Remote Online ESL Teaching Survival List

Online ESL Job

This is the Remote Teaching Survival List for online ESL teachers all over the world. Freedom and flexibility away from the traditional office setting is an essential aspect of establishing an essence of comfort aligned with your own vision. However, remote life can be a bit complicated for those engaging in live online teaching lessons as there is an element of interaction that requires stable Internet and reliability. Below are some tips for aspiring online teachers to initiate a true remote lifestyle while traveling.

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If you are working for an online company, it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. If you are a good employee the company may be more accommodating to your situation but asking beforehand may dissuade you from ever taking the plunge. The reason for this is most companies don’t want to risk a mishap and are looking out for the incentives of the organization rather than you (for the most part). Furthermore, when it comes to the online teaching market – technical fluidity is one of the most valued assets along with the skill sets of the employee themselves. It is better to prove to them that you are able to execute effective classes while traveling and demonstrate it first-hand. Online teachers need to start looking after themselves within reason to create a stable work-life balance with TRUE flexibility. A lot of online instructors turn their house into the very office they wished to escape which defeats the purpose of even pursuing work online – They move their work office into their homes and only benefit from the non-commute aspects.

NOTE* Pursue a trial run of traveling to a new location while taking time off from work to ensure confidence in the process.

For example, I had a “Create-your-own” profile on the side that I used to teach classes and I took time off from my primary online teaching job to try it out from a remote location without any sort of hazard to my primary employment.

There is a considerable amount of risk when traveling while teaching. Some of these risks include Unstable Internet connection, inadequate teaching environments, forgetting items while traveling, logistics etc.

Firstly, make sure you are able to obtain adequate Internet while you are traveling by researching internet options applicable to the country or location you are visiting. Bring an ethernet cable wherever you go as well – This will be your savior to combat fluctuating Wifi connections.

Call hotels ahead of time to ensure the stableness of their connection – Email is a great way to do this so they can send you the analytics of the connection itself. Look at hotel arrangements beforehand including the dynamics of the living space to guarantee there are no noise problems and a suitable environment.

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Create a checklist of all necessary items needed to teach including props, hardware, and technology. Another avenue is to download supplemental software to use so that you can eradicate any tangible items used during class and lighten your travel load. For instance, I have a virtual background that I utilize to teach my students that fit the shape of my wall anywhere I go and provides a digital environment conducive to teaching.  

Always bring extras of things in case anything breaks. Headphones and Ethernet cables endure a considerable amount of wear-and-tear over the months/years of teaching. You want to double up on all of these items in case they break or do not function properly.

3g and 4g are not allowed but this will be in the case of emergency situations. Always have a plan B to fall back on as well and most companies will appreciate that you were at least proactive. You can also contact HR beforehand to have a company colleague take over in the case of any problems and vice versa. That way you can cover for their shifts if they ever take time off and they have your back in case of an emergency. This is a hard negotiation but effective if presented correctly.

Make sure the country you are traveling to does not have any impedance on the websites you are using. For example, China has heavy restrictions on some websites that are readily available in the US and uses Baidu instead of Google.  

Bring universal adapters as well so that you do not blow out any sockets and can fit chargers in different outlets across the world.

Important tip – It is essential to juggle multiple companies as well because most online companies are part-time (If they don’t pick schedules with fewer hours for each). As stated before, traveling while teaching is a risk, so if you are penalized severely there will be other companies to fall back on for income. To reduce this impact pick up any extra shifts readily available and work your butt off in case problems do arise – That way you are in a better position to negotiate as you have put in your sacrifice with the company. Another strategy is to take legitimate time off with a company you do not want to jeopardize your status with and continue to fine-tune your teaching while acquiring travel/teaching experience with a company of less priority. This is why I like the “Create-Your-Own” profile websites like iTalki that have fewer restrictions and requirements for online teaching.

The ideal solution is to build your own student base as you gain experience from multiple companies and not have to answer to anyone. This establishes true flexibility and an environment beneficial to an authentic remote lifestyle in the teaching realm. (Check out the article on Independent Online Teaching – Cut Out the Middle Man)

Here a few companies to get started with”



Teach ESL Online Anywhere 

Have any other recommendations for online teaching while abroad? Please post in the comments below.


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Teach ESL Online from Home

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.


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.


  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:



Teach ESL Online Anywhere




Happy Teaching!


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Kids Using Web Cam

Online ESL Job

Uncover the Passion

Many times, when teachers are asked why they are teaching a certain lesson they respond with, “Because it’s in the curriculum”. If you are one of these teachers, then you already know the reason why you are having problems making your lessons livelier. You need to inject passion into your lessons.

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In order to infuse joy into every class, you need to sit down and list the things in your lessons that are boring. Think hard about how you can make it fun but the students are still learning. You can use different tools to make your classes livelier like Manycam.  Check out Teacher Elly using Manycam in her classroom. Click Here!

