Online Teaching Jobs: Mixing ABC's With WWW's
Are you an experienced teacher who wants freedom from the school routine? Perhaps it is time to take a look at online teaching jobs. Are you newly graduated and looking to earn some money in a gap year? There are several online teaching platforms which are happy to take freshers. You can teach online and travel the world at the same time! Though you love teaching, have you ever wished that you had more time to follow your other passions? Try online teaching. You can choose the number of hours that you work and lets find out how you can spend the rest of the time living your dream with our in-depth guide to teaching English online!
The internet has shrunk the world. It has also brought about dramatic changes in the way in which business is conducted. The education sector has benefitted immensely from the increasing use of the internet. There has been a boom in online learning platforms. Online teaching jobs are today as much a career choice as conventional real-world teaching jobs abroad. Students and parents, unwilling to compromise on the quality of education they receive, use learning platforms to connect with subject experts from across the world.
Today, a student in Beijing can learn to speak conversational English with an experienced tutor based in California. An American school kid struggling to cope with Math can take private tutorials from a teacher in India. This demand by students for the best resources the world has to offer has made online teaching a fulfilling and rewarding profession.
Why Teach English Online? Well Let's Start With The Perks!
Flexibility & More Me-Time:
A significant proportion of teachers who switch over to online teaching cite flexibility in work schedules and the availability of more time for themselves as one of the biggest benefits. Most online portals allow you to build your own availability/work schedule. This opens up several options. You could work zero hours one week and 20 hours the next week. Or you could pencil in more hours if you need to make some extra money in a month.
There are companies that expect you to take a fixed number of classes in a week. But you have the flexibility to schedule them as per your convenience. Very often, you have to commit only the lesson time that you fix yourself. There are no other ‘work’ commitments like administrative meetings or peer reviews. This gives you the opportunity to spend more quality time with your family as well as pamper yourself!
Earn Extra For A Rainy Day:
Full-time school teachers who want an additional source of income are also signing up for online teaching jobs. It is not just teachers who can go into online teaching. Student struggling to meet ends meet can take language classes or conversational classes. Most online education portals have weekend classes and evening classes. So, if you want to earn a little extra to save up for a rainy day, sign up with an online learning company. You can work during off-school hours and build a little nest egg for yourself.
Savings in Time & Money:
Online teaching jobs do help save time and money. If you opt to work in the morning with an online teaching portal, all you have to do is switch on your computer at the scheduled time and start teaching.
You can say goodbye to rush hour commutes and on-the-run-breakfasts. And yes, if you want, you could conduct your class in your pajamas! That will account for quite a bit of time saved on getting dressed in the morning. With an online class, your entire morning schedule is more relaxed and less stressful as compared to rushing off to school daily. You are also saving on fuel, work outfits and other sundry expenses.
If you are a young parent, online teaching jobs can be a life saver. Schedule your work to match your baby’s nap time or toddler’s play school timings. You will get to spend fun times with your child. With no more spending on day care and baby sitters, your monthly outflow of funds reduces considerably.
Exploring New Worlds:
Online teaching jobs give you a new perspective to the world. You could be teaching a student based in Saudi Arabia or China. Though, of course, the focus is on the curriculum and the lesson plans, the concept of interacting with individuals from across the world is exhilarating. Most teachers end up learning quite a lot about different cultures and countries. Online teaching jobs thus give you the opportunity to both teach and learn.
The different Types Of Online Teaching Jobs Available?
Are you keen to explore online teaching jobs but are not sure how to go about it? Are you worried whether you are qualified enough? Or do you wonder if you are over-qualified? Do you have all the technology required?
Well, with the boom in online education, it looks like there is a place for everybody in the system. If you do not have any relevant qualification, you can still be an online teacher. There are several companies who are looking for teachers to instruct students in conversational English and other languages.
The only requirement is that you be fluent in the language. You job will comprise of literally having a conversation with your student during the 20-30-minute class! Your qualifications, or lack of it, do not matter as long as you have a good grip of the language and the ability to make conversation.
Academic Teaching Online:
Some Schools, Colleges and Universities across the world offer tutorials for students in the K-12+ classes. These online classes for students studying in primary, middle and high school are well structured with prepared lesson plans, tests and homework. Experienced teachers with bachelor’s degree and teaching certificates can apply for these positions.
If you have a Master’s degree or a PhD, is it possible to find online teaching jobs that will match your qualifications? The answer is yes! There are plenty of colleges that offer online classes and coaching to students across the world. There two kinds of online teaching jobs for those with higher degrees.
