Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. The Tutor Resource is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program as well as other affiliate programs. These are designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites at no extra cost to you. Please see our full disclosure for more details.

Travel Teaching: Exploring the World of Online Education in 2024

Sharing is caring!

Wondering how you can have success travel teaching? You’re in the right place!

In this article, we highlight the best features of our podcast on this very topic as well as offer the podcast links for your listening enjoyment. So let’s jump in!

Don’t have time to listen right now?
listen on spotify 1
Watch Listen On Youtube
podcast apple logo

Show Notes

Podcast: The Global Classroom
Season: 1
Episode: #4 “Travel Teaching: Exploring the World of Online Education and Beyond”
Guest: Jamie Gajewski
Host: David Cole

Jamie Gajewski is an experienced ESL educator and the creative force behind ESL Teacher 365. Known for her innovative teaching techniques and passion for language education, Jamie has successfully empowered countless students to master English.

With a focus on immersive, practical learning experiences, she continues to make language learning accessible and enjoyable. Her dedication to student success has earned her recognition in the field of ESL education, making her a sought-after resource for students and fellow educators alike.

David Cole, a seasoned education professional with over 15 years of experience in coaching, curriculum development, and public speaking, brings his wealth of knowledge to “The Global Classroom” podcast.

With a track record of successfully designing over 170 ESL lessons and directing large-scale events like the 2023 Global Teaching Summit, he skillfully interviews online educators, sharing valuable tips, tools, and resources.

David’s passion for fostering collaborative engagement and driving educational success shines through as he inspires online educators to reach their full potential for themselves and their students.

Executive Summary

In the fourth episode of The Global Classroom Podcast, Meet Jamie Gajewski, a successful travel teaching entrepreneur.

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey that combines your passion for teaching with your love for travel? Look no further than the world of online and cross-country education and teaching abroad!

In this exciting blog post, we delve into a recent interview on The Global Classroom podcast with Jamie Gajewski, a certified US teacher and teacher trainer who has found her niche in the realm of full time travel teaching.

Join us as we explore the insights, tips, and resources shared by Jamie, and discover how you can turn your teaching dreams into a reality.

Listen on iTunes and Spotify, or watch on YouTube. The Global Classroom Podcast Season 1, episode [#4]!

Leave a Review!

Apple Podcast reviews are one of THE most important factors for podcasts. If you enjoy the show please take a second to leave the show a review on Apple Podcasts!

✔️ Click this link: Leave a review on Apple Podcasts
✔️ Hit “Listen On Apple Podcast” in the middle next to the picture.
✔️ In iTunes, Click “Ratings and Reviews” under the show name.
✔️ Leave an honest review.
✔️ You’re awesome!

Who is Jamie Gajewski?

Travel Teaching: Exploring the World of Online Education and Beyond

If you’re a teacher with a passion for travel and teaching ESL, then you need to know about Jamie Gajewski! She’s a certified US teacher and teacher trainer who’s been teaching traveling and exploring the world since 2010.

But Jamie’s not just any ordinary traveling teacher. She’s the kind of travel teacher who knows how to make learning fun and engaging.

Her YouTube channel ESL Teacher 365 is packed with helpful tips and tricks that’ll make you a better teacher, and her blog is a treasure trove of resources for anyone who wants to teach ESL online or abroad.

But that’s not all. Jamie also offers online courses and private coaching for teachers who want to take their skills to the next level. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, Jamie has something for you.

So why is Jamie so passionate about teaching and travel? Come watch as she talks about how she started teaching and realized that she could combine her two passions and make a real difference in the world.

Jamie has taught in countries all over the world, from South Korea to Costa Rica. And now, she’s living in Australia, where she’s continuing to inspire traveling teachers and change lives.

So if you’re ready to take your teaching career to the next level, then you need to get to know Jamie Gajewski.

Follow her on YouTube, check out her blog, and sign up for one of her courses. You won’t regret it!

The World of Travel Teaching Unveiled

Teach English in Europe
Teach English in Spain
Teach English in Asia

Let’s begin our adventure by understanding what travel teaching truly entails.

We delve into the various options available, including teaching English online through ESL companies, marketplaces, and freelance teaching.

Discover the advantages and disadvantages of each option and gain valuable insights into managing schedules, applying for teaching positions, and creating impressive demo classes and intro videos.

Unlocking Your Potential: Building Confidence and Finding the Right Platforms

Jamie emphasizes the importance of building confidence when starting your travel teaching journey.

Learn how to overcome challenges, embrace your unique personality, and seek mentorship to navigate the application process successfully.

