Recently, other language teachers have been asking me how they can teach online. I’ve been teaching ESL online since 2011.
It seems that many teachers are tired of the grind, and are interested in a new way of earning a living, or perhaps just to have some extra money. The attractiveness of teaching online is this:
- You can work from anywhere
- You avoid commuting
- You set your schedule
Sounds pretty great, right? It is. It’s a new, experimental way of life. So why isn’t everyone doing it?
What I see stopping most people from being successful at teaching language online is this:
- Lack of a model
- Learning new tech skills
- Resistance to change
- Comfort in a “stable” job
Teaching online is an amazing way to be able to design your life and work hours around what you do for a living. Think of the barriers (learning new tech skills, lack of a model) as an invitation to enrich your life and learn.
Success doesn’t come quickly online, but it can come more quickly if you learn the necessary skills. I learned through slow, clunky spurts of trial and error. The truth is, we’re always learning and improving.
The reality is, no employee is as stable or safe as they may think. If you have one full-time job and you’re living paycheck to paycheck, your life is at the mercy of one person — your boss. How is that safer than having your own business or a little side hustle to diversify? Stability, as I’ve learned from years of not having a full-time job, comes from your own learning and applied effort into making yourself marketable. Stability comes from having multiple skills and multiple forms of income. Stability comes from diversification. That is a simple lesson that applies to both a portfolio of stocks and your career.
Whether you’re planning to teach online for an employer, or to be an independent tutor or even start your own online company, it’s important to think like a pioneer. Get excited to learn new things and to go new places. Be open to change.
Teaching online might be right for you if:
- You are not afraid to get tech-savvy
- You are tired of a restrictive schedule and want a mobile, flexible schedule
- You love being a pioneer, trying new things, and working independently
If you have any questions about teaching online, let me know in the comments!
Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström