Coromandel surfer enjoys teachers’ website success

Sleepy Onemana, just north of Whangamata, on the scenic Coromandel peninsula is home to a "moderately successful" New Zealand educational IT exporter.

Sleepy Onemana, just north of Whangamata, on the scenic Coromandel peninsula is home to a “moderately successful” New Zealand educational IT exporter.

Teachers@work was formed six years ago by Mark Treadwell and wife Dianne. The former teacher’s mission to show teachers what was on the web has led to a “moderately successful” home-based business that gives him a “comfortable” six-figure turnover, “not a million yet”, employing his wife and between two and 10 contractors at any one time.

His website, lists 5000 educational websites, searchable through curriculum areas, with download-able policies on internet access and publishing and a toolkit with 50 free soft-ware tools for educators. Recommendations on hardware and software products and international teaching vacancies are also offered.

Treadwell also uses the site to advertise his consultancy services, books, videos and home-written software. Treadwell says his site receives millions of hits from around the world, particularly in the US. Teachers@work operates in Asia and the US.

“We give advice to schools around the world and get good teaching practice to give them direction. We also do lectures in the US for a company called Classroom Connect.”

He says the firm publishes there through Pearson Education. Last week he was travelling to Singapore to set up a company server for the Asia-Pacific region.

London-born Treadwell emigrated to Australia as a child with his parents and came to New Zealand in the 1980s to teach because Australia then had no teaching vacancies. He fell in love with New Zealand, saying it is the best of the many countries he has visited.

Though working “flat out”, getting up early for the best web access and coping with the international travel, the surfing father enjoys the Kiwi family lifestyle in his beachside home.

“I have been here 15 years. The tele-phone works fine. We just use an Ihug satellite to download stuff as we want it.” Distance is not an issue, he says. “If you are going to work from somewhere, you may as well do it from the beach,” Treadwell says.

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