When I was pregnant with my third child, I was working as a mail carrier at the post office. It was great pay, but LONG hours, that didn't allow me to have any family life whatsoever. After I had my daughter, I started searching for ways to work from home that would work for my life. I finally found something that I not only get paid great money for, but LOVE doing, and it fits in with my life!
Using my phone (and then later, I invested in an iPad), I am able to teach online.
I do it before I wake my kids up for school, or after they go to bed.
I also make more per hour than I did working at the post office.
I've tried a few different online teaching companies, but the one I work for (Palfish) is without a doubt the best one out there. Here are my reasons:
1. They have an extremely competitive pay-rate. You will earn up to $22 an hour (and the rate is set by YOU, not them. Your rate will be determinate of how much you work, timeliness, absents, and student conversion rates). The lowest rate per hour is about $16. If you put the work in you can be making $22 an hour in month 2. Keep in mind, this is not counting any bonuses you might get.
2. There is an INCREDIBLE community within the app. You will be assigned a mentor, who will be there to guide you through the process of teaching on Palfish, and an admin who can help you with things your mentor cannot. You will be linked to a chatroom within the app filled with other teachers from all over the world, so any questions you have, at any time, can be answered pretty quickly. The other teachers are very supportive, and it makes the learning process fun!
3. Like many other online teaching companies, Palfish will give you students. The headteachers may recommend you for students, and you will get last minute booking opportunities (for example, a teacher didn't show up for class. They will send out an alert that you can jump on if you aren't busy). Unlike other companies, you have a very clear path to gaining your own students as well. I have heard from teachers on other platforms that they weren't able to get a steady schedule, and it wasn't very clear how to do so (aside from sending in a ticket begging for hours). This is set up like social media, and there are very clear ways that YOU have control of to manage your own schedule.
4. FLEXIBILITY. Oh Em Gee. This is one of the reasons why, even after being hired, I won't open hours up at some of the larger companies. I have complete flexibility over my schedule. I can cancel classes that aren't booked as often as I want, open up random classes if I know I'll have a few hours on a certain day, and choose what hours I will work and how often. My hours are usually 5 am EST to 10 am EST, and a few evening hours on Friday and Saturday. I am able to work full time, and I'm done with work by 10 am.
5. Amazing students! Amazing parents! Super positive!
One of the online teaching companies I have worked for in the past had some CRAZY standards they set for their students.
A parent leaves a low review of the class, and says "There were IT issues, class was slow, my internet speed wasn't good." This is totally not on the teacher, but when the teacher asks to have the review invalidated so it didn't affect their bookings, the company would say "I'm sorry, we cannot invalidate your review. You looked down/sneezed/blinked/looked away to write on a whiteboard." I'm not kidding-this is real life. I have NEVER heard of this happening here.
Parents typically leave great reviews of your classes (in my experience), and even refer you as a teacher to their friends. Pretty cool, right?
6. You do not need certifications to teach different ages or levels. Once you are hired, you can teach any age group without additional testing or qualifications. This opens you up to the entire community.
7. Want to get paid to chat on the phone with ESL students? They have a program called "Free Talk." Students can book you to have a phone call with you (video chat not required, but available), or you can log on whenever you'd like to accept phone calls. You set your rate for this. You can create your own lessons, but usually it's just someone wanting to practice their English speaking skills.
There's the Official Kids Course (this is where most of your hours will probably be from).
You can create your own lessons, too! Create a lesson, submit it for review, set your price, and students can review it and purchase your lesson to have a class with you!
Live- This is like Facebook or IG Live. Go live and read a book for free, or create a lesson and charge students for it. They can always come back and pay for the replay, too!
As you can see, this is an amazing opportunity to have. I don't kill myself working crazy hours, my quality of life is so much better now! You can set your own hours, earn your own raises, and manage your own teaching business.
ONE MORE THING!!!- No bachelors required. You will need a TESOL or TEFL certificate (Check groupon, International Open Academy usually has theirs on there for about $19 or less)
READY TO START?
INTERESTED, BUT NOT 100% SURE? WANT TO STALK SOME TEACHER FIRST?
Jillian Shanahan is an online job coach, mentor, and teacher.