Dear Teachers! Today we would like to share a guest post that we did with Language Corps back in the summer. This was a piece written by co-founder of Off2Class, James Heywood. He speaks about the importance of teaching private ESL lessons while working abroad…to make money online when you return.
A bit of background information on James…
After an overland trip from Southeast Asia to Turkey, James fell in love with Istanbul, and soon after decided to call it his new home. To support himself, he gave ESL teaching a try and eventually was teaching enough private ESL lessons to quit his day job at his private school. Today, James wants to give other ESL teachers going abroad some useful advice: save your contacts so you can teach ESL online when you get home!
Teaching private ESL lessons can be lucrative while abroad… and when you move on
Teaching private ESL lessons is a great way to supplement your day-job income from your school or language institute. Many students (and their parents) are willing to pay a premium rate for an ESL teacher with whom they have a personal relationship. While teaching ESL abroad, you will be in a great position to pick up private lessons. Of course, it’s not a good idea to teach your day-job students on a private basis. But regardless, in your current employment you will be exposed to plenty of parents and other contacts that are looking for a private tutor. Do not let these opportunities go! Actually, if there is a single piece of advice to offer ESL teachers who are abroad or intend to be, it is this: save each and every contact detail you have about your current students, and if you teach young learners, establish a relationship with their parents too.
If one day you want to pick up and move on from the current place you call home, you can take your students with you through online teaching. The greatest challenge to all new private teachers (especially online teachers) is to find students, yet the task is so much easier when you have a bank of contacts to begin with. Save every detail. You will not regret it!
In my experience, once I had built a strong rapport with students and parents, the requests for private tuition started to roll in. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of teaching in Turkey was to learn just how much developing economies pour money into education. Where national school systems may fall down in some areas, parents are ready and willing to spend considerable amounts of money to ensure their children develop high proficiency in the English language.
Online teaching is a great way to transport your ESL students once you leave…
In my case, the grind of moving from one private lesson to another in a city the size of Istanbul eventually started to wear me down. It was time to teach online. At the beginning of 2013, I stopped face-to-face lessons, set up a simple website and began moving my current students online. I highly recommend trying online ESL teaching to all ESL teachers running private lessons/tutorials. Even if you have no plans of moving from your current home abroad, you should still give online teaching a try to get comfortable with the format. During summer vacation you’ll still be able to teach your private students, as they move to summer homes or to vacations in other places.