Working from Home with TEFL in 2024

Working from home is something of a marmite topic. Some people simply love working from home, while others were forced to work from home during the pandemic. I hated it and couldn’t wait to get back to the office. If you were someone who absolutely adored working from home and is desperately trying to get back there once more, you might want to consider teaching English as a foreign language online. It is the perfect remote gig; you can set your own hours, Work from the comfort of your own home, and enjoy earning money without leaving the house. Pyjamas are optional!

Why Teach English Online?

One of the main reasons why teaching English online is a great way to work from home is that this is a relatively new but booming industry. People have come around to the idea of doing a lot more online, and being able to offer flexibility in learning has made it accessible for a lot more people. It is possible to teach students on a one-to-one basis or, of course, in classroom groups. This brings down overheads because a classroom is not needed.  Takes away the inconvenience of travelling, and it gives teachers a break from some classroom preparation, as a lot of what you do will be discussion-based learning.

It also looks like online learning will continue to grow and become pretty normal in the future. The same can be said for working from home. The world has changed, and people prefer convenience and have discovered that the Internet has much to offer. This can be especially useful if you are starting your TEFL teaching journey as a side hustle. Your students can be in many different time zones, and this can actually be very beneficial. You can find Work at any time of the day, meaning you can teach evenings and weekends without impacting your current day job.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Teach English at Home

The bottom line is you probably don’t need any qualifications to teach English from home. However, there is a big negative in not being qualified. First of all, it will be very hard to find work, and some tutor companies employ unqualified teachers; they also pay much less than the national minimum wage an hour. If you want to make a serious effort to teach English online as a foreign language, you need the same requirements as any TEFL teacher. It’s also important that you are genuinely improving the English skills of your pupils. If you have no background in teaching and do not undertake any further training, it’s unlikely that you will be appropriately equipped to help people learn English. You need to have an accredited TEFL certification as this demonstrates that you have met the required learning as laid down by external bodies and that your teachers, people like us, have delivered a curriculum designed to meet all of the criteria for each specific course. 

Our courses cover every aspect of teaching lessons, imparting grammar correctly, controlling your students in the classroom, keeping lessons engaging and fun while still delivering results and learning how to differentiate your lesson plans to make sure that all students can keep up and learn in a way that suits them best. That sounds like a lot, right? This is why you need a qualification to make a successful career out of teaching English from home. You will see there are plenty of different courses on offer, but the industry standard is the 120- or 180-hour course. Both of these will equip you with everything you need to teach English online. Of course, you could always use your qualifications to teach English abroad in later life. If you do not choose to study with us, you must understand that your course’s accreditation is vital. You may, from time to time, see very cheap offers, and you do need to make sure that this includes an accredited course. More often than not, courses are offered at low prices. Compared to most providers, there is a catch, which tends to be that you do not get the accreditation. An unaccredited course can mean employers do not recognise your talent and will not employ you.

What Else Do You Need?

Although your classroom is online, you need a quiet area of the home where you will not be disturbed by children, spouses or even pets. It’s not very professional if you compete with children playing in the background, the television blaring, or dogs barking at the door. You need to take it as seriously as any job and create a desk and workspace for yourself. If you are the only person at home during the working day, that’s great, but many people begin their TEFL career teaching English at home during the evenings as a side hustle. In this case, having a quiet area dedicated to your students is even more important.

You need to have a stable Internet connection because there’s nothing worse than a tutor stuttering and spluttering because their Internet connection is glitching. There needs to be a clear connection between you and your students so that you can hear every word they say and vice versa. Most lessons will be taught using something like Zoom or Skype. Some online English schools have proprietary platforms, but fundamentally, they’re all quite similar. They create an audio and visual link between students and teachers, enabling you to work together as if you were in the same room. We also can recommend trying to teach English online using a mobile phone or even, realistically, a tablet. You need a large enough screen to see your pupils and potentially access resources while you are talking to them. We recommend a desktop or laptop as a bare minimum, and to cut down on background noise and distractions, a headset and microphone should also form part of your set-up.

Teach Online

How to Find Work from Home

When it comes to finding work, you have two main choices. There are a lot of companies online that operate language schools and are looking for qualified TEFL tutors. Regarding the other staff requirements, you need to check out what other qualifications you might need. In some cases, a degree is required, and others need you to have English as a native language. If you meet the requirements, applying as you would for any other job is your best plan. You will also find that schools offer different lessons; for example, some target adult learners, whereas others prefer to work with children. If you have a preference for your students, then you should also look at this as a criterion when deciding where to apply.

Many online language schools will let you work with no experience, and you would look for somewhere that offers pre-prepared lesson plans. Not only will this make your life a lot easier when you are just starting out, but it gives you some great reference material that you can adapt in the future. You must demonstrate that you can be punctual, reliable, and work well with others. Salaries tend to vary, and some do seem quite low, but bear in mind that you are now self-employed, and the longer you work with a company, the more chance you have of earning your way to a higher reward.

Start Your Own Business

The other option is starting your own business, but this can be harder. Finding clients can be quite hit-and-miss while you are just getting started. Clients can be sourced from a range of locations; your local area could be a good place to start because even though you are primarily teaching from home, there is nothing to stop you from doing this face-to-face. Even if pupils are based in your local area, there is nothing to stop you from teaching them online, as many students prefer this learning method. You may find it easier to begin your teaching career by working for one of the online language schools to get some experience and build your own confidence.

Any business that you run yourself requires a level of marketing. You will need to devise a strategy for promoting yourself. Social media often has local groups as well as specific English language groups. You need to ensure that advertising is allowed within the group’s rules, but nothing can stop you from getting your name out there. You may also want to consider having a website for people to see lots of information about your teaching style, work, and fees. This is also a great place to list your student’s feedback about your teaching methods and success. If you are looking for students in the local area, consider a leaflet drop or targeting local schools to see if there is any demand for extra English tuition if they have students who do not have English as a first language.

Business English is a popular course with students. In this case, your class will predominantly consist of adult learners looking to either move to the UK to work or enhance their opportunities at work by taking part in global business, predominantly in English. You can always do an extra course focused on business to ensure you understand the skills involved and what the students will be looking for. 

Remember that if you are self-employed, you must also register with the government and complete an annual tax return detailing how much money you have earned. They will calculate the amount of tax and national insurance you owe. It’s always a good habit to put away money each month in lieu of having a PAYE job where this is taken at source for you. Failing to report income, no matter how small, is an offence, and you could get into a lot of trouble. If you start teaching English online from home as a side hustle, you should still report everything you earn from this new venture. When you complete your self-assessment tax return, you enter the details provided by your employer on your P60, and this enables the government to calculate whether you owe any extra tax on the money you have earned as a self-employed part-time worker.

Sell Yourself 

Regardless of whether you are hoping to find work with an online TEFL school or whether you hope to be fully self-employed, your CV is a vital tool for showcasing your skills. If this is a change in employment, you must re-tool your CV to represent your new skills accurately. There are also skills you may have learned in other jobs that can successfully transfer over, and it’s up to you to find them and highlight them. Certainly, any job you apply for online will require a CV and a cover letter. Preparing these in advance means you do not have to panic about deadlines. Covering letters should be individual and personalised for the employer, but you can have a standard base that you repeat each time. Just remember to change the key details to the relevant job you are applying for.

The bottom line is that working from home can be a very satisfying way to bring in income, whether you use it as your main work or as a side hustle. As long as you prepare well and learn how to sell yourself, finding work as an English teacher online should be relatively straightforward, and the more experience you gain, the easier it will be to find higher-paying jobs.



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