The first option is to sign up with a 100 percent online college. Or you could join the distance education department of regular, traditional colleges. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to bring about a revolution in higher education.
With travel likely to be restricted in the near future, most colleges will try and attract international students via distance learning and online classes.
If you want to take a break from teaching, but would like to work online in the education sector, you can apply to be a course developer or subject matter expert.
ESL/ELL Teaching Online:
One of the biggest sub-sectors in the online teaching segment is teaching English online. There are online teaching jobs available for native English speakers or for those with native-like fluency in the language. The online teaching jobs for English teachers is booming in Asian countries like China, Korea and Philippines.
Teaching English online is by far the largest and easiest way to get into teaching online.
Recent studies by the the British Council estimates that in 2020 the combined total of English speakers and learners will hit 2 billion. The number of English language learners has been increasing rapidly every single year.
They identified that last year saw a steep spike in the number of people worldwide who are now online. As of 2019, there were 4.5 billion active internet users – 60% of the world’s population.
What Are The Downsides To Online Teaching & How to Overcome Them?
There are some disadvantages to teaching online. But they can be overcome with some perseverance and practice.
Online teachers may often experience a sense of disconnect and isolation. You may argue that the reason for taking up an online job was to get away from people! However, the reality may be rather disconcerting. The discussions with peers and colleagues are a vital part of your personal and professional life. Once you move into the virtual world, you do not get the chance to interact with other people, other than your on-screen students.
A good way to combat this professional vacuum is to meet other online teachers on various chat rooms and forums. Who knows, you could strike up new professional and personal ties that are stimulating and productive.
Working remotely can mean that your daily routine goes for a toss. Again, the counter argument is that it was the boring routines that made you take up an online job.
While this is true, very often not having a routine can reduce your productively. When you work remotely, you often work odd hours. You do not ‘dress’ up to work. Your sleep schedule is irregular. Initially, you may welcome this flexibility in your life. But it could well be the edge of a slippery slope.
The lack of a routine may lead to mood swings and mental stress. It is important to be self-disciplined and set up some kind of a daily schedule for yourself.
This is a genuine problem that several teachers face. While working on online learning platforms is great, what is the scope for professional advancement? You can increase the number of hours that you work and earn more money. There are other possibilities too.
After a few years in the field, you could become a curriculum designer or a subject matter expert. The bigger firms in the field are always on the look-out for new talent and ideas to attract customers in a fast-evolving market.
Yes, we all know that it is possible to have an online class for students in China while vacationing in a glorious Spanish beach town. Or have a conversational language class for students in Brazil while touring the French countryside. It is true that an online teaching job gives you the flexibility to combine work and play.
But the fact is that you can play only in areas with a fast and stable internet connection! A spotty internet connection can make life hell for an online teacher. One way to get over this technical hitch is to always have sufficient backups with you. It makes sense to invest in a 4G Wi-Fi dongle if you are moving over to the virtual world. Buy a tablet as a backup for your laptop. If you are travelling, do a little research and stay in places with good internet access.
Get Your Circadian Rhythm In Order:
As an online teacher, you are the boss! You can set your own availability schedule and work the hours you want. That’s great! But even though you may have the freedom to pick your own timings, your choices are limited by the fact that your students may be living on the other side of the world.
The biggest markets for online learning are in China and Korea. The different time zones in which the students live may mean that you have to get up at 2 am to conduct a class. After all, you can teach only when the students are available! This can play havoc with your body clock. But most online teachers soon adjust and are able to cope very successfully indeed.
Online teachers have to get used to a regimen that is different from the real world. Cancelling a class can cost you in the online world. Since you have the liberty to fix your own schedule, most online learning companies demand that the cost of cancelling a class should be borne by you.
This could be in the form of a penalty. Also, the only ‘earning’ that you get as an online teacher are your lesson fees and incentives. No company will offer health insurance or a retirement saving fund!
How To Your Start Your Job Search Teaching English Online?
Well luckily you are in the right place to find jobs teaching English online. If you have done so already, head over to our online teaching jobs section to find the latest jobs, we have also list one or two of them below. Failing that we have 5 steps for you to help you start your job search
Some Of Our Latest teaching English Jobs Online
- The first step when making the transition to online teaching is to be clear about your raison d’être. It could be flexibility, making extra money or to have more time for yourself. Different companies that offer online teaching jobs have different rules for teachers. Some companies may allow you to choose your work hours. Others may want you to work a minimum number of hours per week. Some online institutes allow you to fix your own price. Others offer a fixed amount per hour. Some offer contracts, others do not. Once you have decided on your parameters for online teaching jobs, start researching companies that will meet your conditions luckily we have an awesome article we recently publish called the 10 Best Companies Hiring Now To Teach English Online that will certainly help in giving you a head start.
