In such a globalized world, and with English being a global language, there is a steady demand for proficiency in English. That demand comes hand in hand with the need for English teachers. Whilst the industry is competitive, there are plenty of job opportunities, making it an excellent choice for those interested in taking up teaching from the comfort of their own homes.
Get TEFL certified
The beauty of becoming an English teacher is that you don’t necessarily need any prior teaching experience, or even a degree, making it a viable career choice for everyone. In depth courses can range from 120-hours to 188-hours. It’s generally better to aim for somewhere in the middle if you’re uncertain about what duration to opt for as it will make you a more competitive candidate when looking for a job post-qualification, especially if you don’t have any experience in the field yet. There are a variety of in-person and online TEFL courses available: continue to external link to choose which one best suits you.
As a general overview, online courses tend to offer the flexibility of being self-paced and you’ll have the option to purchase an extension of up to three months, were you to need it. A personal tutor would provide feedback, and online forums would mean that you wouldn’t miss out on the chance to run things past your peers, or query anything course-related. A combined course, with in-classroom learning and online self-study, is typically faster paced and gives teachers in training some practical experience. These classroom sessions would take place over the weekend, so this is something to consider for those that may not have the time to take on this commitment. Nonetheless, both qualifications are valid for life.
Whilst one benefit of teaching online is the possibility to work from home, this does come with its own requirements. As you won’t necessarily have a school picking up the slack equipment-wise, make sure you are fully equipped with a fast internet connection, a decent headset, as well as a strong understanding of how to navigate and use the various online platforms used for teaching English online. Competition is hot for online English teachers, and any preventable technical problems should be foreseen and eliminated to provide your students with the best learning experience, and put you ahead of the pack.
In addition to your physical teaching set-up, don’t take for granted that lesson planning can and will take up a good chunk of your time. To avoid this becoming an overwhelming workload, utilize the resources available to you online. Download free worksheets, lesson plans, or just read up on teaching tips. Whether it’s a tricky grammar point, a vocabulary gap you noticed your student has, or a lesson focused on building listening comprehension, you should be able to find it all. And once you’ve got it, don’t be afraid to recycle that material with other students so you can focus on the task at hand: teaching.
Trying to find students as an online teacher might seem daunting. A great way to get ahead of this potential obstacle is to ask your tutor, during your course, for advice on how to build your clientele. They may have some tips that they can share with you, or even contacts in the industry that could be looking for online teachers. Remember that starting off as an independent online teacher, you won’t necessarily have tons of students lining up. It’s a process, and over time you should be able to get your name out there via word of mouth, and build up to having a solid amount of regular students.
On the off chance that that doesn’t pan out for you, head over to online job boards to check out potential online English teaching job opportunities. Working for a company that employs online teachers may mean not having complete control over your schedule, but ultimately it should also mean a more dependable income. You might also end up with a lighter workload, as you shouldn’t need to be on the look-out for new students, and be able to just concentrate on delivering high quality lessons. Which companies you choose to apply to will depend on your individual needs, and through doing your research you’ll narrow down the ones you can see a future teaching English online with.
Decide on a workspace
As an online English teacher, you will be responsbìible for setting your own work-life boundaries when teaching English from home. That includes ensuring you have enough breaks throughout the day, and not distracting yourself, or procrastinating during valuable time that you could be using for lesson planning, or marking work. Take the time to create a workspace where you can feel productive and relaxed. If you have the space to do so, having a home office can also make all the difference. At the end of a long-day of screen-time, you’ll be able to close the door on work, keeping it out of sight, and out of mind, so you can really unwind.
Home can also be wherever you want it to be when you teach online. If you’re big on traveling, being an online English teacher is a great option to do the best of both, so long as you pack your laptop and headset. Digital nomad visas are booming across the world, and countries such as Spain and Italy are known for having a population that only has a moderate proficiency in English. Not only could you make these places home for a period of time, but you might also be able to nab some new students. It’s vital to do your research on visa requirements, if this is something that appeals to you, as they will differ from place to place.
As a whole, every online English teacher’s experience is different. How you choose to shape your career as one depends entirely on what you expect to gain from it. From travel, to pursuing a new profession, to wanting to generate an income without having to step foot outside your home, it is a line of work that can offer something to everyone.
Autor: fsb – Foto: fizkes/123rf.com