Why Are So Many Teachers Interested In Teaching English Online?

Feeling stagnant at the school you've been teaching at for years? Looking to change from traditional classroom teaching to online education? Or just keen to earn an additional income teaching online after hours? 

Teaching English online is a great option for a flexible career! If you want more flexibility in working hours, would love to work from home, and don't like the idea of commuting every day, then this is the perfect job for you. Teaching online also provides opportunities to explore new cultures from around the world. Plus, there are career and skills growth opportunities at the same time!

If you're wondering whether teaching online is the right career path for you, we've compiled a list of the advantages and disadvantages. Plus, we've listed the requirements and whether it's financially viable or not.

Advantages of Teaching English Online

1. Find, Apply and Interview Online

  • Any company seeking online teachers will have their vacancies posted online. Search for teaching jobs online, on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, or visit the website of the company you would love to teach for to check for open positions.
  • You can complete and submit your entire application online, including your demo video. Apply for the position that best suits your interest, skills and qualifications.
  • Even your interview will be online! No need for travel or the anxiety of a face-to-face interview. Find out how to prepare for an online teaching interview.
  • After a successful interview, you will most likely start in the position you applied for. But in some cases, if keen-eyed recruiters picked up that you will be better suited for a different teaching position, they will offer that to you.

2. Flexibility

  • Many companies allow you to choose your workload, hours, and teaching schedule.
  • Many positions offer evening and weekend shifts, allowing you to take advantage of opportunities unavailable during traditional work hours.

3. Teach and Learn at the Same Time

  • Online classes mean that you receive feedback from your students regularly, helping you improve your teaching skills.
  • By interacting with a non-native speaker, you'll learn as much as you teach. Not just about how different nationalities and age groups learn best and what common misunderstandings arise, but about cultural awareness as well.
  • It's a great way to stay up-to-date on current teaching trends.
  • The Really Great Teacher Company has a free, online Inspire Academy with frequent new courses for continuous learning.

4. Having a Global Impact

  • Experience a sense of pride from inspiring and developing people from around the world, and making a tangible difference in their lives.
  • Adult foreign language students are learning English to improve themselves and have a better understanding of the world, for reasons such as business and travel. As an online English teacher, you provide them with the opportunity to achieve this.
  • Recognize your students' potential. Some positions allow you to tailor your lessons to meet the needs of your students.

5. Experience Different Cultures

  • Learn about the various different cultures of your international students and their countries.
  • At the same time, your students learn about different cultures, too.

6. Practice Your Love for the English Language

  • Interact with a global online teaching community of fellow educators as you express and appreciate the English language.
  • Some points in pronunciation are difficult to demonstrate on screen. You will find new, fun and innovative ways to bring your lesson across.

7. Travel, Work, or Study Abroad

  • Teaching is a skill that you can take with you anywhere in the world.
  • It's a great option if you consider emigrating, or working and/or studying in a different country.
  • Your online classroom can travel with you. As long as you have your teaching hardware and a stable internet connection, you can travel frequently and stay anywhere in the world without having to take extended periods of leave.

8. Self-actualization and Meaningful Interactions

  • When you connect with different individuals, you experience a sense of satisfaction and reward, knowing you facilitate the learning process and progress in your students' learning.

9. Sense of Belonging and Personal Growth

  • Some online teaching companies offer teacher development and community initiatives.
  • Become part of a community of like-minded teachers and share in each other's successes.

Disadvantages of Teaching English Online

1. You might start feeling isolated if you don't join a reputable company that prioritizes developing its teachers holistically within a community environment.

2. Working online from home requires a strong sense of self-discipline. Effective time management skills are crucial, and you must be well prepared and punctual for all your lessons.

3. Should you not be motivated to develop your skills, this won't be a good choice. You'll need to upskill yourself continuously.

4. Individuals who are not computer literate will struggle. You have to be comfortable with technology and be able to do some of your own troubleshooting under pressure.

5. You can be glued to your computer screen for long periods of time so you should manage your time and look after yourself to stay healthy.