Discover the power of referral programs and gain expert advice on leveraging them to receive constructive feedback on your applications.

Furthermore, find out how to choose the right online platforms that suit your teaching style and preferences.

Resources and Tools for Success

d483a20 6f4c c1f d71 155a0d306 56af6111 85ef 4e9f 83db f81e1571bb92

Online Teaching Cheat Sheet

Free Online Teaching Cheat Sheet

Sign up and start teaching online!

Master the art of effective teaching by utilizing the abundance of resources and tools available in the online teaching world.

Jamie shares her recommendations on using existing teaching materials, such as Canva, to create engaging resources.

Explore specialized niches like test prep and special education. And, gain insights into setting realistic goals, familiarizing yourself with exams, and delivering impactful lessons.

Uncover the online teaching cheat sheet and ten-day mini course provided by Jamie to help teachers new to the teach and travel concept excel in their online teaching journeys.

Teaching Abroad: A Gateway to Cultural Immersion

Expand your horizons by teaching abroad and experiencing the wonders of different cultures. Jamie offers a range of teach to travel workshop programs for teaching both online and abroad.

Discover the advantages of teaching in foreign countries, the eligibility requirements, and the possibilities that await you.

Learn how to embrace the rewarding experience of connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and making a positive impact on their lives.

Teach English abroad

Final Thoughts on Travel Teaching

As we wrap up this exhilarating journey through the world of travel teaching, we encourage you to take the first step toward realizing your dreams.

Follow the action items provided to further explore the insights shared by travel teaching expert, Jamie Gajewski.

Dive into the wealth of resources available, connect with mentorship opportunities, and embrace the challenges and rewards that come with teaching online while traveling and teaching abroad.

Still wondering why teachers should travel?

Remember, travel teaching is not limited by physical boundaries. Traveling teacher jobs are a catalyst for personal growth, cultural exchange, travel opportunities, and endless adventure.

So, pack your bags, grab your laptop, and embark on an extraordinary travel teaching experience like no other!

Leave a Review

Apple Podcast reviews are one of THE most important factors for podcasts. If you enjoy the show please take a second to leave the show a review on Apple Podcasts!

✔️ Click this link: Leave a review on Apple Podcasts
✔️ Hit “Listen On Apple Podcast” in the middle next to the picture.
✔️ In iTunes, Click “Ratings and Reviews” under the show name.
✔️ Leave an honest review.
✔️ You’re awesome!

Key Takeaways & Timestamps

Transcript

All right, so hello and welcome to this session with Jamie Gajewski. She’s a certified US teacher and teacher trainer. She helps people who are passionate about teaching and travel, teach English, ESL, online and abroad through her YouTube channel, ESL Teacher 365, her blog and online courses and private coaching. He’s been teaching and traveling the world since 2010 and is currently living in Australia. Welcome today, Jamie. 

Thank you. Thanks for having me. 

How are you today? 

Oh, today it’s a little bit hot here in Australia. It’s technically our fall or autumn, but where I live, it stays summer for quite a while. But I know that other parts of the world are just starting to warm up, so I won’t complain too much. 

That’s just getting into the spring season in a lot of places. Well, it’s good to have you on for this summit. I wanted to get started since some people might not be familiar with exactly who you are and your channel or any of your stuff.So how did you get your start teaching online?

Well, I kind of stumbled into it because of that whole pandemic thing. So I was teaching in person in Brisbane, Australia. I was teaching adult ESL, and suddenly our borders shut, and we had no more international students coming in. And I was a few months away from permanent residency in Australia. So actually, I was no longer able to be hired by my school because they had some kind of government handouts and things like that. So they could give that to Australian teachers, but not to foreign teachers. So I was abroad, I had no job, and I thought, well, let’s jump into online teaching. And I actually haven’t gone back to in person teaching since. 

Wow. I remember that time because I was in Malaysia planning on coming to Australia. We had a house sit because we travel the world house sitting. We had a house sit coming up in Australia, some people who were going to America for a wedding, and we ended up not being able to go because borders shut down. And so I still have yet to visit Australia. I’m hoping for 2025. 

Yeah, definitely. 

So then that’s kind of an interesting way. So you went from brick and mortar to online and never went back. So what are your teaching specialties, then? 

I was doing a lot of test prep here in Australia. So actually, before I was here, I was teaching abroad, and I was teaching kids in a few different countries. Then I came here, started teaching Cambridge Test Prep, and I continued with that as a freelancer first, so I did it a little bit backwards. A lot of people start with online ESL companies. They might try to Marketplace and then they go freelance. But I did it backwards. So I started with Cambridge Test Prep, so Scecae exams, and then I kind of got into Marketplaces and online ESL companies. But I’d say mostly these days I do conversation and test prep. 

