How to Grow in Your Online Teaching Career

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.

Follow these 6 tips to get started on the right track and grow in 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!