Written by Aidan Tyler-Scott
Every career choice comes with both positive and negative aspects. So, to be open and honest with you, we share the pros and cons of being an online TEFL English teacher. But, despite the cons, there are many more perks that come with this career choice (so much so that we had to remove some of the pros from the list because the post became too long).
Technology can be a nuisance. A strong internet connection and good equipment are essential for teaching online. But, our technology sometimes fails us. Maybe your headphones won’t connect, or your internet speed has dropped. To remove this unnecessary stress from your teaching experience, having a backup set of earphones or a mobile hotspot is always handy.
Loadshedding interruptions. As a South African online TEFL teacher, the load shedding schedules are absolutely infuriating. Like Cape Town’s weather, the schedule is constantly changing. So, rather be prepared for unexpected outages. Download the “Eskom Se Push” app for reliable location outages. If you have a laptop, make sure it’s always charged and have a mobile hotspot ready. If you can afford it, a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) is a fantastic investment for online English teachers because you can plug your WiFi and computer in or charge your laptop.
Time zone differences can be a pain. If you are teaching students abroad, the time zone difference can be a challenging part of your schedule. However, you eventually get used to late night or early morning lessons.
Working from home. This is probably the greatest perk of them all. You don’t have to spend money on transport to and from an office. You can have a lunch break in the comfort of your own home. You can walk around in socks, grab as many snacks as you want, and watch an episode of your favourite show between classes. Who wouldn’t want to work from home?
The lesson plan is provided. Many companies provide the curriculum, so you don’t have to source and create your own lesson materials. All you have to do is prepare for the lesson beforehand.
You are in charge of your schedule. Many companies allow you to choose the hours that you would like to work, so you have the flexibility to work when and where you like. Depending on how many hours you would like to teach, you can plan your schedule around your desired lunch hour, an appointment, or anything you like!
Teaching English online can have a few frustrating technical difficulties, but overall it is a flexible career choice that you can commit to in the comfort of your own home. So, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. The final positive aspect of teaching English online: being a teacher is super-duper rewarding. After teaching a student for a while, getting to know them, seeing them laugh in your lesson, and witnessing their improvement is the ultimate pro there is.