Online teaching positions are normally flexible short-term opportunities with around 15-20 hours of teaching a week. Teaching online means you have the flexibility to teach wherever you are in the world – from the comfort of home or in an exotic faraway land! It’s also a lot easier to set your own schedule and fit your teaching hours around your lifestyle. Online teaching roles are aimed mainly at teaching young learners via an online interactive learning platform. But there are opportunities to tutor adults, too.
Teaching Online: Where to find employment opportunities
Online teaching has taken off massively in the past few years. When the world was going through a time when nobody could attend their classes and continue learning, the solution was to take education online. Teachers quickly learnt how to use different teaching programmes and adapt their methods to a new online environment. Students got used to turning microphones on and off (although some still struggle to do this at times!). Although many countries have gone back to traditional classroom learning and many TEFL jobs can be found here, there continues to be a big demand for online English teachers as some students continue their learning in this way.
Why are online classes so popular?
-Students realised that teaching English online learning worked well for them! They find the classes to be more flexible in terms of schedule. It’s much easier for someone who works a full-time job to fit in a class early before work or later in the evening- and they don’t have to spend a lot of time travelling to a class! Students will be more motivated the easier it is to attend the classes, so online learning works perfectly for many people worldwide who need flexibility and ease when arranging their lessons to fit in with other commitments they have.
-Students have access to a big pool of teachers. Maybe a student wants to learn with a particular teacher they have seen online or practise a particular accent if they plan to move to an Anglophone country and get used to the local twang. In this way, they can select the teacher they want with no geographical limitations, and they may have access to a different way of learning that wasn’t possible before.
-Online learning can truly be fun! Nowadays, many people use technology for everything- so why not for their English classes? Many resources and programmes can make the lessons fun for everyone; it doesn’t have to be just talking at the screen (although it can be if that’s what the student wants!) Online teaching and learning can be interactive and engaging for both teacher and student.
What are the benefits for you as a teacher?
-You can choose your own schedule depending on learners’ needs and availability. The beauty of online teaching is that you can reach many different time zones. So if you want to work mornings or evenings, or both, this is much more possible! You open the hour slots you want to teach on many teaching platforms- it’s as simple as that. However, you may want to pay attention to your company’s peak hours and whether you can benefit from this.
-You get to meet some great students! Online teaching connects you with the world. If you’re interested in meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures, online teaching can be a great way! In one class, you can have a mix of nationalities and have some interesting classes where students share stories or facts about life in their own countries.
-You can teach online from anywhere! As long as you have a good internet connection, a working laptop and a decent microphone/ camera set-up, you can teach from anywhere. If you’re passionate about both travel and TEFL, then online teaching is a great opportunity to travel the world whilst earning on the go!
Where can I find an online TEFL job?
Of course, the best place to find online TEFL jobs is…online! There are a few different ways to come across some great job opportunities for teaching English online. Most jobs will invite you to an online interview if they like the look of your CV and cover letter. You might have to teach a demo lesson for them. Although this depends on the company! Before you start the job hunt, make sure you have an updated CV prepared. When interviewing, ensure you have a stable internet connection and a good camera and microphone. If you don’t interview showing you have the right teaching equipment set up. Your potential employer may think that you’re not equipped to do the job!
Listings on job websites
All the usual websites for finding TEFL jobs now also list vacancies for online teaching! Here are some useful sites you can check out and apply for online teaching jobs to kickstart your remote TEFL career:
TEFL.com– this is the number one job website for TEFL (for both classroom and online teaching). A lot of companies advertise here, and it is updated regularly. You can select the category “online” to find the latest positions for online teaching. You apply via the site and can fill out a standard application to apply for multiple roles but don’t forget to create a unique cover letter for each position you apply for! An employer can tell straight away if you’ve copied and pasted the same cover letter and will immediately lose interest in your application.
