricity unit).
Virtual assistant - 5 hours of grading a week (@$3 and hour) x 4 weeks a month = $60 a month
Additional Classes - 1 day a month, you attend some extra PD offered by your school district for a few hours. You need 2 hours to break even - but you are saving 20 hours! (2 hr @ $30 an hour x 1 time per month = $60)
Open enrollment for the following classes:
All classes are worth 3 graduate credits from Antioch University or 30 CEU hours. Each class costs $285. (Antioch University Seattle is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 North La Salle St. #2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504. Antioch has held accreditation continuously since 1975. )
The classes are taught by a Sacha Luria, who has been featured on Disney Radio, NPR and in the Oakland Tribune for her success in teaching reading.
Right now the Kids Will Love to Read and Write is discounted. It normally costs $285, but now is only $255. This special back to school price is only good till September 28th. Really, there is no risk to you. You can also cancel this class anytime in the first 30 days and receive a refund from the university (minus $20 processing fee), no questions asked.
Back to School Special.
Save $30 on this class if you register before September 28th!
PS I also offer personal coaching and professional development during staff meetings to help you set up your own assistant. If you would like me to walk your through the steps, help you screen your first candidates and get started in working smarter, let me know. I will help you screen someone who has a high level of English skills and can do the work you need. You will also make a plan for how you will use the assistant on a daily basis.
To have the sessions, you can skype with me or work via the phone. You receive 2 sessions, 30 minutes each, to set up the assistant. When I work at staff meetings, I come to you.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to find out more about having me talk at a staff meeting and walk people through the process of finding your own personal assistant.