Hello fellow foreign language teachers!
This post is for those, who would like to start teaching on-line. I will tell you about my personal experience and give some tips how to start.
I have been teaching for 10 years and 6 of them on-line, self-employed. And teaching on-line is my main and the only one job (teaching languages and help teachers with their professional development).
When I began teaching, my first clients were my friends. Every day I used to tell everyone, that I offered private lessons. 6 years ago I had a student, who travelled often and in order not to miss classes, I put up classes via Skype. This is how it all started for me. At that point, I realized that it would be cool to be more independent and flexible with my location. So started giving online lessons, told all my students that there was an option to study on-line and not to miss the classes because of business trips or vocations.
15 first steps how to begin teaching on-line:
- Tell all your friends about it (in person, or on-line, or write on social media a post about it)
- Find groups/communities, where people look for teachers on-line
- Find groups/communities, where people learn English (answer their questions, make them feel that you are an expert in teaching)
- Say, you choose Facebook as a platform to show your target audience that you are an expert and people should choose you over other teachers.
- Make sure that people will see at once who you are, i.e. write info about yourself and make it visible for those, who are not friends with you yet.
- On and off write posts that you offer on-line lessons
- Write posts, which identify you as a professional.
- Create a business page, which you could dedicate to your teaching. And invite people to your page.
- It is a good idea to record your samples of lessons and upload them on Youtube.
- If you teach for different age groups, make different videos (5-10 min) for each age group. Or if you teach general English, Legal English, prepare for IELTS etc. Make each video for each. They do not have to be professional and I do not encourage you to pay someone for it (especially when you start), just ask a friend to help you to record with a phone. Personally I, use my mobile to record and then I just upload. That’s it.
- Write a post on Facebook, to tell everybody that they can watch a video.
- When I began teaching, I offered a free lesson (60 mins) for others to see and to feel how it is. Now I give only 20-30 mins first free lessons. As some people say that they did not have in mind learning a language, because it was expensive. So I have decided to reduce the first free lessons.
- To have awesome posts I use a free version of canva.com, where I make all my ads.
- Getting splendid equipment for on-line teaching (camera, microphone, and headphones) is significant!
- When you teach on-line, suggest your students to bring with them a cup of tea, coffee or water. It will make a lesson more friendly.
- For tête-à-tête lessons I use Skype, but if I teach a group, I use Google Hangouts.
- Give free webinars with tips how to learn a language.
- Be patient with yourself!
And remember: Rome was not built in a day