Boss Lady

How teaching online could open up a new career path

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If you love teaching, but also love the comfort of your own home, then online teaching might just be the perfect job for you. Even if you aren’t a career teacher right now, you might be interested in teaching online in order to open up a new career path or even to make some extra spending money in your free time. The good news is that there’s no better time to try teaching online, and it’s easy to get started even if you don’t have a degree in education.

Why has teaching online become so popular? This year, the coronavirus pandemic sparked a huge shift from traditional classrooms to remote learning around the world.  Due to the social distancing and concerns about the virus, more and more schools have moved to online learning platforms. According to CNBC, as early as April of 2020, almost 1.6 billion students had already switched to virtual classrooms. Not only did this result in a boom in education technology, one of the fastest growing industries today, but it also increased the demand for online teachers across a variety of subjects. So, as you might have inferred, if you want to get started with a career teaching online, there’s no time like the present. Online teachers are in high demand now more than ever. 

The Pros of teaching online

You might be wondering, why is teaching online a better career opportunity than teaching in the classroom? Well, there are plenty of reasons to teach online. First, there are the convenience and flexibility factors. By teaching online, you can reach a broader population of students. This includes students who may not have access to education in their own cities or who lack much school choice. You might also choose to teach international students and have an enriching international exchange. Whether you want to tutor someone in South Korea or teach business English to someone in the Philippines, you can manage the time difference by setting up your online class at an hour that’s convenient for both the teacher and the students

Furthermore, teaching online often gives you more control over your own schedule and helps you to become location independent. Because you don’t have to commute to work, you can schedule your class at a time that best suits both you and your students’ learning preferences. Need to go out of town last minute? No problem. You can take your class with you virtually anywhere as long as there is a strong WIFI connection wherever you go. .

In addition to flexible scheduling, teaching online allows teachers to create engaging, student-centered lesson plans. Today, most students under the age of 30 have grown up with smart phones and laptops. You might even consider them the “digital generation.” As a result, young students will be more drawn to and interested in learning when they can use technology as a tool during class. Online lessons allow students from various backgrounds to participate in the class. More advanced students might jump right into the discussion boards, while shy students can participate when they feel comfortable. Students will also have the opportunity to learn a thing or two about tech while simultaneously studying a specific subject matter. 

.Finally, teaching English online will help you to gain invaluable career experience. Even if you don’t plan on pursuing a career in teaching long term, interacting with a variety of students and teaching online will help your resume stand out in your future job pursuits.

Long term careers from teaching online 

Though you may assume teaching online is a limited opportunity, it’s actually a growing field that will continue to thrive even after the coronavirus pandemic settles down. Online teachers are employed at every grade level, including in higher education, and they are also used to teach classes outside of the traditional school system and curriculum. Keep reading to learn about various ways you can transform teaching online into a lucrative long term career.

Teach Engish online

TESOL, or teaching English as a foreign language, instructors are currently in high demand. Students who would normally take English lessons at school are studying from home, and there are less teachers living abroad. Online teachers are therefore necessary to cover the needs of countries with big TESOL (teaching English as a foreign language) markets.  Even before the coronavirus pandemic, online English platforms had been gaining popularity.  And with good reason. 

The online platform allows second language learners to have classes with a variety of English teachers and find a style that suits them. Classes are fun and interactive, and students can listen, read, and speak English in a lesson that almost feels more like a video game. 

What’s in it for the teachers? Teaching English online has huge earning potential. As an online teacher, you can expect to earn anywhere from $12USD (£9.25) to $24USD (£18.50) per hour with regular bonuses and exciting pay incentives. Your actual income will depend on the company you choose to work for. That’s a lot of money you could be making without having to adhere to a formal dress code. 

So, as you can see, online TEFL teachers have the potential to earn just as much or more than traditional classroom teachers. Furthermore, teaching English online might lead you to a position teaching abroad or even more administrative position in a TEFL company.

How can you start teaching English online? It’s simple. With just a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification, you’ll be a shoe in at most popular companies like VIPKid and PalFish. There are plenty of accredited TEFL courses you can choose from, and most offer a variety of classes, both online and in person. You can browse through their array of TEFL course programs and find one that suits you

Work for a test prep company

If you’re interested in working in education or teaching online, you might consider working for a test preparation company. Such companies not only work with students to prepare them for the  SAT or college entrance exams, but they also have English-training programs for English language learners. They even work with companies to promote professional development, training, and certifications. 

Big corporations like Kaplan employ over 30,000 employees. They have a diverse range of job opportunities that ranges from online teaching to educational development and support both inside and outside of the classroom.

So, as you can see, starting out as a teacher with a big company might lead you to more job opportunities within the company. If you’re interested in working for a corporation like Kaplan, check out their current job openings at https://kaplan.com/

Teach Online with K12 

Another great long term career opportunity is with companies like K12. A remote education provider for youth from grades kindergarten through twelve, K12 promises hands on, quality education directly into the homes of the students they support. K12 provides online schooling solutions for military families, homeschooled children, advanced learners, career-minded students, athletes, and traveling performers.

As an employee, you can gain valuable experience classroom aged students. K12 offers a variety of job opportunities, from freelance jobs to full time teaching jobs. So, if you’re not sure how much you want to teach, you might choose to work part-time first before dedicating more time to teaching online. K12 offers workplace flexibility as well as benefits such as medical care and paid time off. It’s the perfect opportunity to turn a remote teaching job into a long term career.

Become an adjunct professor

Okay, this option requires a little more than a teaching certificate, but if you find that you like teaching online, this is a great career opportunity. One of the most common online teaching jobs is that of an adjunct professor. Positions are available at a variety of institutions, including public, private, community, and technical schools.

You might just be able to land the position of an adjunct professor with a bachelor’s degree and some prior teaching experience. However, most positions require at least a master’s degree in education or a relevant field. So, if you truly like teaching online, you might consider getting  a higher degree and becoming an adjunct professor. You might even be able to land a position as you work toward completing your degree. 

What are you waiting for?

As you can see, there are a wide range of possibilities when it comes to online teaching. With students home from school due to the pandemic, the marketplace for teaching online is better than ever, so why not take this opportunity to see if it’s the right job for you? Now is the perfect time to start your career and get to teaching online. 

About Erin Honigman

Erin Honigman is a digital education expert for TEFL.org, based in the UK.

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