6. You may need to make an initial financial investment. Equipment you would need include:

  • PC or laptop with a minimum of 8GB RAM
  • Stable fiber internet connection
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • USB microphone
  • HD web camera
  • Back-up power solution (if you live in a country with unstable power provision)

Here's how to get the perfect home teaching setup

Requirements for Teaching Online

1) Academic Qualifications

  • While a bachelor's degree is not always mandatory, it's recommended, as most schools require that their teachers have degrees. It doesn't necessarily have to be a degree in teaching.
  • You will also need to hold a legitimate, 120-hour accredited Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.

2) Language Proficiency

  • Most schools require their teachers to be native (first language) English speakers.
  • Some companies will accept non-native English teachers, but a high level of proficiency in English will be required. Schools will test for it.

Is Online Teaching Financially Worth It?

You could earn a decent salary while working from home depending on your qualifications. You will also save on transport costs, parking, and even work attire.

With over a billion people learning English globally, the demand for online teachers will not end any time soon.

How will I get paid?

Online English teachers usually get paid per hour, and in many cases, they get paid in US dollars. Payment is usually monthly.

Can I Claim for Home Office Expenses?

Depending on your country's tax laws, you might well qualify to claim for home office expenses if you designate a room in your home entirely for the function of 'trade' or, in this case, teaching.

Setting up a 'classroom' at home and getting all the required equipment in place does – after all – cost you money.

We suggest that you speak to a tax consultant or accountant regarding how the law works in your country, but make sure to take advantage of any of these rebates should they apply.

You may be allowed to claim for:

  • Rental, rates, electricity, and taxes
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Cleaning costs
  • Office equipment and furniture
  • Phones, internet, and stationery

Make sure to keep accurate records of all relevant documents like:

  • Bank statements
  • Invoices
  • Pay checks
  • Supporting documents (employer letter, office space photos, house floor plans, etc. )

These documents will be helpful for either an audit or the bank.

Where Can I Find Current Teaching Opportunities?

You will find current teaching opportunities listed online in various forums or online teaching companies' websites.

Our application process is quick and straightforward:

  1. View our Teaching Jobs and look for the position that appeals to you most. 
  2. Click on "View" for details on specific positions and then on "Apply Now" to apply.
  3. Fill in the application form - you'll need to upload your resume.
  4. To complete your application, you will need to upload an introduction video, so make sure you have your recording on hand.
  5. You will receive a response within 24 hours of us receiving your application.

Teaching Online with The Really Great Teacher Company

  • Our teachers don't have to find their own students. You won't have the pressure to market yourself or worry about finding classes. You can teach at multiple schools to fill up your working day.
  • Some classes have lesson plans provided—less time spent on creating lessons = more time for teaching. For other classes, lesson plans are required, which provides you with the opportunity to express your creativity!
  • Students could be either groups or individuals, children or adults from all over the world. Some classes are one-on-one, and others are group classes. It depends on the school and schedule that matches the needs and requirements of the teacher.
  • You'll receive professional training. We offer all our teachers extensive training and onboarding. Each school you work with also has its specific training to complete.
  • Plus, teachers have free access to Inspire Academy, where you'll receive extensive ongoing professional development in:
    • Teaching
    • Role-specific training
    • Leadership training
  • Our technical team supports our teachers. Everyone has a support team and live tech support. We set you up with the appropriate support channels, and someone will be there to help you all the time.
  • Nobody works in isolation. Our teachers get free membership to Evolve. Our personal development program focuses on all aspects of the human experience that aren't job-related.

    The program includes:

    • Life coaching
    • Fitness
    • Money management
    • Social clubs
    • Volunteering
    • Discovery sessions

    We want to inspire a more engaged team who are healthier, happier, and more connected.

  • Volunteering opportunities. Our Impact program enables you to do good outside the classroom and contribute to a better planet. You could join our Impact Volunteer program, where we partner with international NGOs and provide online mentoring to children in need.

The Bottom Line:

Teaching English online is a financially viable career option, and also allows you to choose your work schedule, hours, and place from where you want to teach your students worldwide. Finding a teaching position is quick and easy with The Really Great Teacher Company. Once you join this community of passionate teachers, you will also reap the benefits of the personal and professional development programs they offer all their teachers.