When I first started writing about online tutoring back in 2019, it was already a rapidly growing area. Tutors were able to work from home, with no travel time and it allowed students to learn when and where they wanted.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, online tutoring has proven to be vital in delivering education. Many home tutors have adapted quickly, using communication platforms such as Zoom, and now offer online tutoring in addition to home tutoring. Many teachers have become tutors and, as well as allowing them to continue doing what they enjoy, it puts them in control. It allows them to set their own work hours and choose how many students they teach.
Here are some links and experiences that may be of use if you want to learn more about this.
How to become an Online Tutor
This How To Become An Online Tutor link includes a section on “How to Find Online Tutoring Jobs”. An online tutor commented about this in the Thinking of Leaving Teaching Group. She agreed there were lots of interesting and useful hints for someone looking at going into online tutoring. However, she took issue with one of the points, which was that online tutors genuinely charge less that face-to-face.
Her experience and that of other online tutors she has communicated with through online groups is that the planning for online tuition takes just as long, if not longer than that for face-to-face, so they charge the same rate. Her advice, after reading the article was:
“Don’t sell yourself short if you’re starting a business now! (Especially with the figures quoted in the article, suggesting a reduction from £35 to £25 / hour – that’s a massive and ridiculous reduction!)”
This National Careers Service link gives information about the following:
- Entry requirements
- Skills required
- What you’ll do
- Working hours, patterns and environment
- Career path and progression
Online teaching opportunities
Many teachers seem to be interested in teaching English online. This blog from Teachaway, called 8 amazing companies that let you teach English online from home, gives advice about what you need to have before you apply to do it. It also has what they consider to be the best online teaching opportunities.
The following sites have also been recommended by others:
Intaeducate – This has been recommended as a good starting point by someone who posted on my Facebook page.
Cambly – This has been recommended if it’s English language you want to teach.
Lauren’s experience of Online Tutoring
“Apologies for this long post, but I just wanted to share a few things with you all. So I took the plunge and left the primary school setting. I started at a new school in December last year and wasn’t there for very long. The class I was given were very difficult. Despite trying everything I could to get the behaviour on track, nothing worked and I spent the majority of lessons keeping on top of behaviour issues and not a lot of time actually teaching. I was so embarrassed and felt like I let myself down being an experienced teacher.
It was only when I told SLT that I wanted to leave that they decided to pop into my classroom to watch my lessons… And I mean every lesson of every day. Not once did they ask me what they could do to support me. I knew I had to go ASAP so I handed my notice in and had to get signed off work with stress. That’s when I knew I had to try something new. I looked into tutoring online during lockdown and managed to get some part time hours teaching on Zoom.
Now I’ve started working for a company who teach the British curriculum to students in China. I don’t have to plan lessons and I teach small groups. I think it is the best decision I’ve made in a long time and I think it will be something I stick to long-term. The reason I am sharing this is because I’m seeing more and more online tutoring opportunities being advertised and it can be something you can turn into a full time job. Don’t be afraid to take that step if tutoring is something you want to pursue.”
*UPDATE – Following a lot of interest, Lauren informed me that the company she works for is called Jinstar Limited, and that she found the advert on Indeed. She said they’re not recruiting at the moment (as of 25th July 2020) but that it’s worth taking a look at their website.Lauren, who posted on my Thinking of Leaving Teaching Facebook page.
Elaine’s experience of Online Tutoring
“I have been asked by this page to explain a little further about my job as an online tutor due to the amount of interest in it. Firstly, please understand this is my own experience, I am not a salesperson and just commented to help someone who was asking for suggestions! After leaving full time teaching in 2013, I chose to be a supply teacher. I did this until early this year. I did mainly emergency cover because I found once I took on longer contracts it was straight back to all the planning/assessing/parent’s evenings etc.
“Last year one of my friends asked if I had heard of online English teaching. I hadn’t and she sent me the details. I was very interested in what I heard, I completed the TEFL qualification over the summer holidays last year and started tutoring in October 2018. At first I was still doing supply as I gained confidence (mainly with the technology). However, I found I really enjoyed it and took the plunge in February to go self-employed and now work online pretty much full time.
The company I work for is called Itutorgroup. There are many other companies out there that employ online English teachers, but this is the one I work for. Some teachers work for several but I prefer to stick with the one. (I was the same as a supply teacher to be honest). I got the position through a recruiter. The recruiter was Comfort Education As far as I am aware, they still recruit for ITutor. You can also apply direct to ITutorgroup (http://www.itutorgroup.com/).
You will need a Bachelor’s Degree and a TEFL qualification. I did not do an expensive qualification, I obtained mine from Oplex Careers. I think I paid about £30 for it. It was an online course, I found it pretty interesting and not at all difficult. The company accepted it without issue. I believe there are other places you can use to gain this qualification as well. I am not going to be commenting further on this. I hope I have covered everything. I am very happy doing this job, I enjoy teaching Asian children, I don’t mind the fact there is a time difference (they are 8 or 7 hours ahead depending on our clocks!). The flexibility, the fact there is no commute, and the ability to work 7 days a week, all year round if you should wish to do so (I don’t!) makes up for it.”Elaine, who posted on my Thinking of Leaving Teaching Facebook page.
If you’re thinking of leaving teaching then the Thinking of Leaving Teaching Group might be a good place to get some ideas. It is a safe place for people to ask for help and advice, discuss topics and share opinions about jobs you can do if you leave teaching.