Pros & Cons of Teaching English Online
Teaching English online is an exciting and fun way to embrace teaching and travelling abroad. It is the perfect combination of teaching and becoming a “digital nomad”. It lets you set your own schedule, work however many hours you wish and teach from anywhere in the world. Although there are so many benefits to teaching online, there are also some drawbacks. To help you decide if teaching online is right for you, we have put a list together of all the pros and cons of teaching online.
The ability to work on your own schedule. You create your own timetable! If you want to teach for only 1 hour on Friday or take Friday off to explore a new town, you are completely able to! Your schedule is entirely your own.
The pay is generally higher than those in developing countries across the world. Generally speaking, online companies pay based on an hourly rate. Whereas schools in countries abroad pay on a salary basis. Usually, companies pay their teachers anywhere from $15 – 25 per hour! If you teach only 20 hours a week for $20/hr, you would be making $1600 per month. By comparison, in a country such as Thailand, you would be paid a monthly salary of roughly 33,000 baht ($1,000) and work 20-25 hours a week.
You can teach sitting down! Due to the fact that you are teaching online, you will be most likely teaching from your laptop at a desk. This means that classes will sit down while going through the lesson rather than standing for the entire day.
You do not have to prepare the lessons! The majority of online companies prepare the lessons ahead of time and for you. This is to ensure consistency for all of their students. Although this saves you so much time for preparing for the lessons, you do have to go through the lessons ahead of time as well.
You can have more one-on-one time with students by teaching smaller classes. The majority of online companies choose to have each class be one-on-one with only a few companies having the teacher instruct multiple students (2-4). Even if you are instructing more students, it is still a much smaller number than it would be in the classroom where you could be teaching up to 50 students!
Unfortunately, the majority of online companies do have higher requirements for their English teachers. They do prefer their teachers to have some experience, however, that will not make or break your application. They usually do require that you have your bachelor’s degree or higher and your TEFL.
Teaching online can get lonely. Although you will have a lot of freedom, you will not have the social aspect of teaching in a classroom or school environment. When you teach in a school, you can interact more with the students and other teachers as well.
Equipment and wifi can be tricky. When you are teaching online, you need to always make sure that your equipment is running well and that you have a stable wifi connection. If you are having issues with either, it could lead to you missing a class.\
When you miss classes, you could be penalized. This varies from company to company, however, when you miss a class with less than 24-hours’ notice, you could get in trouble from the company. If you do this multiple times, you may lose your position.
Many online companies also require you to sign a 6-month contract. If you are planning on doing this only for a shorter period of time, this may not sound like something you are willing to do. However, you can always give them a 30-days notice of resignation as well.
These are simply a few pros and cons to teaching online, however, each company and teacher has a unique experience. If you are thinking of teaching online, be sure to check out our list of companies hiring today!