Okay. Yes, conversation is really where it is. I think most of my students have gone that route where their parents say they’re getting a lot of English in school. I want you to work with them on more what they’ll need if they actually travel somewhere. So we’ve pivoted in a lot of my stuff to conversation as well. That’s actually probably one of the things I like the best about online teaching is the change, being able to change it up every so often. What would you say is your favorite thing about teaching online versus in the classroom? 

That’s a great question. I think with teaching online those groups are a lot smaller. So you’re often teaching one student, four students, and that way you really get to know your students a lot more. They have a lot more time to practice speaking and writing and doing all the activities. So I’ve taught in classrooms with up to 35 students and it’s just a lot to really make sure that every student is succeeding. So I do like online teaching where the groups are a lot smaller and it’s just easier to keep track of their achievements and success. 

What’s your typical lesson size right now? Do you have a lot of students or just like one one? For the most part, yeah. 

So I’m a little bit interesting. So I do have my YouTube channel and I actually test out a lot of different companies and ways to teach online so that I can share it with my audience. So I’m a little bit all over the place. So when I teach on an online ESL company like Cambly, I just have one student at a time. I think they’ve recently opened it up to where there are some small group classes, but I haven’t had any of those bookings yet. And when I teach on a Marketplace like Outschool, I actually have up to twelve students. But I teach ballet on Outschool, so I’ve taught English and dance my whole career, both abroad and online. So I do have that kind of interesting little mix. 

And when I teach private lessons, freelance teaching, I’m typically teaching one student, but of course there are freelance teachers who also do small group classes. It’s just really up to you and what you’re teaching. 

That is so cool. There’s so many different ways and so many different things that you can teach online, so many different topics. And we have another teacher talking on this about teaching dance online as well. So I just find it so interesting. There’s so many different things you can teach online. Music, for instance. Yes, it’s hard to hear back and forth and be able to do it and replay a band in real time online, but teaching music is different. So since you switched over to this a few years ago and you’ve gone through the trials and tribulations of being a new teacher. What is, like, the first advice you usually give to somebody who’s thinking about starting their online tutoring business? 

Yeah, I guess when people contact me for help, the biggest thing that I see is confidence. People are nervous. People don’t know what to expect. The tech is a bit overwhelming. They’re not sure of all the Zoom settings or if they’re teaching on a different platform that has its own teaching platform. How does all of that work? So I would say, yeah, it is a bit scary. Starting my first classes online were a disaster, and you just have to keep going and work through it. And it does get to a place where it becomes very comfortable. But just know that every single teacher has struggled with the same thing and still struggles. So I was teaching while traveling a few days ago. 

On Monday, I was in Melbourne, and my Internet there at the hotel was just awful, so I just switched mid lesson and used the hotspot from my phone. So I’ve taught hundreds of classes online, and I still have these issues. So you always kind of need to be a bit prepared, but I would say practice with a friend or a family member. Get on Zoom, get into the platform early, and kind of see where everything is. Especially if you’re teaching young learners, you want to make sure that certain things are disabled that they can’t access, because otherwise you’ll find them scribbling all over the screen. Suddenly they’ve taken control of your meeting. So there are some settings to kind of look at and make sure that everything is the way that you want it. 

But just practice, but also just relax, do the best you can. I would say students and their families are understanding. We’re all used to this crazy Zoom stuff these days, but it’s a lot of fun. Just give yourself some grace. 

Those are some great points in there. Hits me right off the bat with being prepared, because traveling, if you’re traveling and doing this, I always request a speed test wherever I go. It’s not always optimal. I have a SIM card everywhere I go. It’s for a backup iPad for a backup, because for some reason, a lot of these things work better on an iPad than on a computer. So I just don’t like teaching on an iPad as much. So it’s a good backup for so that’s great. And your point as to talking or practicing with a friend? First couple of classes, I was so nervous that I got on with my friend Michelle, and she and I just went back and forth. 

I went through an entire lesson with her, like, three different times just to get comfortable with it because she taught so many before, and she referred me into the platform that I was working for at the time. Anyway, so I completely agree with all of your points there, because teachers are nervous. Even though you may have been teaching in the classroom for many years, this is a little bit different. It’s a little daunting at first, then becomes second nature to you. Tell me then, what is it you’re doing right now with online ESL teaching? What is your thing? 