Evaluate Your Performance After Each Class

After your online ESL class, stop and think about everything that had transpired. Did you reach your goals for the lesson? Were there activities that you could improve on? Did your students appreciate your style of teaching? What worked and what didn’t work?

Asking yourself these questions can help you evaluate and revise your online ESL teaching style. Keep on doing this until you have a good system in place for your online ESL classes. This took me about 7 months to do. So it’s a lot of hard work but it will pay off in the end. Gather everything you can about what happened to better prepare you for what will happen next. Reflect on how you want to move forward with teaching the next time you step into a classroom.

Let Your Curiosity Lead You

Oftentimes, inspiration can hit you while reading an interesting article in a magazine or when you’re strolling around a flea market. Collect everything that catches your eye. A nice photograph, some quirky trinkets are all potential classroom props you can use to make your classes interesting for your students. 

Step Back A Little

Stressing about your classes will only burn you out before you even enter a classroom. Relax and take a break from the pressure of creating lesson plans and activities. Do something that interests you and recharges your batteries.

If you give yourself space to decompress, you’ll be fresh and ready to tackle the work that needs to be done.

Meet with Fellow Teachers

Sometimes, inspiration will come from chatting with another online ESL teacher. If you have the opportunity to meet with a group of teachers, you should grab the chance to interact with them. You’ll never know what you’ll learn from spending the day with fellow teachers. You can all exchange tips and experiences.

You can try out new methods of teaching that have worked for others or you can model your lesson plan against that of another person who has a similar load. 

With these 5 steps, you can be sure that you will have the tools needed to start your online ESL classes and become a better teacher. Work on your teaching skills and you’ll be a vast improvement in your students’ participation as well.

Get a Mentor

Before seeking out mentors, write down your specific expectations and the role you want mentors to play in your career. Do you want someone who can help you improve your classes or help you with your in classroom persona? Clarifying your expectations, goals, and objectives will ensure that you find the right mentors and that the relationships benefit your professional goals. I’m an Online ESL Mentor and your one step closer to injecting passion back into your lessons. 

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Think outside the box and don’t restrict yourself

Great mentors can be found in a variety of places, so try looking outside your current workplace. Seek out mentors at business and women’s associations in your area, non-profit organizations, your college or university, within your family, church groups, even community groups such as business chambers of commerce. Also, look on YouTube and Facebook to find online ESL leaders. 

Set up a meeting

Once you’ve identified a potential mentor, ask to meet and discuss a possible mentoring relationship. Asking for mentoring is an important step to make certain you’re both clear on the terms. This meeting should take place somewhere that is mutually comfortable and where you can speak with confidence.

Be clear with your mentor. Once you’ve found someone who agrees to be your mentor, make sure you share the same commitment to your expectations. Be clear on the time required and the availability of your mentor, and establish a regular meeting schedule with topics you’d like to discuss.

To sum up, whatever road you take just to make sure you keep on improving and that you inject passion back into your lessons.

Happy Teaching!

Teacher Daniel 🙂

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Teach ESL Online from Home


The Times are Changing, Jobs and Careers are Changing Too! But the Knight in shinning Armor is Teaching ESL Online from Home


By David C. Douglas

“The times are a changin’,” wrote Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize-winning poet/song writer musician back in 1964. The simple truth of these words seemingly rings truer today for nearly everything in life; be it rapid technological advancements to the altered neo-geo political landscape, to erosion of social norms and morality, even mutual respect and common courtesy has degraded and the list continues on-and-on but not least-of-all is the, too often, devastating to many, changes taking place in the job market, employability, careers and career stability.

Back in 1964, as Dylan wrote the words: “times are a-changin’” most people in the United States and much of the world could count on finding a career or job skill that would last a lifetime. Entrepreneurship and small business start-ups were generally much simpler, fewer regulatory requirements were demanded an initial start-up cost were much less while the prospects for long-term success as a result of those risk and efforts taken, though not assured, were much more likely at that time than in today’s topsy-turvy vigorously changing world.

Due to the industrialization of the third world countries in order to exploit cheaper labor markets (especially developing countries like China, México, and India) by multinationals corporations and the implementation of so-called, fictitiously named and drastically under-enforced, Free Trade Agreements many industries in Developed Nations have suffered greatly. Probably none more so than the United States which now has 93 million working-aged adults no longer in the workforce!  Many of these people lost their jobs careers because their employing company moved factories overseas while others fell victim to currency manipulation or bad trade deals overly influenced by special interests, not national interest concerns, yet others were replaced by technological advancements or increased burdensome government regulations and over taxation of their industry. While those possessing the least skills like laborers, construction workers, and landscapers, etc. had the added slap in the face as tens millions of low skilled immigrants, both legal and illegal, entered the workforce albeit much of it illegally employed off-the-books. This huge new immigrant population now sends literally hundreds of billions of dollars back to their home countries annually which furthers degrades economic vitality in the US thus further handicapping legitimate job and economic growth.



