Published 3rd June 2020
If you Google teaching english online reviews you are going to get pages and pages of results. You might read them and think that teaching English online sounds like a dream. The problem is, a lot of these reviews are written by the teaching platforms themselves (impartial? we don’t think so) or online teachers with an ulterior motive.
Have you noticed how many reviews have a sign-up link included? That’s because many online teaching companies offer rewards to their teachers if they can recruit other teachers. So if you read Lindsay’s glowing review of XYZ, decide you want to teach through them and click on the link to apply, Lindsay gets a nice little financial gift in her bank account. So it’s not surprising that they’ll only tell you the good things about teaching online.
We think you should know the whole story. We really do think teaching English online is a great opportunity but we also acknowledge that it’s not all well-behaved children and gold stars. No jobs are perfect and it’s only fair you know about the good, the bad and the ugly before jumping into the online teaching world.
With all the uncertainty in the world at the moment, the one thing we know we can trust is the brutal honesty of Reddit. So we thought we’d collate some real reviews of teaching English online from Redditors who have done it themselves.
Students don’t always turn up
I only had 5 classes this morning and three were student no shows. And my last student’s parent had the courtesy to tell VIPKID ahead of time so I get to eat breakfast and enjoy my coffee earlier than usual :).
Not all students are angels
One six-year-old L1 [Lesson 1] who was advanced enough to complain that I didn’t have the right color of butterflies for her reward but would barely repeat anything. One of my worst -behaved regulars in L2 [Lesson 2] decided today he would just dance around the room, in and out of view of the camera, swinging a broomstick around like a sword. I think I got him to repeat two vocab words. I’m too tired to deal with all that.
Students are human too
Four classes here. Three regulars and one new girl who had her first VIPKid class. They were all wonderful. One of the regulars was unusually grumpy today and kept saying “I know, I know” when I tried to explain things and correct her grammar. She is normally very smiley and agreeable. I asked her about it and she had a ton of homework, so I think she was anxious about finishing it. Another regular was teaching me about Chinese history.
Teachers don’t always feel like teaching
I had a class at 3 am and then an hour break and 2 more classes. I was so close to cancelling the first class yesterday… Anyways, they were all great students and it ended up being a good morning where I had a nice leisurely hour to scroll through Reddit and pretend to stretch.
You might not like all your students
Taught a student that I found kind of annoying and I did not get along with that well, at least in my mind. But…….he ended the class stating that he is going to follow me and wants to have class every day or at least once a week. I mean the guaranteed pay would be nice, but I also don’t like him. Is it worth it?
It helps if you know about marketing
The pay is really good, especially for what you’re doing. Once I started getting fully booked I began to average between [$] 2700-3200 a month. This really can vary greatly because it depends on how much you get booked and how much you want to work. This took a while and some work to get to this point. My first month I made about $90 despite being very aggressive and opening as much of my schedule as I could. I have read many in the Facebook groups lament about going months without getting hardly any classes. This job is about marketing yourself as much as it is teaching to be successful. If you can’t appeal to the parents as well as please the students you are not going to do well. The key is too attract regular students who book you weekly and recommend you to other parents.
There can be downsides to no-shows
I’ve been working for the same company for just about 3 years now. The salary is decent (I’ve worked my way up to 14 euros/hour) and I’m teaching business English to professionals in France. The flexibility is great – I make my own schedule and they ask for 15 hours of availability minimum per week. The only downside is cancellations (at this company, students can cancel up to one hour before the lesson start time and the teachers are not compensated).
Each lesson is different
You have kids who draw pictures of you surrounded by hearts, and kids who would rather play with their toy dinosaurs. Kids who are so excited to show you their stuffed animal collections, and five year olds who spend the entire lesson crying at the stranger on the screen trying to talk to them in a foreign language. You have older students who want to engage in great discussions with you about their friends, about life in China, about life in America, and then you get to experience flying through the air as a small child throwing a tantrum hurls their iPad. But above all, as with any teacher, you’re making a difference in these kids’ lives. It’s honestly the best job in the world.
So there you have it, teaching english online reviews, straight from these Redditors’ mouths. Teaching online English might not be for everyone, but it could be for you!