What do I need to teach online?

Teaching English online is a great work-from-home option to earn an income doing something exciting and something which helps others to grow. There are many benefits to teaching online: you don’t have to waste money or time sitting in traffic to get to work, you get to help others develop, you can earn a decent amount of money and your operational costs are relatively low. So what exactly do you need (aside from your teaching qualification) in order to teach online?

  1. Laptop

Your primary tool for teaching English online is a laptop or computer with a webcam. Your laptop should be fully functional without problems to ensure that your lessons run smoothly. If you are dealing with an old computer, you may want to consider investing in a more user-friendly and modern laptop which will enable you to move to different locations (in case you need to) and provide you with the security of stable work operations. Most websites do not allow for you to take lessons on your phone although it may occur that you will connect with a student via Skype on your phone in emergency situations – so it is recommended to keep a phone handy.

2. Internet connection

In order for lessons to run smoothly without any connection hiccups, you’ll need to have an Internet connection speed of at least 10mbps for uploading and 10mbps for downloading. Test your Internet connection speed at www.speedtest.net. Do some research on the best Internet service providers in your area and make sure you purchase an unlimited or high data plan with a fast Internet speed. Don’t forget to test your Internet speed in different areas of the house.

3. Headphones

Using a good set of headphones is essential to maintaining quality lessons – you need to be able to hear every word uttered by your student extremely clearly. It’s also important for students to know that their lessons are not being heard by other people who may live in your home. If your laptop has a bad quality microphone, you may want to consider purchasing a set of headphones with a microphone attached. Even if your laptop microphone quality is great, you may want to use a set of headphones with a microphone in order to ensure the best sound quality for your students.

4. Quiet space 

One of the most overlooked aspects of online teaching is ensuring that your teaching space is quiet with no dogs barking, sirens, talking or other background noise. If you live in a building with thin walls, on a main street or with other people, this is something very important to consider. You may need to build a small soundproof “teaching booth”. It really is best to work from home and not rent an office space for online teaching as your teaching hours may be irregular and spaced through the day.

5. A positive attitude

Your success as an online English teacher largely depends on the feeling that your students have toward you. If they feel motivated and excited to improve their English, they are much more likely to keep returning to you. It is for this reason that you need to prioritize bringing a positive attitude to your lessons. Prior to your lessons, drink a cup of coffee, some water, exercise, listen to music, or do whatever it is that you need to in order to maintain a positive attitude.

If you do not yet have an English teaching qualification, enroll in our online TEFL course where you can qualify as an English teacher within 2 weeks. It is a self-paced course with video lectures, assignments and live evaluations with an experienced instructor. As a bonus, we have included the Online English Teaching course at no additional cost. Enroll here.

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