A Guide: Setting up your own business Teaching English Online.
Becoming your boss is a desirable prospect. What teacher doesn’t like the sound of being in charge of their schedule, work location, curriculum, and rate of pay? Everyone does, but how do you set up your own online English teaching business? Well, luckily for you it is not as difficult or expensive as you might think. To become a freelance English teacher, you must be willing to put in the hard work.
This guide will walk you through the basic steps you need to follow to make this dream a reality.
- Be qualified to teach.
You can’t become an English language teacher, let alone run your own online English teaching business, without the proper training and qualifications behind you. Even if you already have experience working in a classroom or online as a teacher, you must be TEFL/TESOL qualified to teach English as a foreign language. The 120-hour Premier TEFL course will prepare you to teach within four weeks. It will give you insights into lesson planning, classroom management, and teaching English online.
- Pick your niche
Being your boss means you have to decide who and what you will teach. It is essential to select an area of expertise you plan to focus on as a teacher, so your future students will know what they are signing up for when they purchase lessons with you.
It would help if you asked yourself a few questions first:
- Do you want to teach adults, teenagers, or children?
- Do you want to provide one-on-one or group lessons?
What will your lessons focus on?
- Conversation skills
- Grammar skills
- Written skills
- Business English
- Preparing students for IELTS or TOEIC exams
Once you have decided what your niche is, you will be able to attract the correct type of students to your business while also playing into your strengths in this chosen field. Although you might think being the jack of all trades when teaching English would be more lucrative than only offering specialised courses, you would be wrong.
Why is that? Well, people are willing to spend a lot of money on specialised English lessons to help them further their career, education, or immigration goals. This can be seen with the students who are preparing to sit their IELTS or TOEIC exams; if you are trained to help them with this, they are willing to pay more money than students who want to practice their conversation skills.
- Prepare the course content.
Once you have pinpointed your teaching niche, it is time to create your curriculum.
You will have to do:
- Research the topic,
- Create an outline for your lessons,
- A breakdown of how long each module will be to teach
- Gather and create different exercises and activities to enforce the topics you are teaching about
- Prepare homework or exams to test your students’ knowledge.
Suppose you are lacking inspiration for your courses. In that case, you can purchase English language books on that topic, or if you have previously worked online for an English agency, you can gain inspiration by examining their curriculum.
Remember that the most essential aspect of a curriculum is that it is organised and sets out to accomplish what it promised.
It would be best if you tried to include different forms of content in your lessons that will help develop different skill-sets, such as short videos, listening exercises, article extracts, songs, and worksheets. This will help keep your lessons engaging and informative.
Once you have prepared your lesson plans, you will be able to provide well-organised, goal-based English classes that can be adapted to the various needs of your students.
Plus, it will save you a lot of future stress if your lesson plans are completed before you advertise/sell your lessons/courses online, and it would be unprofessional to do otherwise.
- Determine your hourly fee
When you teach online for an agency, they take a cut of your pay for every lesson you teach; removing this middle man is a big motivator for many TEFL teachers who decide to set up their own business.
It is essential to remember your worth and value your teaching capabilities. You are a trained professional who has done the extra work behind the scenes to create and curate a curriculum to meet your students’ needs. However, it can be challenging to determine how much you should charge for your lessons once you go it alone.
TEFL teachers can make between €20-€50 per hour, depending on their expertise in a given field. You can fix a higher rate for one-on-one classes or specialised classes such as Business Engish, IELTS, or TOEIC exam preparation.
It would help if you also determined how you will receive payments from your students. It is essential to consider exchange rates and bank fees you may face when choosing a payment platform. Paypal or Payoneer are two popular platforms often used by online English teachers.
- Set your schedule
It is essential to make a schedule for your lessons that you can commit to. There is no point in saying you are accessible every hour of the day if you aren’t.
When creating your timetable, you will also need to consider what hours your students will be available for lessons. You may have to teach early in the morning or late in the evening, or even on the weekends, but one of the benefits of being your boss means you can choose if you want to work those hours or not.
Try organising your teaching hours onto an Excel sheet or use Google Calander so students can see when you have lessons available and can book a lesson easily.
- Create your classroom
To teach online, you must have the correct equipment.
You will need:
- A laptop with a webcam
- Good internet
- A quiet place to teach
Once you have found an area in your home, you can decorate your classroom as you see fit. You can stick colourful English language posters on the wall if you are teaching children to create a learning environment. You can also invest in props such as puppets or flashcards, which help enforce learning amongst children. These are the essential tools you will need to teach English online.
Once your classroom is set up and ready to go, it is time to choose the platform you will teach your online lessons on. Zoom and Skype are two easy-to-use platforms that allow you to share documents and edit files.
- Make a website
Now we understand that the thought of making a website might send shivers down your spine, especially if you are not technology inclined; however, it is not essential to have a website to start your online teaching business. Still, it is something you should work towards having. WordPress or Wix are platforms that are easy to use and have ready-made website templates that you can use with the click of a button (No tech-savviness is required, wahoo!)
You should provide information about your courses, timetable, and teaching methods on your website. You can also list your prices, contact information, and qualifications there too.
- Promote your English school online
You have done all the hard work establishing your English online school; now it’s time to advertise your expertise online. If you want to show up on people’s search engine results pages when they look for English lessons online, you can start a blog and implement SEO practices to make your website visible online. Post about your lessons on social media; you can advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc., you name it.
There you have it, a step-by-step guide to setting up your online English teaching school. It will take perseverance and hard work, but with dedication, you will build up clients that will allow you to work as a freelance TEFL teacher from anywhere in the world; if you have more questions about starting your own English teaching business, online contact us today.
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