teach english online

5 Reasons Why Teaching English Online is The Best

Why do you want to work as an online ESL teacher? International TEFL Academy (ITA) graduate Nicola Rae shares her 5 reasons why with us.

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At the time I’m writing this, I’ve taught 951 classes of English online. What a joyful 951 classes it has been! As a child, I forced my sister to play school with me during the long hours of summer, writing the alphabet in rainbow chalk on our kid-sized green chalkboard. After college, I taught middle school science for three years with a much bigger green chalkboard and equally colorful chalk. My mother was a teacher, and her mother was a teacher, and her mother was a teacher.

So to say that I get joy from teaching English online should surprise no one. In this article, I'm going to list 5 reasons why I enjoy it so much. But first, let's address a few questions I get asked often.

The Benefits of Teaching English Online

Teaching English online provides a number of benefits, including convenience, accessibility, flexibility, the use of technology, and cost-effectiveness, which can make it an attractive option for students and teachers alike.

Why Teach English Online?

Teaching English online offers location independence, flexibility of schedule, and a multitude of opportunities to work one-on-one with students of all levels and backgrounds. You can also earn good pay while working from the safety and comfort of home.

Read more: How to teach English online in 5 steps

What is Teaching English Online Like?

Working from home, your commute will be next to nothing. You can wear more comfortable clothing (though you still need to look professional). Also, you can save money on lunch by making food in your own kitchen. When you're done with daily work, you're immediately free to start the rest of your day.

What Interests You About Online Teaching?

For me, there are several benefits to teaching English online, including:

  1. Individualized instruction

  2. Convenience

  3. Cost-effectiveness

  4. Flexibility

  5. You can work in your PJs

Let's dive into each of these benefits further:

1. Individualized Instruction

Teaching English online has given me a new kind of happiness.

With online teaching, you can offer customized, one-on-one instruction to each of your students, which can lead to more effective learning and better outcomes. I love making the lessons custom to the child and their growth is clear from class to class. The students are at home and in their comfort zone. They show off their toys, their pets, and their siblings.

I share my language and they share their culture. We both walk away wiser.

2. Convenience

My time is spent doing the best part of the job: Teaching.

I don’t have to spend time in faculty meetings, I don’t have a half-hour commute like I used to, I don’t have to clean up my classroom at the end of the day or compile reports or do school paperwork. Outside of the initial application process, the whole job is teaching.

Besides, online teaching eliminates the need for students to travel to a physical location, making it easier for them to fit education into their busy schedules.


3. Cost-Effectiveness

Teaching English online means complete location independence.

Online teaching eliminates many of the costs associated with traditional in-person teaching, such as transportation and materials. But the best part? I can work from anywhere I want. This means I’m free to follow cool house-sitting opportunities around Europe and the world, visit friends who live far away, or just travel someplace I’ve always wanted to go.

I also have the flexibility to go home. I won’t risk losing my job if I want to visit my family for a few weeks.


4. Flexibility

I get to choose my own schedule.

Online teaching allows you to set your own schedule and work from anywhere with a reliable internet connection.

If I am trying to save up money for a vacation, I can work way more than usual and make more money. If I want to take a few days or even a week off, I can do that without having to get approval. When my sister came to visit me in Belgium for Christmas, I could clear my schedule for the whole week - no questions asked. This depends on the company though.

My company, VIPKID, doesn’t have a minimum number of hours per week so you don’t have to request time off. Other companies with weekly minimums might have different procedures.

[Hot Tip]: VIPKid is just one of the hundreds of companies to teach English online with. For a list of more online ESL schools and their hiring requirements and procedures, check out our Teach English Online Employer Comparison Chart.


5. You Can Work in Your PJs

Did I mention that I get to work in pajama pants?

That’s right. I work from home and since the students can only see my head and shoulders, I work in the comfiest of comfy pants! The top 25% of my body should look professional and put together, but there is a lot of room for freedom in the pajama pant department.

Teaching English Online gives you the freedom to travel

Eventually, why you should teach English online is up to you. Teaching English online is a different approach to teaching abroad. For me, the students, flexibility, comfort, and freedom make it the perfect choice.

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