Teaching English Online: The pros and cons

Teaching English online comes with so many perks it’s hard to list them all, but it also does have some downfalls. If you’re interested in teaching English online, you’ll want to know all of these pros and cons to make sure it’s right for you!

The pros

1. You can work from home

One of the best things about teaching English online is, you can do it from the comfort of your own home! No travelling to work on busy public transport for hours on end wasting part of your day, you can literally roll out of bed and start work – what a dream!

2. You can work whilst travelling

Much like being able to work from home, as long as you can take your laptop with you and you have internet connection, you can also work whilst you travel! In fact, lots of our graduate have taught online whilst travelling to help fund their trips.

3. There are no minimum or maximum working hours

Most online agencies don’t have a strict policy on the number of hours you have to work, giving you the flexibility to work as often or as little as your schedule allows.

4. You can create your own schedule

This is a big one! Teaching online gives you completely flexibility to make your own schedule. You can choose exactly when you work. Don’t like early mornings? You don’t have to work them! Never want to work a weekend again? No problem! Plus, each week can vary, if you need to earn extra money one week you can increase your hours or vice versa.

5. Lesson plans and teaching materials are often provided

Unlike teaching in a school, most online agencies will provide you with lesson plans and materials in advance so all you need to do is read over them and turn up for your lessons. You won’t need to spend hours on end creating a new lesson plan for every student or marking lots of work.

6. You don’t need a degree

There are heaps of teaching online opportunities out there that don;t require you to have a degree, so don’t worry if you skipped university or only have a high school education, there is a job out there for you!

7. Class sizes are small

When you choose to work for an online agency, you’ll generally be given individual students to teach on a one-to-one basis, so you don’t need to deal with big class sizes like in schools.

8. The pay is really good

Teaching English online is such a huge market and it’s only getting bigger! Most online agencies will offer anywhere up to $30+ per lesson and you can earn more if you teach specialist areas or older students.

9. You don’t need any experience

Just completed your TEFL course and don’t yet have any teaching experience? Don’t worry! Hardly any online teaching agencies require experience so you can start teaching online literally straight away!

10. The start-up costs are low

Unlike teaching English abroad where you have to pay for your flights, accommodation, visas, teaching English online has hardly any start-up costs. In fact, you probably already have all the equipment you need sat in your house – winner!

How to teach English guide

The cons

1. Relying on your technology can be stressful at times

We all know how unreliable technology can be at times, especially when you’re travelling and relying on internet in your hotel or hostel. The best way to avoid this and remove stress is to have back-up equipment such as a hotspot on your phone or replacement headsets so you’re always prepared.

2. Lots of companies have strict cancellation policies

If you accept a class, you’re expected to teach it. Lots of agencies have strict cancellation policies meaning it can be difficult to cancel your classes even for medical reasons. If you cancel an already-booked class, you might have to pay a penalty and could have trouble getting future bookings.

3. Time zones can be a challenge

Many of the bigger online English companies focus on teaching mainly Chinese students. So, if you live outside of China it can be difficult to line your schedule up to match.

4. Online teaching contracts don’t come with many benefits

Unlike many teaching contracts in schools where you might get health cover and pension contributions, online teaching contract don’t often come with any additional benefits.

Overall, the pros do outweigh the cons for teaching online quite heavily, but these are the things you’ll need to consider before diving into the world of online English teaching.

Feeling inspired and ready to look for online roles? Head to the LoveTEFL Jobs Board for all the latest vacancies!


Happy TEFLing!

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