How to Maximise Your Earnings as an Online English Teacher
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We love teaching English as a Foreign Language online for so many reasons. There is a huge demand for online English lessons, which means there are students just waiting to be taught by you! It’s a highly flexible job, meaning that you can teach anywhere and any time you want. You can work from your bedroom in your hometown, or an Airbnb in Mexico if you want. It’s a highly enjoyable job, being both entertaining and challenging in equal measures. And you can earn decent money.
Read more: Teaching In-Class or Online: Which Pays More?
But there are things you can do to maximise your earnings as an online English teacher. And why wouldn’t we want to do that?
Let’s look at a few of our favourite ways to make the most of your salary.
Yes, anyone can find English language learners online and offer them lessons through Zoom – but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be very good. Being qualified is a must when teaching English, even teaching English online. To be qualified to be an online English teacher you need to be a native speaker of English or speak English at an advanced level. Some companies might require you to have a Bachelor’s degree. Most importantly, you need a TEFL certificate from an internationally recognised and reputable TEFL course provider.
If you don’t have a degree and/or are not a native speaker, you should consider a Level 5 TEFL course. Regardless, your TEFL course should be at least 120 hours, should ideally include a practical component, and should cover all the important topics related to TEFL. Your TEFL course provider should be accredited by recognised organisations, and have a good reputation online.
Read more: 7 Things to Consider When Choosing a TEFL Course
Students and online teaching companies love consistent teachers. Build yourself a reputation as an excellent teacher who is responsive and reliable and your students will keep coming back for more. The key to being an online teacher is not teaching millions of different students. It’s creating relationships with students so that you teach the same students regularly over a long period.
It’s beneficial for you to keep the same students, as they provide regular and guaranteed income. But it’s also beneficial for your students. They need to become comfortable with their teacher to learn better, and getting to know you and your teaching style will help them do just that. Plus, your knowledge of your student’s strengths and weaknesses is helpful to their language development.
Teach at peak times
If you are teaching for an online company, find out when their peak teaching days and times are. This is often a few hours after the working day or school day in the country of your students. For example, if you are teaching schoolchildren in Beijing, the peak times are Monday to Friday 6 pm to 9 pm Beijing time and on weekends, 9 am to 9 pm Beijing time.
If you commit to working at these times, you are guaranteed a good flow of students as this is the busiest time for online lessons wherever your students are. And more students means more lessons means more money! Plus, many companies offer incentives or bonuses for teaching at these times.
If you are not teaching in the same country as your students, you might find the peak times can be a little inconvenient for you. Luckily, as an online teacher, flexibility is your superpower. Do the maths and work out which option is more lucrative for you – teaching fewer lessons during peak times or more lessons out of peak times. Maybe teaching at 10 pm is worth it!
Teach for more than one company
Most online companies have no problem with you teaching for their competitors. If your schedule allows, sign up with more than one company. This will ensure a steady flow of students. Just make sure you are on the ball and keep track of when you are teaching your different lessons – you don’t want to double-book yourself!
It can be helpful to teach for one company in the mornings and the other in the afternoons or the one on Mondays to Fridays and the other on the weekend. This will make sure you don’t get your schedules confused.
Of course, it’s pretty obvious that if you teach more you’ll earn more. But especially when you’re starting out and trying to establish yourself as a teacher, you can’t expect to earn $25 an hour. Instead, you want to accept a lower rate (but not so low that it’s a waste of time!) while you establish a reputation. Once you have a good set of students and hours of lessons under your belt, you can start asking for more. This is why it is a good idea to sign up with more than one company because your starting salary might be lower than you expect.
Generally speaking, when you are working for a company your rate will go up the longer you work for them.
Read more: 5 Tips to be a Successful Online English Teacher
If you are teaching online, why not supplement your income with some private lessons. These can be done online as well or you could find a local student who wants to brush up on their English. Even if you teach one or two extra lessons a week, that could be an extra injection into your bank balance.
Become a digital nomad
If you are teaching English online you are already considered a digital nomad, but there’s no reason you can’t extend your repertoire. Digital nomads can do a range of work, as long as it’s possible to do the work online. Examples of work you could to supplement your online teaching are:
- Blog writing
- Being a virtual assistant
- Social media
Sign up for freelance platforms like Upwork, create a profile and apply for jobs that are suitable for you. This might not be regular work but it is always useful to have a little extra income now and again.
Invest in yourself by completing further qualifications. Doing a short course or an online course will never look bad on your CV, and it will give you a confidence boost. If you want to stand out from the crowd, do an add-on course that specialises in teaching English online, teaching Young Learners, Teaching for Exams, or Teaching Business English. This will make your CV stand out even more and it could be your ticket to a specialised job.
On the other hand, if you want to upskill yourself in another field, have a look at writing or social media courses, which are very flexible qualifications to have. If you’re interested in proofreading, do a specific proofreading course that will train you in how to do the job and demonstrate your dedication to the work.
Read more: Specialise with Our Top-Up Courses
As you can see, there are a bunch of ways you can maximise your earnings while teaching English online. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: teaching English online is your ticket to earning money, travelling the world and living your best life!
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Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.