Teaching English online is a very popular career path chosen by a growing number of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) graduates, for a number of reasons. Once you’ve built up your experience and adjusted to the life of an online English teacher, you’ll enjoy all its benefits — but how do you get to that point? How do you find work? And where do you look? Let us give you some insight into navigating the online teaching world!
If you’re new to TEFL, starting out your online career by working for one or more online teaching companies is highly recommended. Why? Because you wouldn’t immediately go freelance in an area that you don’t have experience in, so why would you with teaching English online?
Simply put, working for an online company first will help you build that absolutely essential experience should the time come that you would like to teach independently entirely.
How to Find Work Teaching English Online
» What makes Teaching English Online a popular choice?
You might be wondering why teaching English online is quickly becoming the most popular way to TEFL, especially when a huge emphasis is placed on traveling alongside teaching. Well, the fact is that its flexibility is definitely one of the biggest pulls.
As an online English teacher you have the luxury to decide where you set up an office – and this by no means has to be permanent. Anywhere you have internet access has the potential to be your office: whether that’s at home, at your favorite coffee spot, or perhaps across the world. You can set up a makeshift one wherever your love of travel takes you next!
Not only can you work wherever you want, but perhaps most importantly, you can also work when you want. Modern-day work routines are evolving and it’s becoming more recognized that a 9-5 day isn’t the only way to work. In addition to this, not every hour worked correlates to a productive one. By choosing your own hours you can work when it suits you, knowing that the hours you do work will be hours well spent.
» First things first: TEFL certification
In order to succeed in teaching English online, TEFL certification is absolutely essential. Make sure you commit to at least a 120-hour course and that it’s offered by a well-accredited provider.
There are many TEFL providers but there are few that will give you the high-quality qualification necessary that will be respected by employers and set you up with the essential expertise to get the best out of students.
So research your provider by checking out its website, accreditation (if none – perhaps best to keep looking!), reviews, and general online presence. Taking it all into account, you should get a solid insight into the potential of what’s on offer.
» Make sure your CV stands out
Some online teaching gigs are more sought after than others, meaning that if you want to keep your options open, you’ll need a standout CV. As mentioned, the 120-hour TEFL certification from a well-accredited provider is very much recommended; but, what else should you include to show you’re a good fit?
Include your qualifications, achievements, and anything else that’s relevant to the job. Even using an eye-catching template can make all the difference to standing out from the rest! Taking an advanced TEFL course will also boost your CV significantly.
» Apply to multiple companies
As we said, some companies are more competitive than others. Pinning all your hopes on one employer will only elongate the process of getting started. By applying to a few, although time-consuming, your likelihood of finding work quickly is majorly increased.
It’s common to work for more than one, especially since you’re finding your feet and trying to ensure a regular income. However, it depends on your employment contract as you may be restricted to working exclusively for only one online teaching company.
The recruitment process from one company to the next varies but you can expect to be asked to provide or conduct a live demo lesson as part of the interview. Study the criteria for your demo lesson carefully and plan it accordingly. The more you practice, the better and the more prepared you’ll be for other interviews too. You’ll find lots of advice and tips on YouTube related to planning for this.
» Work to build experience before teaching independently
Once you have built up a respected reputation, a student base, and gained substantial experience on the job experience, you can then consider teaching independently. Of course, you can consider this at the start, but it would be unrealistic to expect students to sign up for classes with you if you have little experience in teaching.
Independent teachers have to think about how they advertise lessons in order to ensure they always have students to teach. This can be done in a number of ways but requires a considerable amount of effort and knowledge on your part. More information about marketing yourself as an online English teacher can be found here.
Rest assured, there are many online teaching companies that are regularly recruiting English teachers. Learning online has never been more popular and with this comes a great demand for teachers. For more information about finding your first online teaching job and the different companies, you can work for, check out this article.