Yeah, so like I mentioned before, I am a little bit different because I work with a lot of the companies and brands that have online ESL companies and I get to test them out and then I let people know what I think. So I’ve partnered with Cambly and maybe Klassen. I did a talk for them. So it’s a really unique situation where now I do work more as a teacher trainer, but I’m still in there as a teacher, testing it out, seeing what I like, seeing what I dislike, and then I usually share it on my Instagram, my YouTube, and my blog. 

So I’d say if you’re new to online teaching and you want to get an idea of what it’s like to teach for these different marketplaces like all school and outschool or online ESL companies, or even getting started as a freelance teacher. I have a lot of information, and you can kind of get a little behind the scenes sneak peek at what it’s like. 

It sounds like you’re kind of like an influencer coach. You’re like the go to girl. 

Yeah, I just try and help people because there’s so much out there and I think that there’s platforms that maybe fit some people’s personalities better and some work better based on your time zone. So, for example, I’ve heard a lot of people in the US time zone have issues getting hired with Cambly because there’s a lot of teachers in that time zone. But since I teach from Australia, there aren’t that many teachers here, so I got hired very quickly and I do get a lot of bookings. So yeah, just kind of seeing what fits with your lifestyle. Like you mentioned as well, traveling and teaching has a whole nother layer to it. 

You have to be a bit careful with time zones and make sure you work for companies that don’t have minimum hours in case you’re moving around and there’s just a lot to go through. 

Definitely there is a lot to go through with that. And I know that you test out a lot of different places. When I first started the tutor resource, I know I had you come on there, give you access so you could feel around and talk about that. We’ve evolved that a lot. So it’s not just the online teaching companies that you review, then? What other kinds of things do you review? 

Yeah, I like to look at different materials and tools for teachers, like canva. If I had canva when I was first teaching, my life would have been so much easier. And even for teachers who are creating resources, I think it’s really helpful. A lot of the tools that we have AI is huge right now, so helping you come up with even you can ask it give me ten ESL games that I can use in my class. You can even specify online or in the classroom. There’s just so much out there these days that you can take advantage of. And I think that as teachers, our pay isn’t the best. 

So it’s really nice to have kind of a side hustle, either online teaching or creating resources or creating videos to give you a bit more stability and you still get to do what you love and be very creative, but you’re not so worried about living paycheck to paycheck. 

Definitely that’s what brought the tutor resource around in the first place, is there are so many different teachers that have this they’re already creating for themselves, and so we make some money off it on the side. We need as many side gigs as we can to make ends meet or live the lifestyle that you want. So if you’re going to be creating things for yourself, you might as well put them on a platform that’s out there that can help you make something off of it or share the wealth for free or whatever, as long as you’re doing it. If I wish I had canva years ago.It’s so easy to create different tools, different things, for worksheets, everything. So it’s one of my favorite tools out there. 

I’ve gotten into using AI recently as well for stories and giving me a template for an idea of a story that I can use in a class because nobody wants to think up a different story for 100 different lessons. But having something that can be the general framework and then you can modify it as you want to make it your own is cool. Sounds like you’ve dabbled with a lot of different things. You’ve told me about companies, marketplaces, freelance, online, ESL. What would you say is your main pitches to the three differences between them or the differences between the three of them? 

Yeah, so especially if you’re kind of new, I would say there’s the three main ways to teach online right now. So most people start with online ESL companies. Often these don’t have very high requirements, so you may not even need a degree or a TEFL certificate. Other companies, you may need to have a bachelor’s degree in any subject and a TEFL certificate, and then sometimes they will hire based on your passport. So you just have to look at all of the eligibility requirements, but typically you’re going to get resources, so you’re not having to plan anything, you just kind of show up, follow the slides, but obviously you want to make it your own and supplement where you can, but you’re not spending hours and hours lesson planning. Now, unfortunately, these days the pay isn’t great. 

It’s typically between ten dollars to fifteen US dollars per hour. It used to be higher when there were a lot of Chinese companies, but there were some changes. So now I would say these are best for getting started, getting confident, getting an idea of what it’s like. But I wouldn’t recommend only teaching for these. You want to keep moving kind of up the staircase of options. So the next option would be Marketplaces. These are places like outschool all school kid path awaketh. But here you are providing the lessons. So that’s where somewhere like the tutor resource comes in. If you don’t want to be creating everything. So you need to write your class description, you need to prepare all the materials, but you get to set your price per student instead of just an hourly wage. 

