Who Is Teaching English Online For:
Since you are here reading this article, you are probably wondering if teaching English online is right for you. I have identified a non-exhaustive list of 6 different types of people I see join the ever growing online English teaching community. See which group you identify with most:
The nomad: You want to travel and see as much as the world as possible in your lifetime because being stuck in the same perspective and mindset for your whole life is just unbearable to you. You may feel that you could easily become stuck in a perpetual rut by having to be at the same place, at the same time every day for work. You want to know how to earn money while travelling.
The commuter: Your current, location dependant is out of town, you waste 2-3 hours of your life everyday in traffic or on public transport. Essentially lowering your earnings by 10-20% (if you factor in the extra travel time and transport cost). You would like to figure out how to work from home.
The stay at home mum: You want to spend as much time with your children as you can before they grow up. But your only income option is a location dependant job, where you end up spending most of the money earned on child care anyway. So your only option for extra income is trading precious time with your kids for very little money. (Perhaps you might even homeschool your children and you would like to use those skills to earn extra income without leaving the house). You would like to know how to earn money as a stay at home mum.
The rural man/woman: You may be the kind of person that lives in a rural area and has become accustomed to living on a beautiful acreage. You can’t bear the thought of leaving your home and land to live in a congested suburban environment where your neighbours are right on top of you. But there are limited jobs nearby and your only option is to move or commute. You find yourself searching for “Jobs for rural workers”. You would like to earn money while living in a rural area.
Person with disability: You might have a disability or health condition that prevents you from being at a location dependant job, but you certainly are not the kind of person that is satisfied to let that control or restrict your earning potential. It’s not fair that most jobs are so rigid that they can only function if their workers are in a certain building at a certain time, everyday. You may find yourself searching for “Jobs for people with a physical disability” online. You would like to earn money from home.
The opportunist: You might have a great full or part time job but you would like to supplement your income with after hours work at home. You would like to change career or earn extra money online.
Anyone who wants to tap into the huge $41 billion dollar market: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ywang/2017/08/29/why-chinese-education-companies-are-chasing-u-s-teachers/
So as you can see the common issue here is that most jobs are still too dependent on their workers being at a certain physical location at a certain time. They are location dependent. This is fine for most, but if you fit any of the situations above or you just hate being tied down to a location dependant job, then read on. I’m about to outline for you why teaching English online is an incredibly exciting lifestyle job, but not everyone is right for online teaching.
Why Online English Teaching Is So Great
You have an incredible working lifestyle. Want to work in the comfort of your home? In your RV while travelling cross country? A coworking space?
You are no longer location dependant. If you have a laptop, your work will then travel with you wherever you go and you can live the laptop lifestyle. Want to work in a beautiful resort in Thailand? In a hotel room? In a quiet section of a beautiful cafe? In a local park (when it’s not too windy of course)?
You get to set your own schedule. You get to select the hours you want to work each week, creating a lot more possibilities and options to suit your ideal lifestyle. Only want to work a couple of hours? Want to work full time? Want to work after hours to supplement your income?
You get paid to sit on standby. If your students don’t show for a particular class, you still get paid to sit there at your computer on standby.
You are making a real difference by teaching an important and valuable skill. English is a global language that is crucial in fields such as mathematics, the internet, the arts, science, politics, health and international business. Yet only 20% of the earth’s population speak it natively. So for the rest of the world, English has to be learned as a second language in order to get a good job. By teaching English you are helping people to earn a living by giving them a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and conducting business.
Who Online Teaching Is NOT For
So far all of that sounds really good. But that doesn’t mean everyone should be an online English teacher. There are some people who are not right for teaching English online. Before continuing on, I would like to outline who those people are, to ensure that I don’t waste anyone’s time.
- People who are not flexible with their schedule.
- People who don’t want to work with other timezones.
- People who don’t like interacting with people online.
- People who hate technology, don’t have good high speed internet or can’t/won’t get access to a computer.
What are the requirements to teach English online?
- An internationally recognised TESOL Certification (I will go into this a bit more later)
- A fluent speaker of the English language
- 18 or older (15 years and up can teach privately one-on-one)
The Equipment You Will Need To Teach Online Is:
- A laptop (or desktop)
- Good internet connection
- A friendly personality
You will also need to know what online schools are looking for in a teacher, how to present yourself and how to best use the technology to teach. This knowledge you will receive only by studying a quality TESOL course that has an online teaching elective. Such as our International TESOL Certificate (more on this below).
What kind of TESOL Certificate do I need? Why do I need it?
You need an internationally recognised TESOL Certificate, that specifically covers teaching online, children, adults and business English. You also need a course that has a practicum included. This means that as part of the course you will teach actual ESL students and receive valuable feedback by a qualified assessor.
The practicum is crucial. You need to find a course where this is included. Some of the cheaper courses will make you find you own practicum, which can be difficult if you don’t have any connections in the industry already. Our course fully includes practicum. We source the ESL students for you and provide you with excellent feedback from our expert assessors.
The course you choose also needs to have:
- A guaranteed job interview with an online ESL school
- Full explanations about the work you will be doing and how to find it
- Over 100 hours of training with example teaching videos, tutorials and teacher support
- International recognition. Which means that it needs to have a good reputation with overseas schools for producing good teachers
I have worked very hard to create a course that not only meets these requirements but also exceeds them. I have spend years putting all of my, more than 27 years industry knowledge, into creating the course I wish I had when I was starting out.
Our international TESOL Certificate is specifically designed with all of this in mind. You can study this online, at your own pace, on any device and you can enrol at any time.
What are the gotchas I need to know before studying a TESOL course?
When getting a job, schools may say you have to have a degree. This is not necessary for 2 reasons:
- A degree is required for overseas teaching in order for a teacher to obtain a work visa in a specific country, when teaching online, no visa is required
- Online schools may advertise jobs and include a degree plus TESOL cert as a requirement, but this is their wish list, not an actual government requirement
This is not a problem for our students because I guarantee an online teaching job interview for all of my grads (degree or not). The reason I can do this is because I have affiliations with online schools, who already know that all my grads do real online teaching practicums and are trained properly. I am constantly getting contacted by online schools asking for more of my graduates. Make sure the school you study with has connections in the industry to help you get work. With TESOL Australia, you do not need a degree to get an online teaching job.
Will you help me get a job teaching English online?
My job support team and I will do the following to ensure you get a job if you study with us:
- Thoroughly check your CV and suggest edits to ensure you get the edge with overseas schools
- Send your CV to our affiliated schools and industry contacts to get you an interview
- Send your CV to a company of your choosing, to give you added industry clout
This is a pretty big article. So if you’ve read this far, you are not like most people. If you were not interested in teaching English online you would have stopped reading a while back. No doubt you still have questions. My name is Lynette Kim, I have over 27 years experience in the TESOL industry. Take the next small step now and get in touch with me, by filling out the form below with your questions. I will thoughtfully and carefully reply with the best of my knowledge.