Distance learning has seen significant growth in the past years due to its various attractive benefits, such as accessibility and flexibility among others.
According to Statista, the global e-learning market is projected to surpass 243 billion U.S. dollars by 2022. Consequently, this will create an upsurge in demand for e-educators such as online English teachers.
This trend, along with the lockdowns that are still in place in different countries, opens up new opportunities for teachers like you despite these current limitations.
Technology has become very efficient in bridging the distance between learners and educators across the globe.
Although e-learning is more convenient, shifting to online teaching from classroom teaching will not be without challenges.
However, research and continued practice will help you advance in your career.
6 Tips to Grow
Your Online Teaching Career
1. Find online teaching opportunities.
Some ways to start your career in online teaching are through applying for online English teaching platforms, such as 51Talk, posting your professional profile on freelancing websites, and finding your own private students.
For first-time online teachers, starting with a good online teaching company can be a great and convenient way to ease into the industry and get the guidance you need.
E-learning is an entirely different method from physical learning, so getting to know the ins-and-outs of the industry under an established learning institution is a smart way to start your online teaching career.
2. Master the technology and your equipment.
Since online teaching is done via video calls on your computer or laptop, teaching online requires you to be familiar with the technology you will use.
This entails having basic computer literacy, learning how to navigate through the online teaching platform, and knowing how to use video conferencing apps such as Skype and Zoom.
Whether you’re a new teacher or not, one of your goals is to hold excellent and uninterrupted lessons for your students.
To achieve this, you will need a reliable computer with a good webcam, a fast Internet connection, and a headset with mic.
Most employers also require that you have a TESOL/TEFL qualification. These are minimum requirements for you to conduct an online session your student can enjoy.
3. Have a suitable workspace.
Now that you work in the comfort of your own home, you must practice self-discipline to manage your time, study your materials well, and conduct your classes on time.
This may sound like a daunting task, but in most cases, all you need to do to be efficient is to designate a space with the least amount of distractions to be your work area.
Make sure that your workspace encourages productive work behavior for you and your online learners as well.
This means getting rid of clutter and unnecessary stuff on your desk and in your background.
Ideally, your workspace should only consist of your computer, teaching aids, and notes.
At first, it can be challenging to teach English from home , but as soon as you discover your rhythm and become comfortable with your setup and schedule, every day can be fun and productive.
4. Start small but start right away.
Lists and tips like this article can seem overwhelming, but the truth is, it is completely fine to start small!
Teaching online may be very new to you, so it’s all right to learn the processes step-by-step until you fully understand the intricacies of online teaching.
If you want, you may even try to work part-time at first to see if this kind of setup and lifestyle are to your liking.
However, the key to kickstarting your career is to start right away . If you do not start now, how and when will you get to your destination?
You do not have to get it all right the first time, so there’s no need for grand preparations.
You will grow as you go along the way.
5. Teach. And then teach some more.
Like in teaching in a classroom setting, you can improve your skills and advance your online teaching career through your teaching experience.
After all, experience is the best teacher. Take advantage of every lesson you give to reflect on areas to improve on and practice improving these skills.
Moreover, teaching many lessons can also help you progress in your career—literally.
Some online learning institutions, like 51Talk, require their teachers to teach a certain number of lessons per teacher rank.
Meeting that goal number not only gives them a rich teaching experience, it also qualifies them to rise through the ranks.
There is no shortcut to becoming a great e-educator. Experiencing the ups and downs of teaching will help you make better career decisions and improvements to your teaching methods.
6. Do not stop learning.
Even as an educator, you should continue your education.
When you teach ESL or EFL online , you’ll be surprised to see that teaching trends and techniques come and go.
Keeping yourself up-to-date will not only help you teach your students better but also move up the career ladder.
Be proactive and participate in webinars, workshops, and seminars regarding online teaching. Keep in mind that you will always have something new to learn each day, especially from other educators.
A fulfilling career in online teaching
One of the many perks that online teachers enjoy is the fulfillment of teaching and connecting with a student from a different background and culture through English learning.
Technology connects two great minds to learn and grow together despite being miles apart.
As we embrace a new normal, online teaching becomes not only a readily accessible means of livelihood but also an exciting career development opportunity for educators like you.
As you start your online teaching journey, make sure to do your research, plan your career strategy, and most importantly, take the leap!