Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Career As An Online ESL Teacher

I guess most people wish to have a homebased job, especially right now that the traffic is getting worse.

I have been working from home for the past ten years.  The decision to work from home is because my father's illness in 2007 (see my blog here).  I have to resign from my day job because I have to do the logistics at home while my father is in the hospital.  I do not want my mother to be stressed in thinking about running the household; I just wanted her to focus on taking care of my father.  In addition, my mom doesn't have the energy to take care of my son anymore and I do not like to hire a nanny for Kib (I've heard a lot of horror stories about nannies).

I'm a licensed teacher by profession.  I've taught in a regular school before doing a homebased job.  Teaching English to foreigners is not new to me; it was my last office job before I decided to work from home.  

To teach English effectively and efficiently, you must have a good running computer, stable internet connection at home, quiet home office environment, and a good working headset with noise cancellation function.  Yes, before you start working from home, you have to invest on the gadgets that you needed to work.  Apart from that, you must have at least six months' equivalent of emergency fund while you are looking for an online job.  

To be an ESL teacher, you must have a good command of English language.  While ESL approach is more direct than teaching English in a classroom, the teacher should be able to explain the use of a particular word or grammar concept to the student.  Being an ESL teacher also requires that the tutor can speak English fluently and with correct pronunciation.  In ESL, the teacher is expected to check the four aspects of English language learning from the student: listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

To apply for a job as an ESL teacher, you must prepare your resume.  Some companies would look for your credentials if you are qualified for the position (teaching experience, teaching license, educational attainment, TESOL certification, etc.).  If you don't have any teaching experience yet, there are some companies who would still accommodate your application to assess if you have a potential to become an ESL teacher.  You will undergo the application process (interview, grammar test, teaching demo).  Once you have passed the application process, the company will already give you an offer.

ESL teaching in a home setting can have various set-ups.  Some companies will require you to have fixed working hours and there are some companies which will give you flexible working hours.  However, some companies expect you to open your schedule at nighttime.  There will be some companies who would also encourage you to open schedules at daytime, but there will be only few students because most of the students are either in school or at work.  You can start teaching as early as 5AM.  Since you will be teaching foreigners, your working hours will be based on the country of origin of the students.  For example, if you will teach Japanese or Koreans, their time zone is one hour ahead of the Philippines.

ESL companies have their lesson materials, but teachers are also expected to do online research as a supplemental material during class.  The teachers are also expected to give constructive criticisms to encourage the student to improve their English skills.  The teachers are also encouraged to show enthusiasm during the class and be also open to listen to the students if they have any special requests.  

Apart from the above-mentioned expectations, the ESL company also implements other rules.  It is expected from a teacher that he/she will be loyal to the company and not to have conflict of interest.  The teacher should also be professional in dealing with students.  While this job offers you a possibility of meeting a prospective girlfriend/boyfriend, the teacher must control himself/herself on not entertaining the idea.

It's fun meeting people from different nationalities and learning their culture.  Students love it when teachers ask them about their way of life because it shows your interest too.

Do you like to teach?  This can be a career for you!  




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