Times are changing but for many people who lost jobs, careers businesses or been replaced due to losing or downsizing of an industry, increased automation, technological advancement or whatever reason there was no other alternative except to downsize their own personal hopes in the job market and life ambitions. The same has been true for millions of young people coming out of universities with degrees that could help to fetch them an entry-level position and eventual a good life and income. Many of this upcoming working generation have had their dreams and motivations dashed and have begun to lose hope of a good future and postponed their lives to a large extent.  The day when a 4-year university degree nearly guaranteed a job and success has long since passed.

One stable option, now for several decades, for those ejected or rejected from the job market has been the alternative life and career do-over career change to an overseas ESL Teacher. Since working as an ESL teacher in remote foreign-lands most often provides one a very livable salary with free accommodations, cheap living expenses and the added adventure of living and working in a different culture and country more often than not on the other side of the planet. ESL teacher’s especially single teachers due to low living expense usually could also save a good portion of their salaries as well.

Nevertheless, ESL teaching has not been insulated from changes. As my dear mother frequently said nothing in the world is permanent. Some of the higher paying countries for ESL teaching 20-years ago were Saudi Arabia and Japan but compensation must have peaked about that time as today’s ESL salaries in those markets has slipped in real earnings for most positions and show no signs of rising in the near future with so many native English-Speakers willing and available to travel to work overseas in this hard to find a good job environment. Additionally, older ESL teachers, 58 and over, use to not have any problems finding work in most overseas markets but this has also changed. Just 15 years ago, a person without a bachelor’s degree could easily find work in countries like China and Taiwan to name just two but this has become the exception when accomplished as both of these countries have severely tightened employee visa requirements on age, education, criminal history checks, etc.  Due to worries and increase the cost of health care insurance older ESL teachers often find they are either never offered a job or cannot acquire a work visa.

For many others out of job in countries like the United States, traveling to an overseas country to work as an ESL teacher is out of the question for a multitude of reasons such as separation from family and safety concerns to name just two.

However, times are changing and all changes are not negative or detrimental to employment and salary growth.  In regards to ESL teaching and teachers, teaching ESL online is becoming the knight in shining armor to both old and young ESL teachers as well other teachers and many native speakers new to teaching. Since it allows access to teaching over the internet from anywhere worldwide many people who once never could or would consider going overseas can now teach foreigners English from the comfort and safety of their living rooms.

The demand for online ESL teachers is growing exponentially as ESL online students and online companies ESL companies growth patterns skyrocket upward. Older ESL teachers have no worries since many online ESL companies have no maximum age limit and there is no visa requirement to worry about. Other ESL teachers who are often located in a country that didn’t pay well for personal reasons such as the lifestyle, culture, weather, life experience, women or whatever reason and those that worked second and third jobs find online ESL teaching much more convenient and more lucrative!

ESL students get the benefits of one and one attention professional designed step-by-step colorful lessons combined with the added convenience of not commuting to a remote classroom a big-time savings positive feature of online education.

The future of online teaching especially education and teaching especially online ESL teaching could not be any brighter. The times they are a-changin’!

David Douglas AKA Teacher David with 51 Talk

VIPKID is a dream come true for me! Is teaching ESL online right for you?


Confession:  I’m a full-on VIPKID sell out.  Now on my third contract, I’m one of those online ESL teachers who obsesses about the color orange (the company’s “team” color), and talks about my online ESL students to the point that my family knows them all by name.  I’m one of the ones who participates in all of the incentives and contests, and who lost her ever-loving mind when she finally got an orange VIPKID hoodie.  I could go on to explain the way the company has turned my life on its head in an amazing way–but you will understand when you get on board, if you find that this online ESL job is right for you.

It’s not for everybody…

See, since I started working for VIPKID, I have been in contact with hundreds of online ESL teachers who are amazed that they have found such an opportunity.  They love the freedom to work from home teaching English, set their own hours, be their own boss and build an online business for themselves.  Like me, they love being in charge of their own destiny, free of any office politics or climbing ladders.  But I have also seen some online ESL teachers who have a harder time adapting.  I started paying attention to what they were saying about their experience and comparing it to my own. What I found, is that it all boils down to expectations.  Some of the teachers had expectations for VIPKID to treat them as employees, while others understood what it meant to be an independent contractor. It makes all the difference to understand the role and evaluate whether it works for you.

