Starting Out as an Online English Teacher
Tips on How to Start Your Career as a Home-Based Online English Teacher
I am Kristen, a wife, a mother, and an online English teacher for English Gang. I will share some
tips on how to get started in ESL teaching for first timers.
Teaching English online has become a flourishing industry. This is one of the factors that
attracted me in getting into this kind of work. You see, I just had my first child, so I want to be
with her as much as possible. Therefore, when I saw the opportunity to work at home, I
grabbed it immediately. I was quite nervous at first. However, as time passed, I became more
familiar with it. If you are a first timer in this industry, I will guide you on how you can get
1. Research and Look for an ESL Online School to work for.
If you plan to work independently as an ESL teacher, it will be better to work at a reputable
online English school. Since you are not familiar with how things go with teaching English
online, it will be better to make working for a company your training ground. The salary might
be lower than you expected, but you can develop your skills and learn everything first hand. In
my case, I improved my confidence in teaching, and worked my way up to my current company,
2. Make sure that this online school has an outstanding curriculum.
Having a good curriculum means that an online school has many loyal students. From that,
you can build your reputation as a teacher. In addition, if a school has a great curriculum, you
will not need to do much preparation for each class. You can execute a class with more ease
because you are confident and comfortable with the lesson. Your students will also have an easier
time understanding and enjoying your lessons.
3. Join an online community for ESL teachers.
You can join a Facebook group to chat and learn more about ESL teachers. Many members of
this kind of group happily respond and help with your queries. From a school’s curriculum to
salary, you can ask almost anything related to ESL. Some of them even give free materials that
you can supplement in your class. You can search on YouTube and see videos on how
interviews are done and receive tips. What is good about these social networking sites is that
every member understands and wants to help you.
4. Construct a reputation and always give your smile.
When you teach in a live classroom, you naturally put more flair into it. However, with teaching English online,
it is different since you only have a screen to work with, and parents or other people probably watch how you
conduct your classes. Start with the basics and do not try to complicate your style of teaching. From my personal
experience, smiling never fails to make a class light. Just smile until it literally hurts! Using hand gestures is also
really important, and don’t forget to bring props!
5. Think positively.
No matter how difficult a situation is, staying positive is always the best way to go. In online
teaching, you will have bad days. This is inevitable, so it is a great idea to seek help from other
teachers in your group. You can truly learn a lot from others experiences. Remember to learn
from mistakes and move forward.
The most important thing you need to remember when teaching English online is to have fun. I
think of my students as my own children. I always try to balance being strict and funny. Do not
feel anxious since your student can get that negative energy which can ruin your session.
Keep it fun, light, and with a great big smile. Happy teaching!