Paving Your Path: How to Establish a Successful Career Teaching English Online

by / ⠀Career Advice Remote Work / June 14, 2023
teaching english online

The evolving landscape of employment in recent years has witnessed an unprecedented transformation and a consequent adaptation among individuals to diverse work environments. While some have embraced a hybrid model, involving a combination of office-based and remote work, others have fervently advocated for full-time work-from-home (WFH) arrangements.

This new work environment has compelled many individuals to establish clear boundaries. Additionally, they strike a balance between their personal and professional lives within the confines of their physical spaces. Those who have successfully achieved this equilibrium now relish enhanced flexibility and freedom in various aspects of their lives. If you find yourself dreaming about joining the ranks of the WFH workforce and are seeking an avenue to free yourself from your current employment situation, exploring the realm of online English teaching might prove to be a fitting option.

Rationale for Teaching English Online

English has emerged as a universal language across various domains such as business, science, and technology. Consequently, attaining proficiency in the English language can unlock numerous employment opportunities for individuals living in non-English-speaking countries who aspire to communicate on a global scale.

Venturing into the realm of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) online can offer a dependable income source while affording an array of benefits. Whether you choose to teach while traveling or from the comfort of your own home, you can offer your services from any location worldwide. Moreover, this endeavor provides the flexibility to determine your work schedule and workload according to your preferences. Retraining and pursuing a new career path are bold moves that require thorough research – there are plenty of great ideas for getting started in the TEFL industry.

Another noteworthy advantage of teaching English online is the autonomy and independence it allows. You have the freedom to choose your target audience, including specific nationalities, age groups, and proficiency levels. Additionally, you can tailor your teaching focus, be it general or business English, exam preparation, or conversational classes.

Irrespective of whether you teach from your home office or a remote hotel room, the fundamental principles of online teaching remain largely consistent. Thus, before plunging headlong into this new and exhilarating yet potentially precarious professional adventure, it is prudent to peruse a few tips. They can transform your foray into a well-structured and experienced-based Teach English career.

Teaching English Online: The Practical Aspect

As an online TEFL teacher, your livelihood hinges on your equipment. The absence of online lessons equates to no income. However, it is unnecessary to invest exorbitant sums in technology initially. Begin with simple and basic equipment, with the option to upgrade when necessary. Ensure that your PC or laptop is up to date with the latest software upgrades. They are invaluable for your business. The built-in camera and microphone should suffice for your online lessons.

A robust internet connection is indispensable for successful online teaching. If you teach from home and your Wi-Fi is unreliable, it is advisable to consider upgrading or changing your provider. If you are traveling, assess the quality of the internet connection before finalizing your accommodations. Utilize the available free tools on numerous websites to gauge your internet speed and use them as a reference point.

Designated Space

Whether you teach from home or in a hotel room, designate a specific area for delivering your lessons. For your teaching setup, select a quiet and well-lit space during your screen time. Hostels may offer affordable accommodations while traveling. Yet, they typically lack privacy and tranquillity – consider opting for an Airbnb on your teaching days.

Employ background props for added professionalism. A plain background serves as an excellent starting point for your screen presence. However, when traveling, your background will frequently change and might be less than ideal. Furthermore, students, especially young learners, may benefit from a familiar setting. Incorporating language-related posters can impart a more professional and prepared ambiance to your setup. A whiteboard can serve as a useful backdrop for your lessons. Ideally, select props that align with the nature of your lessons. If you have identified a specific niche, ensure that your props align with that specialization. For instance, a phonemic chart is an essential prop for pronunciation classes.

TEFL Online: Setting Up Your Freelance Business

There are two distinct pathways for individuals seeking to embark on a career as an online English teacher. You can be an independent freelancer or in collaboration with an established online educational institution.

If you decide to establish a freelance online teaching enterprise as an independent contractor,  meticulous planning and effective delivery of lessons aren’t the only prerequisites for success; a comprehensive evaluation of your business know-how is paramount. This is due to the necessity of undertaking various entrepreneurial responsibilities such as legal arrangements and marketing, for the purpose of maximizing student recruitment. These demand considerable time, dedication, and unwavering enthusiasm.

However, if you feel that the process of setting up a freelance business from scratch goes beyond your remit of expertise, there is an alternative route.

Numerous online educational institutions are readily available to handle the operational aspects of the business. These include student acquisition, scheduling, payment management, and administrative tasks. In this scenario, you would channel your efforts in teaching, offering your services through the institution’s online platform. This arrangement grants you the freedom to choose your preferred working hours, location, and monthly workload. It also gives the possibility of establishing personal hourly rates, from which the institution may deduct a percentage. Or you can receive a fixed hourly remuneration from the school.

Moreover, collaborating with well-established online educational organizations presents the added benefit of receiving teaching assistance, access to supplementary instructional materials, and pre-designed lesson plans, thereby increasing instructional efficacy.

Pursuing Your Independent Career

By now, it should be clear that commencing a new career as an online teacher is an attainable goal rather than an insurmountable dream. In fact, it is a viable pathway that can revolutionize your life, enabling you to relish your time more, be it through travel, relaxation, or work.

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