Although online English teaching has been around for several years its popularity has really gone through the roof since the COVID-19 pandemic turned most people’s lives upside down. With international travel restrictions in place across the world, many teachers who would otherwise be living and working overseas have had to seek alternative employment via online teaching platforms. Now that things are slowly returning to normal, many TESOL qualified teachers will start to head off to far flung corners of the world. However, many others will choose to stay working online as it is easy to get used to the convenience and stability that this type of work can bring.
Do online TESOL teachers work from home?
Because of the pandemic most online TESOL teachers have been working from their own homes in recent times, either from a separate office, bedroom, kitchen table, or even the garden. The bottom line is that it is entirely possible to teach English online from any environment, as long as it is relatively quiet and you have access to a stable internet connection. During times of lockdown, being able to work from home was a huge boost for many teachers, both financially and on a mental health basis. Even before the upheaval caused by COVID, thousands of TESOL qualified teachers happily made a good income from this type of teaching as it can be fitted in comfortably no matter what your other commitments may be, such as family, study, or other side jobs.
What do I need to become an online TESOL teacher?
The wide popularity of online English teaching is largely down to the fact that it is typically very easy to get started and it is generally open to almost anyone. From a technical point of view, all that is needed is a PC or laptop, headphones and a microphone, and reliable internet access.
During the job application process for online teaching jobs the prospective employer will probably want to run an internet speed test on your set up to make sure that it is up to scratch. As you can imagine, your future students will be less than pleased if your connection keeps dropping off while they are trying to learn. Depending on the employer you work for, you will also need communication software such as Zoom or Skype, although some companies actually use their own in-house platform. You can find out the details of this during your interview.
Apart from these straightforward technical requirements, the other main thing that most online employers look for is an internationally recognized TESOL qualification. A regular 100 or 120-hour TESOL course is usually enough to provide all the basic knowledge you need to get started teaching English online. However, if online teaching is something that you are really serious about and would like to explore fully, we would recommend you also take an additional specialized course that focuses on the specific requirements of a virtual classroom environment.
Take a look at our 170-hour TESOL certificate course with online specialization as it has everything you need to get your online teaching career off the ground.
Can I teach English online from anywhere else?
For many people the big attraction of online teaching is being able to work from home, however, there are other options out there. It is also common for TESOL qualified teachers to work online from a single destination overseas or while traveling from place to place. All you need to make it happen is access to good internet, whether in your accommodation, or via a coffee shop, hotel lobby, or any other you can find. This level of freedom is very appealing to many TESOL graduates, although you will still be expected to approach the job in a professional manner. If your attendance is unreliable or your daily office turns out to be the local beach in shorts and t-shirt, your employer will probably pull the plug sooner rather than later. The competition for the best paid online teaching jobs is very high, so anyone who fails to maintain a high standard will soon fall by the wayside.
The ‘Teaching English Online’ section of our FAQ Page is a good place to find additional information regarding all avenues of teaching English in a virtual world. You will also find more information on our online TEFL course options page.