So there’s a lot more potential to earn money. And with these sometimes the platforms are going to do some marketing for you to help you fill the classes. But you might want to do your own marketing as well. So maybe starting an Instagram or a YouTube channel to bring in new students to help them find your classes and moving on from there would be freelance teaching. This is where you get to decide what you want to teach. I recommend choosing something that you’re passionate about. You’re qualified to teach and is in demand. And I think the in demand part is the hardest to decide what it is. And you need to do some market research. So look around, see what people are looking for. And you want to target specific kind of English that we usually call like a niche. 

So think of it like a topic. So for example, I did test prep English. So when I market my classes I would only talk about this specific test. I wouldn’t just say, oh, I teach general English. I never really recommend that as a freelancer because you’re not drawing in your ideal student. So you want to think of something that people are going to want or need. Test prep is a good one because they need it for immigration, for their jobs, things like that. And they’re willing to pay because they need to pass a specific test. These tests aren’t the cheapest, so you know that they’re going to be willing to pay for private classes. So it’s really up to you. You need to kind of consider your time zone and their time zone as well. 

So I also recommend freelance teaching for non native speakers because a lot of the companies either won’t hire you because of your passport or they’ll actually pay you less than native speakers, which is ridiculously unfair and I just don’t think that’s even worth it. So I always recommend for non native speakers, choose a niche. Often it could be even teaching people in your own country or could be abroad as well and helping them as a freelancer. But getting started as a freelancer, you’re doing the marketing you need to set up what platform you’re using, like Zoom or classin or something else. How are you getting paid? Do you have a website? 

So it’s not the easiest thing to get started, but I would say that’s kind of the ultimate goal because you’re charging what you want, you’re setting your own schedule and you are in charge of your own business. 

That’s excellent. Yeah, that’s very good advice, all three of those. Is there one that you prefer for yourself. 

These days? I would say I do like marketplaces, like outschool, but with all of them you’ll have ebbs and flows. So sometimes the bookings are really high, sometimes the bookings are lower. So I always recommend doing maybe one of each kind or a few different companies or maybe freelancing. At a Marketplace, you don’t want to focus on just one because things can change. So on outschool, my January, February is packed because I think a lot of students are at home. It’s cold. I get a lot of students that are based in the US and Asia and they’re just not leaving. But then when it’s more summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, everyone’s outside so they’re not looking for classes. 

So you just kind of have to know that some months you’re going to have a higher income, some months you’re going to have a lower income and be prepared for that. 

So that kind of makes me think of time management. So if you’re working with all these different companies and say you’ve got all school outschool, italki you’ve got several different things going on at once. How do you manage your schedule? I know each individual company sometimes has a calendar in there and it shows you, but then when you’re opening things on somebody else’s platform, that seems like it would get a little complicated. How do you manage that? 

Yeah, I personally actually use a bullet journal, so I am still very paper and pen when it comes to organization. Just works for my brain better. But I will say that I do have a spreadsheet for each company to track my pay. And that’s because as an online teacher, I’m an independent contractor. In Australia, I had to register as an independent contractor and I pay my taxes quarterly, so I have to keep track of everything I’m earning, save a percentage of that and then pay my taxes quarterly. So depending on where you’re teaching, you will need to look into all of the legalities of that. Some online teachers do start their own business in the US. That would be like an LLC. 

But before you get started online teaching, I would definitely talk to an accountant and see what all the tax implications are going to be. If you’re traveling and teaching as well, it can get very complicated very quickly. So, yes, just always seek for legal advice. I love teaching online, but that is a little bit of an extra hoop that you have to jump through. 

I know for me being out of the US for more than 360 days a year like I am, there’s another exemption for you and all sorts of stuff the same thing for you. But that kind of makes me think of there are a lot of teachers that are traveling or want to travel, they want to do this online teaching so that they can travel. And I move from one place to another pretty quickly so I don’t have to get any extended visas or anything like that. How was that process for you going to Australia? 

Does that sounds like yeah, I came here on a work holiday visa. So with that I had full working rights. There were no restrictions on how many hours I could work. There was a restriction when I was teaching in person, I could only teach in one school for six months and then I had to switch to another school for the other six months. So that’s very important when you’re teaching and traveling to see, is this legal to be working on my visa or not? And I will say that for freelance teachers, if you set up your own freelance teaching business, that can actually help you qualify for digital nomad visas. So these are visas that are typically for like one year to sometimes renewable up to five years that allow you to work in other countries. But they do have minimum income requirements. 

So if you’re earning enough, you can work in places like Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Indonesia. There’s a lot of different countries that have them, the Caribbean as well. So I would say that’s another plus for freelance teaching that can allow you to have these extended times in other countries. 

That’s awesome. So what are some of your top tips that you give to people applying for these online teaching positions? 