Indeed (.co.Uk, .com)- This website is a general job website, but you can narrow your search with “TEFL online” or “English Teacher online”. Once you search for this, you can also click “remote” and find all the online listings with salary and duties involved listed. You can also create a CV on this website which will be used automatically when you want to apply for a job, or often you can find the company’s email on the job advert.
ESLbase.com– Another database of online and offline jobs. Most job adverts here will provide a contact email address and requirements so you can email the company or employer directly with your application.
Perhaps you have already moved abroad for a TEFL job but would like to find some online work on the side of your main job. Many local language academies offer online classes to keep up with the popularity of the online teaching climate. Hence, it’s worth sending your CV to them or checking their websites to see if they need a teacher to cover online classes. They will likely recruit around September and will unlikely have full-time positions, but you might find a few hours if you’re looking to top up your regular job.
Nowadays, the world is obsessed with social media. If you can learn a recipe online, why can’t you find a job vacancy online? Facebook is a great place to find daily listings- you need to find the right group to join. Try joining TEFL groups (online TEFL ones, TEFL worldwide, country-specific groups for English teachers etc.), and you will see some listings pop up from recruiters and schools. Remember that these jobs are often not vetted by the group admins. Anyone can post anything, so you need to do your own research before responding or taking a job with anyone who advertises this way.
You can do a google search, check the reputation or set-up of the company on more social media networks or even pay attention to the comment section on Facebook to get an idea of how legit and reputable the advertisement is. If the advert is not legit, people are likely to leave comments on the post warning others to stay away. Make sure you read the post carefully and follow the application instructions. If they ask you not to direct message but to email them instead, don’t be one of the many people who still direct message and get left on reading!
Going directly to the company’s website
If you already know an online TEFL company you would like to work for. You can head directly to their website to see if they have any openings. Most companies will have ongoing recruitment and take applications all year round. You can apply anytime you want. If the company isn’t actively recruiting at that time. They may not reply but will keep your application on file for future recruitment.
Don’t be surprised if you receive an email months later. Inviting you to attend an interview for them. (maybe at a time when you’re not even looking for a job anymore!). If you don’t get a reply around the time you make your original application. But hear on the grapevine from other teachers that they are recruiting a few months later. It doesn’t hurt to make the application again for them to get a fresh look at it.
Teaching online can open up a world of opportunities for you. In terms of flexibility, travel and new cultures. There are many job positions advertised daily for online teaching. Find the right one for you by crafting your application carefully. Stand out amongst the many that big companies receive. It will be best to take the time and apply for anything and everything you like the look of.
It’s not unusual for teachers to combine working with different companies based in different time zones to make up extra hours. The beauty of online teaching is that you can design your own working schedule this way. If you make several applications, you will have more of a chance of getting an online job and, hopefully, have your pick of jobs to take or mix and match to suit your needs!
Most online TEFL companies will ask for a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training and teaching practice. Some online companies may ask their teachers to also have a bachelor’s degree. This is particularly true for Chinese companies, as it’s a government regulation (no matter where you are living).
You will more than likely need high-speed internet, a computer with an HD webcam and a headset if you want to teach online. If you have the choice of a video calling platform for your online lessons, Zoom is a good choice. It gives you a clear view of your students. You can also share your screen and create separate rooms for group work in lessons.
If you have no experience in teaching online, a good idea is to get some teaching practice in as employers may ask for “experience” hours, which are unpaid. You can alternatively complete our 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course, which has a section focused on teaching English online.
You can add our 30 Hour Teaching English Online Course to any primary course to boost your knowledge and skills. The teaching English online course is a huge benefit because it prepares you to enter the online tutoring world – and looks great on a CV, too!
Then there’s our Professional Online Expert Course. This is a specialised online teacher qualification that gives you the skillset and the confidence to hit the ground running. This package includes the 120 Hour Advanced TEFL Course, 30 Hour Teaching English Online and the 30 Hour Teaching Young Learners to give you an edge in a competitive market.