Teachine ESL online is different from traditional teaching jobs

It can take some time to get used to being an independent contractor.  In a sense, you are your own boss.  You will manage YOU!  In many traditional jobs, someone else manages the teachers, like maybe the principal or a supervisor.  As online ESL teachers, however, we manage ourselves.  The very best VIPKID teachers are absolute pros at self-management!  After watching other teachers, and some personal growth myself, I have identified four key traits of self-management that can make the difference between fulfillment or frustration as a VIPKID teacher:

The four key traits to happy online ESL teaching


To be a successful online teacher, independence is crucial.  A VIPKID teacher sets his or her own hours and is entirely responsible for being in class on time and prepared to teach.  Since you are working from home, there is no other person between you and your student.  For me, this idea is liberating.  For others, who like a support team, it can be frustrating.  It’s worth considering, before applying, whether you enjoy finding what you need within yourself, or whether you prefer to work for a company as an employee with a built-in support system.  


VIPKID teachers have to be prepared to do the job.  As solo artists, no one else will make sure anything is ready for you.  It is entirely up to you how prepared you will be, both to teach, and to handle IT glitches, discipline problems, special ed concerns and difficult concepts.  What will you do to explain that grammar piece to a non-native speaker who is waiting on the other side of the screen?  Do you need to brush up on a subject before entering the class?  Do you have backup plan for when your WiFi goes out?  Do you need some new props, tools, or materials?  It’s all up to you!   You get paid for completing the class.  But if you are unable to, even for good reason, you don’t get paid.  It’s entirely up to the teacher to make sure that class goes off without a hitch and that the material is taught well.


Online ESL teachers have to solve their own problems.  VIPKID, for example, is in China.  They are up and working during class time when their customers are awake.  By the time you finish your last class, they are in bed and cannot get to your urgent email till the next morning.  For me, this means that most often, I need to be able to solve my own problems.  I need to have the skills of scanning forums and interacting with other teachers to find solutions and answers.  I may have to “wing it” with a solution that I come up with at the moment and be confident that I am making the right call on what to do in a difficult situation. It’s a great idea to ask yourself if you like solving problems yourself or if you’d rather work in an environment structured to help in that area.


To work remotely as an independent contractor, I’ve found that I need to be confident of myself  and my performance when I don’t get validation from the company.  Unlike a traditional employer/employee relationship, I don’t receive annual reviews, constructive criticism, or pats on the back for a job well done.  If a teacher is not prepared for this, he or she may feel isolated and invalidated.  The truth is, as independent contractors, our job is to show up and do our work.  We will hear from the company if anything needs to be changed. If all goes well, however, we can go an indefinite amount of time with no direct feedback from the company about our performance. If I’m of the mindset that I must hear from the company whether or not I am doing well, I’ll drive myself crazy.  Some introspection can help you discover as well, whether you would be able to function well in an environment that demands you get your validation from within.

Will you enjoy managing yourself?

Many of us have found that we enjoy independence, making our own calls, and not worrying about reviews, micro-managers, and office politics.  These are the payoffs for being independent, prepared, resourceful, and confident.

Find out more!

Do you have what it takes? Please watch my video review Click Here of working for VIPKID where I go in more depth about the pros and cons, and what it’s like to be an independent contractor for an online company.

Interested? Please Follow This Link 

If you use it to apply, I’d be happy to answer any questions for you that I can.  You can shoot me an email at


Now is the Time to Start Teaching ESL Online from Home


Online ESL Job

Teaching ESL online is an excellent profession to be trained for. Clearly, to do well, you have to possess the love of teaching or the expertise might become depressing, but for those that enjoy this kind of job, then it is the chance of a lifetime. English Teachers who travel the world educating get to try living in several countries and have to acclimate to the different climates, cultures, and cuisine among other things. If it’s a first time teaching experience then it may be rather hard.

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This is the reason some select teaching English online. Others have done the traveling before attempting Online ESL teaching and want to stay in one country for a while. Some online ESL jobs are better paying as well due to being an online ESL company with less overhead. There aren’t any flights or lodgings to cover so the schools can make up for this in the wages. Whilst the people who’ve more expertise lineup online ESL jobs with better wages. Those that work constantly for 3-4 years will make their way-up to the highest wages.

There are plenty of jobs available that you could find online simply by using different search engines. Some require a university degree and certification to teach English online as an additional language while others only need one of those. Most will need the second one, but there are a lot of schools that provide those courses. English Teachers are wanted online with hundreds of companies. More individuals are realizing that to enter the global economy, they need to talk at least some English. This is an excellent career opportunity specifically for native English speakers. When you’re teaching English online, you can be wherever you want and usually it’s not going to make any difference so long as you meet the qualifications.

Right now is the time to make the transition from classroom to online teachers. Companies in China are putting billions of dollars into Online Teaching. If you get in now and build a solid student based you will be able to make a full-time income from home and even more.

Last year I made $75,000 teaching ESL online from home and you can do it too. I’m just a normal ESL teacher with a passion for teaching. You can teach ESL online from anywhere and you’re in control of where and when you work. Happy Teaching!

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Teach ESL Online from Home