Yes, the biggest one seems kind of simple, but it’s read all of the instructions and do everything that it says when you’re applying. So a lot of these companies will basically reject you for grammar errors if you didn’t answer all of the questions, if you haven’t included the video in the format that they asked for. So be very careful, make sure that you’re answering everything and it’s in the format that they’re asking for. So especially for outschool, they will just automatically reject you if you’re missing something. Other places, like online ESL companies, you might be waiting months and months to get approved and it’s because your video isn’t in the right format. So I’d say, first of all, just be very careful. Also, eligibility requirements, I get a lot of people who say, oh, I’m applying all these places and no one’s hiring me. 

But they haven’t paid attention to that. They don’t have that passport or they don’t have a TEFL, and these places require a TEFL. So make sure you look at the eligibility requirements before you apply or else you’re just wasting your time. So just be careful with that. And the other thing is your video. So typically when you’re applying for a Marketplace or an online ESL company, you’re having some sort of demo class or an Intro video. And these are two different things. So a demo class, you are showing how you would teach the class. Sometimes they’ll give you the materials and they expect you to use those materials to teach. Sometimes you are pretending that you have students when you actually don’t. So it’s kind of awkward. 

But for these videos, you want to make sure that you have good lighting, your sound is good. If they require a microphone, make sure that you have that everything is good to go. You can film these on your cell phone horizontally, do not film them vertically. And then as far as an intro video, this is a little bit different. So this is more typical for Marketplaces. Think of this as like your trailer to your classes. So you’re talking about who you are, what you offer, your qualifications, and then you always want a call to action. So why should the student take your class? Remember, you want to bring in students that are going to be a good fit for you. 

So if I want to work with students that are a lower level or a higher level, I’m going to use a different speed and different words in my Intro video depending on what kind of students I want to bring in. But yes, you want to kind of help them. Imagine taking your classes. What is the transformation going to be when they start with you? How are they going to feel? What are they going to know when they finish with you? How will they feel then? What will they know then? And that kind of gives them an idea of, okay, I want to pass this exam so this person can help me do that. Or I want to improve my pronunciation, this person can help me do that. So just be very clear on what you offer. 

But again, make sure you can actually offer that you want to follow through with those promises. 

Excellent. So it sounds like there’s a lot involved as far as getting into one of these places in the first place. It’s been a while since I got in myself. It’s still a lot of the same things. You have your mock classes. Like I said, I practice with my friend over and over again before even submitting one. Do you know anybody who offers services like that to help people that they don’t want to talk to their friends, but they do want to give a mock with somebody or practice with somebody? 

Yeah. So I would say a lot of these online ESL companies have referral programs. So there are some teachers that will take a look at your application, typically in exchange for using your referral link. And then they’ll give you feedback. So I do this for outschool and all school. If people need help with their application, they would just sign up with my link, and then they can email me their written application, and then I help them with their video as well. Give them feedback. I would say in general, film your video a few times, make sure you’re comfortable. Make sure you’re looking at the camera. A lot of people are kind of looking down, or it’s just you want eye contact with your student. But yeah, there’s definitely teachers online who are offering kind of mentorship for these different programs. 

So I would say find someone that you like their personality and reach out to see if they will help you with your applications. 

Definitely. Looking into the camera is a big one from what I’ve seen, because usually you’re looking at the person’s image or whatever that might be on your screen if you’re talking to somebody, which can make your eyes block down or away a little bit. So forcing yourself, especially during the important parts, to look straight at the camera definitely helps with the engagement. When I’m doing a live class, I know a lot of times if it’s a movable, I try to put their picture up by the camera. That makes it a lot easier to focus on the yeah, all right, so you hinted on this a little bit. You talked a little bit about it. You said non native English speakers. So not a lot of people think about that. 

But there are a lot of people who learned English, and they want to work with it. Not even non native English speakers, but people from the Philippines who might have a thick accent or South Africa who might have a thick you. What kind of advice do you give to those individuals who want to get into this area of teaching? 

Yeah, so we have kind of non native speakers, near native speakers, and honestly, it’s all just not good because it should be more about can the person teach. It’s not really about where they’re from. It should be about their knowledge of teaching, their knowledge of the language. I would say oftentimes native speakers don’t have a very good understanding of grammar or how to explain vocabulary. So it is a bit of a problem in this industry. So for online teaching, I would say it’s almost worse than if you’re teaching abroad, because companies will either flat out reject you because you don’t have a certain passport, or they just won’t hire you. Or like I mentioned before, they have the policy where, okay, you’re from the Philippines, you get paid less than someone from the US. Or Canada. It’s pretty ridiculous. 

