Today’s guest post comes from Nate, a world traveler and entrepreneur friend of mine currently living overseas in Asia- Milton
The Online Classroom
The digital age is transforming education. Particularly when it comes to foreign languages, people are trading in pencils and paper for laptops and computers. They are foregoing rigid timetables in favor of flexible schedules. And perhaps best of all, people are saying goodbye to traffic and rowdy classrooms, and instead enjoying the comfort of their own home while they teach.
Not too long ago a friend of mine was in the midst of a career transition. He had had enough of the daily grind, and was giving it up to focus on art and writing projects. A worthwhile move, to be sure, but he needed some supplementary income to aid his new pursuits. I introduced him to online English teaching and explained how it would fit nicely into his lifestyle. Now he teaches for a couple hours every morning and spends the rest of each day working on things he is passionate about.
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I myself stumbled upon this same online teaching gig when I was between full-time jobs. As anyone who has ever been fired or quit an unsavory job can understand, I was in no hurry to jump back into another grand commitment. Online teaching allowed me to do some part-time work and earn a little money while I got out and (gasp!) enjoyed myself. The thrill of having work done before noon (or in my case, being free throughout the day until teaching at night) was overwhelming. I could learn new skills, take small trips, focus on getting in shape… the list goes on.
Note from site owner: If you are interested in teaching English overseas, you may want to consider getting certified with a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. This can help you with being prepared and in some countries, it can boost your earnings potential. I personally got a TEFL certificate through a company in Chicago called International TEFL Academy. I recommend them and also think they have a great website for an overview of teaching in many countries throughout the world. If you’re interested in getting certified you can reach out to my own advisor Cassie, here at International TEFL Academy.
On top of all that, the job itself was really quite fascinating. Surely all of us are familiar with the traditional classroom setting, whether as teachers or students (or both), and are therefore aware of its shortcomings. An online class removes some of the parenting or babysitting aspects of teaching, but maintains the interactive nature of language education that lets students read, write, speak, and listen. It can be both fun and rewarding, and is an interesting way to gain insight into another culture. When it’s all done, the commute is as simple as going from the computer to the couch, with maybe a stop at the refrigerator in between.
Eventually, I landed another job (when I was good and ready, of course), but online teaching is still part of my weekly routine. My school offers a flexible mix of regular hours and optional extra hours. It is a great way to tailor my teaching schedule to the demands of my overall week. If I know next Friday will be a slow day, I can simply sign up for extra classes and make a few extra bucks. Conversely, if things are a bit busy, I just stick with my regular classes. The minimum required hours each week is 4, but there are well over 20 available, which means teaching can become anything from a side project to a full-blown job. It sure beats having some boss tell me when and how much to work each day.
Online Teaching through DaDa
Specifically, the school I work for is called DaDa. The company is based in China and offers teaching hours Monday through Friday 6:00-9:00pm Beijing time, as well as classes all day Saturday and Sunday. They have their own special software and materials right on the screen, allowing even first-time teachers to easily navigate students through each task. Additionally, they provide various sample videos and resources to help ease new teachers into their role. The pay range is fairly wide but can be over $20 an hour, and the company offers an array of bonuses and rewards. Consider checking them out here for more information or to apply for a job.
Maybe you were recently let go from your job. Use it as an opportunity to try one of the many freelance activities the internet currently provides. Teaching English online joins a list of pursuits such as blogging, programming, and video-making that are helping to free people from the constraints of the corporate world. At the very least, it may provide some entertainment and extra income while you seek out that next big contract.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and site owner may receive a commission for International TEFL Academy signups. Contributor, Nate, may receive a commission for DaDa school sign-ups.