Published 12th October 2015
TEFL jobs come in a variety of forms and online TEFL teaching is currently taking the world by storm. Teaching online means teaching through Skype, Google Hangouts, virtual classrooms or any specific online platform designed for teaching.
Understandably, being comfortable with technology is a must, but it’s not rocket science and you can become familiar with it quite quickly if you do some research and get some practice. You will be required to have your own technology, but it’s usually very basic, like a good internet connection, a headset and possibly a webcam.
Usually you sign up with an agency, through which you’ll find students. Students will sign up for classes which will then be assigned to you, though sometimes students can even choose their teachers if, for example, they want a 1-to-1 lesson. You could end up having a few students from different countries in your class, or an entire class of the same nationality, and they can range in age too. Your relationship with your students is very important in these cases because often you are given bonuses based on students’ reviews of you and students can choose to use you for more lessons or change to another teacher.
These agencies might provide you with lesson plans or materials – slides or presentations – or you can save what you do in one lesson to be able to use it with another one. There are programmes and websites which allow you to use a “whiteboard” so that you can write as you normally would. Or, to be a bit more old-fashioned, you can always email your “board work” to your students at the end of the lesson.
Of course, the major bonus of online teaching is that you will be working from wherever you want to be working so there are no commuting costs and no time wasted on a bus. Your hours will be very flexible as it depends on where you student lives and you are usually able to dictate how many hours you want to work. While you may not earn as much as you would face-to-face, when you add in the costs of commuting and the fact that you could use that time to teach, it can be a very agreeable way to earn some extra cash.
While teaching online may sound a bit odd to those who prefer face-to-face, pen-and-paper teaching, it’s the same as any other teaching situation: it will take you a bit of time to get used to it but when you are, it’s all good