There was a time, before the advent of online teaching, where if you wanted to be a teacher, you had to choose a city in which to settle, find a school to apply to, and hope that job openings were available. If hired, you would spend a long time teaching at this school - perhaps even your entire career. Many important teaching considerations would be out of your control - things like the amount of time you spent teaching, the school’s teaching methodology, and the school’s mission and style.
Those days have gone. With the rise of the internet and emergence of online teaching platforms, you can now teach students all over the world, at any time of day, for as long as you want. You just need a computer and an internet connection and you are ready to work from home.
For young teachers, it’s often difficult to find local job opportunities. Here are some top tips for kick-starting your teaching career:
- Go online: The rise of online teaching is the biggest change happening in the world of education. The number of students seeking online teachers is rising fast. This trend has permeated education at all levels, from kindergarten to university. You are no longer restricted to teaching at your local school. You can teach any time, for as many hours as you want, from the comfort of your home.
- Get an ESL certification: There are many courses and certifications that can prepare you to embark on your online teaching career. You do not have to be restricted by your university level degree subject. Certifications like TEFL or CELTA are highly sought after by foreign institutions who are actively recruiting English language teachers.
- Mix your online experience with a foreign stint: Many international schools are willing to pay high expat level salaries for in-person teachers. If you have just finished college, want to take a gap year, or are bitten by the travel bug, you can intersperse your online teaching schedule with a year or two of teaching experience in a foreign country. Be careful to choose an established school. Good schools will typically cover your travel, boarding and visa expenses. For help, you can connect with reputable recruiters such as ISS.
- Look East: English is a global language. English fluency opens doors to high paying teaching jobs in many Asian countries, where learning English is considered aspirational. In our article “Look East” we explore the opportunities to teach English as a second language to young learners across Asia.