So for non native and near native speakers, I do recommend freelance teaching because you can charge what you’re worth. It is a bit tricky to get started, but I would say don’t even deal with the platforms. Because they’re just going to take advantage of you. Look into freelance teaching and I have a video on my channel where it kind of talks about how I DIY my freelance teaching setup very cheaply when I was first getting started and I was pretty desperate to just do something teaching online. So it talks a lot about kind of cheap tools you can use to get started. There are some free website creators and places where students can book you and how to pay and things like that. So I’d say don’t worry about starting with expensive equipment or anything like that. 

As your business grows, you can invest in a better microphone, you can invest in a better webcam, whatever you like. But when you’re getting started, just get started. Start earning that money, start getting students. They’ll start telling their friends, suddenly you have too many students and that’s always a good thing. So yeah, for non native speakers, don’t deal with the companies, just get started. Freelance teaching. 

Do you offer resources for people to figure out how to find students? 

Yeah. So I have a free training right now on my YouTube channel that talks about how to use social media. And I also have a social media cheat sheet for teachers on kind of ideas of what you can post. But I’d say that’s probably the best place to start. You want to essentially choose a social media platform that your target student is using. So if you want to target business teachers, something like LinkedIn. I personally like YouTube because it lasts a lot longer than things like TikTok or Instagram or Twitter, but creating videos can be a bit intimidating for people. So start with something that you’re comfortable with, but also that your students are actually on and using and you want to only post content or tips or helpful information related to your teaching niche. 

So before when I talked about test prep, I would give examples of test questions and tips for the speaking exam, some of the grammar that they would need to know at that level. I wouldn’t just have stuff all over the place, random, low level, high level adult kids. It’s too confusing. You want your target student to come to social media, say, wow, this is exactly what I’m looking for. They kind of get if you’re posting videos, which I do recommend, they get to know your teaching style and that way always have a call to action of book my class or send me an email. That way students know contact you how to get started. 

Excellent. Okay, so now we’re at the point where they have some students, they found a way, they find their students. Now what about creating your own teaching materials versus using a curriculum that’s already out there? What are your thoughts on that? 

So I do think it depends. Yeah, I think it depends on your niche. So when I was teaching test prep, there weren’t really any options, so I ended up creating everything for myself based on some textbooks that I was using and just I made it very personalized to my students and I could charge more because of that. But if you’re teaching something like kids English or maybe business English, there’s a lot of materials out there. I would say that’s going to save you so much time. It’s a lot less stress. You can pick out what you like and what you think works well with your students. So there are two options and you can use them for teaching marketplaces or freelance teaching, but just think of what are you teaching, what’s your niche, and what’s going to work best for you. 

But personally I don’t really recommend creating your own materials because it’s very time consuming and it’s a lot easier these days. There’s a lot of great resources out there. Tutor resource is a great one to check out and see if there’s lessons that are going to work well with your students. 

Definitely. Yeah. There’s a lot of creative people out there and let them do the creation if that’s what they enjoy. If you’re not into the creation side, then yeah, find stuff that’s available. I do have a student whose parent only really wants them learning from National Geographics right now, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel and take everything and put it into a PowerPoint. So we are going through the actual books online and things like that, PDFs, but for the most part, most of the things can be found. If you want adult lessons and you like it in a certain format, you can find things like that whether it’s on the tutor resource or through some of these groups that are online. I found that a lot of English teachers are very sharing people. 

Yeah, I think there’s a culture of sharing, but I’ve seen it’s very different in different countries. So I have taught in six different places and some places teachers are allowed to share and love to share and other places they don’t. So I think it’s a bit of a cultural thing as well. But yeah, I’d say for the most part teachers do like to share. 

Definitely. Okay. And your test prep stuff, that’s got to be difficult. I made some Junior TEFL stuff for one of my students going through that and it involved going to the websites for Junior TEFL and finding their practice questions. And I made it into something for him that he and I could go through together without just looking at the website. But how did you make stuff or do things for your students since that was your main niche at the beginning? 

Yeah, so for example, for first certificate, that’s going to be B two level. So I know that the grammar and vocabulary are going to be at that level. So I do different lessons based on what they need to know, for the exam. There’s also often lists of vocabulary that might be on the test, so I make sure to incorporate that, but then it’s practicing the different skills. So I would have them do, for example, in the reading test and the use of English, which is basically grammar, they have set kinds of example questions, so I would just kind of create my own based off of ones that were from the actual test. There’s different books that you can use to prep your students as well. Make sure they have a copy and you have a copy of it. 

