Work ennobles man, as the saying goes, but there’s no doubt that work is also very time consuming and often prevents people from living their best lives. This is particularly true when you have young children and you are forced to spend most of the day away from home.
Although you know that working is necessary to pay the bills, you can’t help but feel guilty for not spending much time with your kids: you know they grow up quickly, and you don’t want to miss those all-important childhood years.
Is there a solution? Perhaps. Is there a way of finding a compromise? Definitely. Nowadays, we live in a world where technology can give you flexibility, where you can choose when and where to work. Even better, you could even choose how much time to dedicate to your work.
But that’s not all. Technology can allow you to start your own business and even change careers altogether, between school runs and playdates. Granted there will be some teething problems and challenging times ahead but, as you might have heard before, no pain no gain.
The secret to success is, more often than not, due to thorough planning, just like when travelling with children and try the outdoors activity. It involves a lot of preparation beforehand to avoid and foresee potential issues, and it might not be plain sailing once you get to your destination.
However, despite the troubles and the stress, you know that allowing your children to explore new places and experience new adventures is definitely worth it.
Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) online is currently one of the most popular jobs for those who are looking to start a new career that offers flexibility and freedom.
You can retrain as an English language teacher and teach from the comfort of your own home or while travelling the world. Have you ever thought about what it would feel like teaching English from your apartment in Madrid?
What about planning your lessons while sitting on a beach in Thailand? Or perhaps you’d prefer the hectic life that a Chinese metropolis offers? If this option sounds interesting, have a look at this teaching english abroad salary that can help you.
Teaching English online
Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of teaching English online. Not only can you choose whether to work from home or while travelling, but you can also decide when to work. If you are a night owl, you could target students from the other side of the world; or you could schedule your lessons when your children are at school, or asleep.
Thanks to technology, you can reach every corner of the globe and every time zone at your convenience.
Another obvious advantage of teaching online is the money and time saved avoiding a daily commute. This is time and money that you can spend on your children and yourself, building a life that you all enjoy living.
Planning for online teaching
If you are serious about getting into online teaching, take your first step by making a plan of what you need, starting with your equipment.
You’ll need a reliable laptop with a high-resolution camera and plenty of memory space. It might be wise to invest in a good quality headset to block out external noise, especially if you can’t always guarantee quiet surroundings.
A pen drive is worth considering, in case you need to access your go-to lessons as a contingency plan. It’s cheap to buy but it can be extremely useful. Of course, you could invest in a professional microphone and camera, but that’s not necessary. You may set up a screen recorder on your laptop, which is quite beneficial while teaching online.
If you decide to teach while travelling, remember to book your accommodation based on your online teaching requirements. Choose a less busy area if you can but, most importantly, dedicate a corner of your home to your lessons. Ideally, it should be a quiet and well-lit room, with natural light if possible.
Otherwise, a few lamps carefully positioned will do the job.
Building an online teaching business
When it comes to setting up your online teaching business, you have two options: you can start from scratch and be completely independent or join some established online language schools that will allow you flexibility but not complete freedom. Let’s see the pros and cons of each option.
If you want to have complete freedom and independence, you must take into account the time and effort involved in the actual setting up and marketing of your business, as well as planning your lessons and teaching them.
You will have to start with a website and social media accounts to get yourself known and to start attracting some students. Then you need to consider various policies and contracts, methods of payment, and so on. If this is what gets your juices flowing, great – this is the path for you.
However, if you find this to be a little too much to handle, there is another way.
You might not want to get absorbed by the work needed behind the scenes of your business. Perhaps you’d rather plan, teach, and go. If that’s the case, there are many online schools that hire freelance teachers to teach through their portal.
They look after the admin and legal aspect of things, while you enjoy doing what you love: teaching! Every online school has different requirements, so be sure to compare them all before you commit to working with them.
Getting into TEFL teaching
If you decide that online teaching is the right career path for you, it is strongly recommended that you retrain as a teacher and get your TEFL certificate. This training can be done online, from the comfort of your own home at the times that suit you, so you can still spend some quality time with your children.
This course will give you the knowledge and structure needed to start teaching with confidence from your very first day.
If you are over 18 and are proficient in the English language you can enrol in a 120-hour TEFL course to start working as soon as possible. During the course you’ll develop your knowledge of the English language, you’ll learn about international learners, and you’ll practise planning lessons and creating materials for your classes.
This is the basic qualification required to start your TEFL journey that will give you more control of your life.
Ready for a change?
If you feel that you never have enough time for your children and are ready for a change in your life, teaching English online could be a gamechanger for you. Obtain your qualification studying online and take full advantage of technology while teaching online, earning money, and managing your time the way it suits you.