teach english online

Earn a Side Hustle Income by Teaching English Online - Alumni Q&A with Mike Crescitelli

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What is your citizenship?

I am a US citizen.

What city and state are you from?

Sarasota, Florida.

What city and state within the USA do you teach English online from?

Fort Myers, Florida.

How old are you?

26 years old.

What is your educational level and background?

BA in Communications from Florida Gulf Coast University and TEFL certified by the International TEFL Academy.

Have you traveled abroad in the past? If so, where have you been?

Yes, I backpacked Europe for two months in the summer of 2016. I started in Iceland then went to Ireland, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, France and the n. I managed to visit around 32 cities in total.

Teach English in the Czech Republic

If you have studied abroad in the past, where did you study?

I have never studied abroad but I severely wish I had.

What sparked your interest in teaching English online?

I owe my entire passion for teaching English as a second language in general to my backpacking trek two years ago. I knew I wanted to keep traveling and I knew I had to find a way to communicate better with non-English speakers. Teaching English online was good preparatory work before my move abroad to teach full time. Although moving abroad will be an experience unlike any other, there is something sensational about sitting in my room in Florida and connecting with somebody in Tokyo.

What were some of your concerns before teaching English online?

My biggest concern was the engagement with the student. I was worried I would only land students with low enthusiasm but what I’ve engaged in has been the complete opposite. All the lessons I have given have been with extremely focused and considerate students.



Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?

I wanted to find a way I could continue my traveling while creating a way to afford it. Being TEFL certified grants me a greater chance of finding work and giving my lessons legitimate credibility. International TEFL Academy has a great reputation and the advisor I was contacted by was extremely transparent and considerate.

Which TEFL certification course did you take? 

I took the online TEFL course.

How did you like the online course?

I enjoyed the course. My course instructor was very communicative and was always available for contact.

How has your TEFL training helped you with teaching English online?

The TEFL training helped with teaching English online firstly by suggesting reputable companies to work with and secondly, I had taken my course online so a lot of my material and training was easily transferable.


How did you learn about teaching English online?

I honestly only learned about teaching English online once I began the TEFL course. My initial understanding was that teaching English was strictly done in a brick and mortar school.

Why did you decide to teach english online as a side hustle?

Teaching English online as a side hustle is appealing to me for two reasons. One, it is extra income, which I put towards saving for the second reason; moving abroad to immerse myself in a foreign culture in a physical classroom. Teaching English online has provided me with sufficient experience that is grooming me for my assignment in an actual school.

What do you do when you're not teaching English online?

I have about four part time jobs. I was working full time in the service industry but that has ended as I am now pursuing ESL full time in Thailand. On the side I teach English, am a published children’s author and I also repurpose and sell wooden furniture.

[Hot Tip] Want to compare different online ESL employers and their peak teaching hours with U.S. time conversions? Download our Teach English Online Employer Comparison Chart!

What are the benefits of teaching English online as a side hustle?

It all really depends on why you want to teach ESL in the first place. For me, teaching ESL online provides a connection with people half the world away. Plus, I am able to set my own own hours, rates and lesson materials which provides me with a lifestyle that never feels like I’m working.

Which company do you teach English online with?

I teach with SkimaTalk.

Please outline and specific requirements to teach english online with SkimaTalk?

The main requirement is the teacher must be a native English speaker but that it is a pretty ubiquitous requirement amongst online companies. Being certified or having prior experience wasn’t required but they were preferred.

Teach English Online as a side hustle

Briefly explain the SkimaTalk application and interview process.

It was quick, almost immediate. I filled out their simple application and submitted my TEFL certification and within six hours I received an e-mail informing me I was hired.

Is there a minimum number of hours you have to work per week/month or is scheduling completely flexible and up to you?

Scheduling is completely flexible and up to me.

How many hours a week do you teach English online?

I teach about 12-18 hours per week.

What do you love about teaching English online as a side hustle with SkimaTalk?    

The flexibility of the hours and there are student options for the lesson type. What that means is, the students book me and they select the lesson type; free conversation, essay writing or reading assessments.

Lots of teach English online companies have students based in Asia. How do you make the vast difference in time zones between Asia and the USA work for you?

It’s an adjustment, for sure. Some mornings I have to wake myself for a 5 a.m. lesson and other times I am awake until midnight and beyond. Morning classes I usually open my bookings for 5-11 am and evenings 6 p.m.-midnight.

Teaching English Online from the USA

How much do typically make from teaching English online as a side-hustle?

A lot of it depends on the schedule in Asia. For example, during Chinese New Year I was hardly booked at all. All in all, with my busy schedule outside of teaching online, I make around $120 a month.

What do you use your side hustle earnings for?

Savings for travel and student loans.


What advice would you give someone planning or considering to teach English online? 

I would suggest it to anybody who is curious about testing the waters of teaching abroad in real classrooms. Do the research first because the certification isn’t free but if you are someone who loves to travel, you can take your certification on the road with you and teach while backpacking or traveling!

[Hot Tip] Want to compare different online ESL employers and their peak teaching hours with U.S. time conversions? Download our Teach English Online Employer Comparison Chart!

Would you recommend teaching English online as a side hustle?


Finish this sentence: You should teach English online as a side hustle if you…

... Want to connect with the world outside of your home, earn money to travel and expand on your teaching capabilities that may translate into something larger.



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