But I typically just do something very similar to that to give them extra practice. And then for the speaking, it’s all in a specific format, so you’re not only teaching them the English part of it, but you’re teaching them the test strategies. So I think if you want to go into test prep, you need to really know that exam very well and all of the strategies that it involves so that you can give that promise to your students that they’ll be able to pass the exam. So teaching test prep can be a bit stressful, especially because you’ll have students that will say, oh, I want to do one month of classes with you and pass the exam, but you know what their level is and you see that they’re not ready for that. 

So be prepared to have a talk with them about their expectations, set realistic expectations and goals. It’s going to take a while to get them to that level that they need to be to pass exam with confidence. That’s a little tricky part about test prep, but it can be very nice too, when you see your students succeeding and getting those test scores that they’re looking for. 

That’s very good advice. And you hinted on kind of placement there when you were talking about they might not be ready or it might take more time. So do you just use your gut or do you have any kind of forms or how do you figure out exactly your student placement when you’re taking on a new student? 

Yeah, so for three years here, I did test prep and every ten weeks we had a new group of students, so I had to do their initial placement test every ten weeks, essentially. So I’m very used to it. I can tell what level they are, but I had to get to that point. Right. So for new teachers, for test prep, I would just make sure you look through the exam, see what grammar and vocabulary they need to be using at that target level, so you can see if they’re below or if they’re at level or even sometimes they’re above, and they should be doing the next test instead. But that’s definitely a challenge. For new teachers. There are placement exams, so Cambridge has some free ones on their website. 

They even have one for business english, but I like to use that kind of as a general guide, but usually do an interview and have them do a writing sample as well. Because as we know, people can have a very different reading level from speaking level, from writing level, especially depending on where they’re from. I had a lot of students from Saudi Arabia who really struggled with writing because of the way that it’s different in writing in English. So they may have been amazing speakers. They were excellent at speaking. They really struggled with the writing. So you do need to kind of consider that and do an assessment with your students when you get started, correct? 

Yeah, I can definitely attest to that. I’ve got students that are at different levels, some that came with me from other platforms, and they were in one level there, but then as I worked with them more privately, I realized, yes, their speaking level is lower than their writing level or vice versa. I mean, I have one student who can write anything you say or anything he’s thinking, but it’s getting it from his brain to his mouth is harder for him. So we work on those strategies. So very cool. 

Yeah. 

All right, well, I know you have a special promotion just for the online summit that’s in DC, right? 

Can you tell us about so I have an online teaching cheat sheet. It goes through a lot of things that are going to be helpful for new online teachers. I’ve written some notes of what includes. It has some information about TEFL certificates, some tips for your CV or application, where to find online teaching jobs, some tips for your intro video, how to get started, freelance teaching, some equipment. I recommend tips for non native speakers. And then I do also have a ten day mini course on how to get started teaching I, and there’s a link to that as well. So it is really a cheat sheet of kind of everything you need to know to get started. And that is for you. So I hope you enjoy it. 

That’s excellent. We’ll have that link down below for everybody. So how many different workshop programs do you have going on right now? 

I have a lot of things for teaching abroad and teaching online, so I kind of have a mix. So if you are thinking about teaching abroad as well as online, I do have a lot of things for that. So I have a few membership sorry, I have a few workshops set up and I will be opening some memberships soon. So if you’re interested in getting monthly access to me for different trainings and help, be on the lookout because that’s coming soon. And then I do have one course each for teaching abroad and teaching online. Those are self study online courses, but I would say start with my YouTube channel ESL Teacher 365. I share a ton of information there. I link back to my blog. If you need any additional information, you can always find stuff there. 

So my goal is to help 50 people teach abroad this year. People teach online this year. So if you want to be one of those people, I’m here to help you. 

Sounds great. All right, well, do you have any parting thoughts or advice that you’d like to share? 

Let’s see. Yeah, I would say getting started with anything new is terrifying. It’s going to be a bit messy, but if you just keep moving forward each day, working on it a little bit, that’s probably the best way to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. So teaching online and teaching abroad, it’s an amazing experience. You get to talk with so many people from around the world and learn about other cultures, so it’s definitely worth it. But just take it one step at a time and reach out for help when you need it. So if you feel like you’re getting stuck, like you said before, teachers are willing to share things and very helpful people. So reach out to people when you need help. 

That’s great. All right, well, thank you for joining us today, Jamie. It was a pleasure having you on, and I’m sure some people are going to be reaching out to you for some more advice. 

Thanks, David. 

All right. Thank you. Bye. 

Thanks. Bye. 

Similar Posts