Independent Online ESL Teaching: Cut Out the Middle Man

There are generally two avenues when considering strategies towards online teaching that depend on the personality of the teachers themselves.

  1. Working for an established business/platform that finds students in bulk and teaching through their rules/regulations.
  2. Creating your own independent network of students directly through an independent means.

TEACH ENGLISH ONLINE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GOING INDEPENDENT

Independent online teaching might be more work initially but will be more rewarding in the long run in terms of establishing a remote lifestyle. Below is a list of pros/cons in terms of independent online teaching – It’s time to break free from the chains.

Positives:

  1. Independent online teaching can potentially mean more money – There is no cut being taken out of your pay which usually means more cash flow for you at rates you negotiate. Tip: Gain more leverage by obtaining a TOEFL certification and other credible qualifications.
  2. Independent teachers don’t have to answer to anyone but the client – You are your own boss and it is a liberating feeling being able to creatively to tailor your own classes and schedules without approval from the higher-ups.
  3. You can’t get fired. Sure independent online teachers can lose clients and a lot of times that is inevitable. However, independent teachers are in charge of their own success through an entrepreneurial mindset.
  4. You can choose clients. Let’s face it, not all people we want to work with and some students can be more of a hassle. You have more of the ability to say “No” to a client without any consequences from a corporate culture. Additionally, teachers can integrate a hybrid mix of adults/children which are very rewarding and keeps classes fresh.
  5. You are paid ON THE SPOT – No more waiting monthly/weekly for payments. This can be very helpful for gaining money right away without worrying about being paid before your next phone bill. Companies get paid instantaneously from clients – why can’t you?
  6. You get to tailor the teaching style congruently with your own philosophies which make the teaching more authentic and designated.  

Negatives (Or excuses not to start):

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  1. More personal management with coordination of the student and parents. Also, there will be scheduling conflicts that the independent teacher may have to coordinate and work through.
  2. You have to deal with tech issues yourself and if you are not tech-savvy, it can be a bit confusing to see where the issues are stemming from.
  3. It will be harder to find students. With big companies, they have a reputation to uphold while independent online teachers have a harder time establishing credibility. A solution to this would be to work for a big company at first and build credibility through demo videos to display skills – That way you are just an extension of a company most potential clients already trust. Also, it will be worth finding students because they will pay more money on average so that you aren’t working extra hours to make the same amount of money.
  4. You will need to be more customer service oriented. Furthermore, you are the HR department with this approach and you deal with complaints directly. This can be seen as a positive to build a deep and meaningful relationship with the student.
  5. Building a platform – Some teachers can build an interactive stage but this is hard if you do not know coding or shy away from the intricacies of technology. However, independent online teachers can use Zoom or Skype to perform English classes. I strongly believe Zoom is better for online classes from my experience.
  6. You don’t have your own courses. This is fine. There are tons of free online resources that provide students with a curriculum. I joined Facebook groups to find full-fledged curriculums that I integrate into my lessons.

Which would you like to choose? Why?

Here a few companies to get started with:

DaDaABC

VIPKID

Teach ESL Online Anywhere

OR

TEACH ENGLISH ONLINE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GOING INDEPENDENT

 

Happy Teaching!

@Carsonlee

SIGN UP NOW and Receive our FREE 14-day Online ESL Mentoring Series