How to Become a Successful Online English Teacher

The idea of being your own boss and having the freedom to work wherever and whenever you want is exciting. But, it can also be daunting, especially if you are just starting out. Thankfully, teaching English online is becoming more popular and breaking into this industry might be easier than you think. Unlike the typical education setting, teaching English online allows you to be in full control of what you do and when you do it. Let’s have a look at how to get started as a English teacher online, and how to make sure that you succeed.


What exactly is online English teaching?


Many people who want to teach English decide to teach online for an online teaching company. For teachers who are just starting out, working for a company can be a good option and a good way to break into the industry. However, many teachers try to go down the route of being a freelancer, where you have to find your own clients and essentially run your own business.


As a freelancer in the world of online English teaching, you will be able to set your own rate of pay, choose the weekly hours you want to work and design your own curriculum and lesson plans for your learners. There certainly are challenges when doing this, but the positives generally tend to be greater. 

Who can be an online English teacher?


As the industry of teaching English changes and moves toward a more virtual classroom learning experience, the demand for online teachers gets higher. And it doesn’t matter if you have experience of teaching or not, you can still get involved.


Whether you are a student and want to earn some money on the side, a full-time worker who wants to up their earnings with a part-time job or someone who wants to change their career entirely, then you too can become an online English teacher. For some people, teaching English online can make the perfect side gig for some extra money. But for others, it becomes a full-time career. 

What are some benefits of teaching English online?


When it comes to teaching English online, there are so many benefits. Firstly, the ability to be your own boss and set your own schedule is usually the most appealing thing for potential teachers. Not only this, there are close to one and a half billion people across the world actively learning English. This means the demand for English teachers is booming, so finding a job wouldn’t be difficult.


Another positive of teaching English online is the freedom it allows you to have. Working from home is fantastic for people who want to cut expenses and save money, but if you travel and teach online then you have the ability to see the world whilst teaching in your spare time. This can also be very appealing to teachers!


Let’s also not forget those who want to work from home and teach in their pyjamas with unlimited cups of coffee throughout the day. For some, the dream isn’t necessarily to travel and teach, but to have the freedom to work from home and build a teaching career around their current commitments.

What are some challenges of teaching English online?


Teaching English online sounds like the perfect job, and often people make it look like it is the perfect job too. But no job is without its own unique challenges. As an online English teacher, you will have the power to choose when you want to work. This means that you have to be self-motivated and committed to your role. 


If you are teaching English online and working for a company, you can get found out very easily. Complacency can often creep in, so it is important to always give 100% effort and commitment when teaching English online.


If you want to become a freelance English teacher online and move away from working with companies, then you will need to educate and market yourself on how to run a business. Many online English teachers have an end goal of becoming freelance, but a lot get comfortable when working for companies because of the benefits they provide. This can be challenging when wanting to progress as an online English teacher. 

Is freelance the way to go?


When deciding whether to go freelance, there are a number of things you will need to take into consideration. In terms of payment, freelancers can charge whatever they want, but they will need to have students before they can get paid. This means that it may be a little more difficult for freelancers to get started unless they have already built connections and networked. 


When it comes to finding students, this can sometimes be a little tricky. As a freelancer, you will need to promote and market yourself, which is often one of the toughest parts of working for yourself. But once you nail your marketing, then the students will soon follow.


And when it comes to lesson content, you are fully responsible for your own lesson materials. This means that you won’t be able to rely on an online company to do your lesson plans for you, so this can often take up a lot of time. As a freelancer, you will need to put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure your teaching is effective. 


Many freelancers start off teaching English with an online company, and then naturally progress to being a fully fledged freelancer. So maybe this might be the best way to get into English teaching before spreading your wings and taking the leap into self-employment. 

How to be a successful English teacher online.


Being a successful teacher of English online comes down to you, and you alone. Your commitment, attitude and work-rate will determine whether or not you will become a successful teacher. But the most important thing you need to do to become successful is to set goals and commit yourself to achieving them.


As an online English teacher, it is important that you are able to follow your own rules when it comes to teaching. Yes, most teachers are able to set their own working hours, but if you constantly change these or miss lessons, then there’s no doubt that you will lose students. 


It is also crucial that you always prepare yourself for every single lesson, regardless of whether you make your own lesson plans or they are made for you. Giving each individual student the attention and time they deserve is key to getting them to stick with you over time. These tips for teaching English online might help you become a better teacher.


As an online English teacher, you are responsible for the learning experience of your students. In a nutshell, if your students are happy, then it is clear to see the effectiveness of your teaching. There are so many ways to keep your students happy overall, but the most important things for you as an online English teacher are to set goals, prepare for every lesson and ensure that each individual student gets the attention and time they deserve. This is how you will know if you are a successful teacher, because your lessons will always be booked up and your reviews will be top-class!