How to make the change from teaching English in a classroom to online?

How to make the change from teaching English in a classroom to online?

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In our day and age, many people are looking for alternative lifestyles that allow them to live life a little more and not be chained to a desk all day. There are many career paths that can lead to a digital nomad lifestyle, allowing you to have the best of both worlds. By being a digital nomad, you can live anywhere in the world and continue generating income by working online. Now, it may sound easier said than done, but you can definitely get started slowly and work your way up to a full-time income.

First, let’s consider the skills you need to have this type of lifestyle. You obviously have to have a desire to want to travel and not be stuck in an office. While traveling to many destinations you’ll find that you can live a good quality life on less money, making it a lot easier to make the decision. Being able to build a better quality life for less money abroad is a real motivation to not just pursue being a digital nomad, but also to even explore the possibility of moving towards a location independent business. It is important to remember that you are working while traveling, so you have to find a way to be productive. Now, this lifestyle is usually not a lifetime decision, and although for some that may mean 6 months while in other cases it may mean 10 years. Again, if you are interested in making this long term you can always consider having a home base somewhere in the world, giving you the possibility of traveling or head home whenever you like.

In terms of teaching, being a digital nomad is a perfect fit, if you decide to turn to online teaching. There are many reason this can become the best option for many teachers, starting with currency arbitrage. Basically this means, that you’re earning money in a stronger currency than the one where you are located. Not to mention the fact that you will be able to charge based on international standards, so you will most likely end up making more money and spending less, which will allow you to save. As a teacher you can make $10 to $30 an hour, but it all comes down to your experience. You can also take a look at becoming a tutor for some extra income, and although it’s not the same in terms of income, it also doesn’t require so much prep time.

Moving on to the “how” part, here are some tips to help you on your way to becoming a digital nomad. As mentioned in the beginning, taking it slow is the key. You could begin by starting your own business like starting an online school, but if you don’t feel ready take baby steps. First, get a job right now that can help you gain the skills that you need, maybe working at a language center or school that promotes online classes. Second, become a freelancer in your spare time. This way you can start to understand how working online works, the best communities and get your work out there. Another great way to understand the lifestyle is enrolling in an Online University. By studying online, you can get a feel for what working online would be like. At the end of the day, you can easily transition from a classroom to an online teaching environment, you just have to plan ahead.

Image courtesy of PhotoAtelier at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of PhotoAtelier at Flickr.com

Nowadays, technology has made giving classes online easier than ever. You can use cell phones, emails, IMs, online meeting spaces, and web chats like Skype. The following are different ways to look for and keep students, generating a good income. VerbalPlanet is one option where you can create a profile, set your rates and students find you. The site charges a small fee for each class, but regardless you can still make money. This allows for more flexibility, but if you’re interested in something a bit more stable, you can check out Learnship. This site is constantly looking for online English teacher to take one full-time jobs. It has a selection process that consists of a few interviews and mock classes, as well as a 2-day training course once you’re selected. Once you are good to go, it is important to know that you will be making euros on this site. There are many other sites you can explore, so start doing this and seeing which is the best fit for you. Now, as a final reminder, you should open a PayPal account because most of these sites pay through this service.

Having a digital nomad lifestyle is not always easy, so be prepared for failure, but don’t let that discourage you. It will take time, but if you really are interested in making a change don’t be afraid and go for it.

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