- Once this shortlist is ready, it is time to do a bit of culling. This is because not all online teaching platforms are professional in their approach. There are, unfortunately, companies that may not deliver all that they promise. It is imperative to do a background research of the companies. You will find plenty of material on the internet where teachers who have taken up online teaching jobs share their experiences. There are also teacher forums or chat rooms where you can make relevant enquiries.
- Send in your applications to the online teaching companies that you would like to work with. This process may vary. Some online platforms allow you to apply directly on their website. All you have to do is fill in the online application form. You will also have to upload an online self-introductory video. Some companies do expect you to take a trial class. They will normally pay you for it. There may also be orientation sessions with other teachers and staff. Sometimes, the application process is more formal. You will have to e-mail your resume or CV to the company’s HR department and wait for their response.
- There are various kinds of employment in the ‘online teaching jobs’ segment. You may be offered a six-month contract, that is often renewable. The schedule and working hours are fixed by your employers. Other platforms may be more flexible. There may not even be a formal contract. Once your application is accepted, your profile will be made visible to students and parents for booking. You may also be allowed to set your own teaching charges per hour, with a commission to be offered to the platform for each session booked.
- Online ESL companies will also specify their technical requirements. You will need to buy/upgrade your equipment before you are able to sign in for classes.
FAQs Regarding Online Teaching Jobs For English Teachers
The requirements vary depending on the type of classes organised by the companies. As mentioned earlier, for conversational English classes, very often the only requirement is fluency in English. However, companies which offer structured English classes to students hire professional teachers. The qualifications required are:
- Bachelor’s degree
- Native English speakers from US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa
- If you are not from any of the above countries, you must have equivalent fluency in English
- Teaching certificate
- ESL credentials like TEFL etc.
- Experience is preferred but is often not essential
No, online teaching jobs for English teachers do not normally require a Bachelor’s degree in English. You can have a degree in any subject. In some cases you do not need a degree either.
Yes, it is definitely an advantage to have TEFL or similar certification. However, do not worry if you do not have a certification. You can still apply for a job. If you impress the recruiters during your interview or video self-introduction, they may offer you the job on the condition that you complete your TEFL certification within a specified time period. There are several options to get a TEFL certificate including online courses as well as month long, face-to-face courses that you can sign up for.
Most schools/companies prefer to hire native English speakers. This is often a marketing tactic used by them to attract more students. Some companies prefer to hire only people who have legal papers to work in US or Canada. This is to do away with complications regarding payment.
The company that you sign up with, the number of hours you put in and your qualifications are some of the deciding factors vis-à-vis payment. The pay scale may range from $4 per hour to $22 per hour. For example, if you do not have teaching credentials or qualifications but have been hired to take conversational English classes, you would be paid between $4-$8 per hour. However experienced teachers make much more. Online teaching jobs often offer incentives like performance bonus and punctuality incentives. Virtual teachers can make as much as real-world teachers in a regular school, if they work the same number of hours.
It varies. Some companies do offer very structured lesson plans and proprietary curriculums to teachers. Such online teaching jobs make your life much easier. All you have to do is run through the lesson plan before your class. But some companies give you the curriculum and you are expected to develop the lesson plans.
Online teaching jobs are not high technology jobs. Most of us are familiar with the concept of video calling/conferences. Online learning platforms use the same technology. Of course, each company has its own technical specifications for your computer, head phone, microphone and internet connection. Online teaching jobs require a high-speed internet connection. The companies often specify the upload and download speeds required. Upgrade your internet plan and meet the other technical specifications and you are good to go.
Online Teaching Jobs: Opportunities in the Coronavirus Crisis
When writing this, the COVID19 pandemic was hitting the world hard. Even as people and businesses struggle to cope personally and professionally, there is a growing realisation that we have to change the way we think and act. As the virus rages through countries, the education sector has suffered the most. Schools, universities and colleges have shut down.
With social distancing being the new mantra, online teaching is likely to be offer a solution by ensuring that our children do not suffer academically. From kindergartens to Master’s degree programs, online classes are likely to be on the rise. The demand for experienced online teachers is expected to be high in the near future.