Thanks to technology, people are turning their backs to typical jobs with rigid hours and are choosing gigs that offer flexibility and freedom in terms of schedule and workload. And one of the most popular remote jobs right now is being an online teacher.
In a nutshell, online teachers help students and professionals—from different parts of the world—get good grades in school, advance in their careers, prepare for an exam, or just become more well-rounded individuals.
Perhaps you’ve already heard countless stories about how rewarding it is to be an online tutor but, how do you become one? In this article, we’ll give you a practical guide to becoming a full-fledged online teacher. Read on to find out how to launch your online teaching career!
How to Become an Online Teacher
1. Consider getting a teaching license.
In general, becoming an online teacher requires you to obtain either a bachelor’s degree in Education or a postgraduate certificate in teaching. For example, if you want to teach Chemistry to high school students, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and then get a teacher’s license.
It’s a bit different, however, if you’re planning to teach ESL or a foreign language. In that case, you don’t need a teacher’s certificate nor do you need to earn a language degree. In some cases, even those who have not finished college are eligible to teach language.
So, what do you need? You might want to get a TEFL/TESOL or a foreign language teaching certification. Though it’s not a requirement when you apply to work for Preply.com or other premier platforms, a certificate is good proof of your qualifications.
Additionally, the process of getting a certification will teach you the ins and outs of language teaching, lesson planning, and many more. You are most likely to develop the skills that you need to succeed in your line of job.
2. Sharpen your social skills.
Social skills, more commonly referred to as interpersonal skills, are associated with the way you interact with other people. As an online teacher, having strong social skills is essential, for obvious reasons.
There are various social skills you need to improve on—communication, empathy, and listening. Let’s go over these skills one by one.
Online teaching requires constant communication with students. Hence, you always want to get your message across clearly and efficiently, may it be verbally or in writing. Practicing effective communication ensures that you maximize everyone’s time and resources.
Part of being a good online teacher is knowing how to demonstrate empathy for others. Keep in mind that people have different learning curves, which means you have to extend your patience and understand where each one is coming from.
If one student finds it hard to keep up with your lessons, for example, it’s your responsibility to respond with compassion. After all, you don’t want them to feel demotivated and discouraged about their progress.
Listening is one of the most important interpersonal skills of an online teacher. While expressing your ideas in a crystal clear way is a must, you also need to learn how to thoughtfully listen to your students. This allows you to get to know their needs better.
Apart from that, listening to your students makes them feel valued and respected, which is important if you are trying to build a reputation for your prospective clients.
3. Gain teaching experience.
All online teachers have to start somewhere, and you are no exception to that. We understand that it’s daunting, but every journey is! It takes some time, but once you get the hang of it, online teaching will be a breeze.
To officially launch your career, you can start by teaching a few students you know over the summer. It can be a relative, a friend, or just a mere acquaintance. From there, the word can spread like wildfire, so have them recommend you to other learners.
Next, you can start applying to language learning platforms (suppose you want to teach ESL or a foreign language). Just hand in your application and be ready to showcase your skillset!
If you’re in need of some help, there are plenty of resources you can check out on the internet. Fortunately, the world wide web is rife with lesson plans, worksheets, and game ideas to help you conduct your tutoring sessions. Find the ones that suit your teaching style.
How Much is the Salary of an Online Teacher?
Contrary to popular belief, online teaching is a very lucrative career. In fact, it’s one of the highest-paid remote jobs nowadays. An online teacher can expect to make around $27,000 – $53,558 a year—that’s roughly around $20 per hour or more if you spend at least forty hours a week teaching.