Welcome to Teacher Indie. My name is Raymond Blakney. All my friends call me Ray. Since you are here reading this blog I consider you a friend so please do the same. I am so glad that you’re here.
Entrepreneur. Public Speaker. Globetrotter. Computer Geek. Part-time sword fighter.
I was born on November 11th, 1979 in Cebu City in the Philippines. My father was a US Peace Corps volunteer at the time, and my mother was a Filipina teacher for at the Peace Corps offices. At 11 month of age, I left the Philippines and moved to Istanbul, Turkey where I lived until I was 15 and then moved to the US. I lived there until 2006 at which time I also joined the Peace Corps and moved to Mexico. Here I met my wonderful wife Laura and have settled down (for now… we love to travel).
It is a surprise to many people who are new to this website that despite the title of it, I am not a teacher. I kind of stumbled upon the world of education back in 2008 when I launched my first online business with my wife Laura (who is a teacher). My background was in business, online marketing, and software development.
With only $2000 US in our bank account we started a language immersion school in Mexico. We slept on the floor on an inflatable mattress which we deflated and hid before the students came ad we had to use the room as a classroom. We could not afford cleaning help so we would clean the school ourselves each morning before the students got there and then change into “work clothes” and work with the students. My wife would teach the classes and I would do the administrative tasks and handle the weekend tours. Since we had no money to invest in traditional marketing, we had to do all our marketing online.
At this point I started learning about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and within a few months were #1 in Mexico for language schools in most Google searches. Things were going well… then the 2009 Swine Flu epidemic hit Mexico. All of our students canceled and we were worried we would have to close our doors. At that time, we came up with the idea of offering Spanish lessons via Skype to at least give some work to our teachers. To our surprise, the online lessons exploded. Within 6 months our online Skype lessons were generating more income than our brick and mortar language schools. In 2012 we took the hard decision to sell our brick and mortar language schools and focused entirely online. Since then our online business has grown and I have launched other online education businesses ranging from a dashboard or K-12 students (over 180,000 users), language teaching platforms and even a project to help students in underprivileged schools increase their vocabulary.
Now I live a totally location independent lifestyle. I work when I want from wherever in the world I want. Don’t get me wrong, I still work a lot, but it is because I want to. My wife and I travel 3-4 months each year and love every minute of it!
Awards & Press
Winner of the E360 Award in 2015. My businesses and I have been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, Buzzfeed and more.
Why Teacher Indie?
I come from a family of teachers and academics. As I mentioned above, my mother and wife are teachers. My sister is also a certified teacher in New York Cty. My father has a Masters in Theology from Harvard. My uncle is the dean of the history department at Ball State University. In all those cases, I saw the impact that they made in people lives by teaching. But I also saw how little they were paid for doing this. I think this entirely unfair.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am the “dumb” one of the family. But by some dumb luck, and a lot of hard work, I have become a successful online entrepreneur. I learned that teaching online is something that anybody can learn how to do. It is not hard, it just takes hard work. That is how Teacher Indie was born. I strongly believe that a teacher should make as much as doctors or engineers, but unless you live in Finland or Singapore, that is probably not the case.
With the internet these days, the playing field has been leveled. If you are a teacher or have something to teach and contribute to the world, then you can make a living (hopefully a good living) doing it online.
Teacher Indie was born to teach the teachers how to reach more students, make a greater impact and have the amazing life they deserve! If you want to get started sign up for updates in the sign up box to the right (or below if you are on a mobile device).