You’ve heard a lot about teaching English online and it sounds all good! But what is the reality? What are the pros and the cons? What to keep in mind when you’re considering a job change? Keep reading!
I remember when I first started hearing about teaching English online. I had heard a lot of different stories – some positive, others not so positive. I knew that I needed to change jobs in order to pursue my goal, which was to move abroad.
For me I had two options- find a job in Spain, even though I didn’t speak Spanish or find a way to work from home online. So I started to research different types of online work. It was really difficult to find reliable information. It seemed that there were a lot of scam “Work From Home” sites online. Teaching English just kept resurfacing as an option.
So like any good decision-maker, I decided to make a pros and cons list. Even this wasn’t so easy to do as researching teaching online just gave me information overload.
If you are where I was and want to know the pros and cons of teaching online, today is your day!
Pros and cons of teaching English online
I’ve divided this list into six main categories. Hopefully, this will help you as you learn more about teaching English online!
Location flexibility- One of the major pros of working online teaching English is that you have location independence. You can work from your home country or from another country if you’re thinking of moving abroad.
You’re limited to places where you have good internet. This can be a con especially if you’re thinking of moving abroad to a country where access to the internet can be spotty. Unfortunately, internet access is one of the most important parts of teaching online, so you really need to have a strong internet connection.
Schedule and hours
One of the biggest pros is schedule flexibility. This is something is a big pull for many looking into teaching English online.
Another pro is that you can work as little or as much as you want. Because you are in control of your schedule you can design your work week how you wish. This can really give you the freedom to be with your children before or after school, or to pursue a hobby or to volunteer. Really this is a big pro!
One con to teaching online could be the hours that you can work. Depending on where your students are located, you could be working early morning hours. This can be a con if you aren’t a morning person.
Cancellations can be another con to teaching online. Students canceling their class at the last moment can sometimes feel like you are wasting your time. One thing that can help you is to check your company’s policy about cancellations. Some companies will still pay you even if a student cancels, depending on how far in advance they do the cancellation.
You can work from home! This is really great. No more long commutes, being stuck in traffic or rushing. You can be “at work” in just minutes!
No in-person work community. This can be a con for many because working from home can sometimes feel isolating. However, there are ways to benefit from a work community if you like meeting other teachers.
For example, in the company I work for, there are monthly online sessions with other teachers. The sessions discuss how to deal with common issues we may face in the classroom. Or they may be designed to introduce us to the different departments in the company. It really helps to feel connected to other colleagues.
Lessons are done for you. For most companies, you will not need to plan your lessons from scratch. You’ll most likely be given the lesson information to review and you’ll have to do a little planning, for example, deciding how much time to spend on each part.
This definitely will save you time and makes teaching much easier.
If you are a really creative person who likes to add your personal touch, you don’t always have the freedom to switch things around like you may want to. But usually, with most programs you do have some freedom to add your special touch to the class.
Pay and earning potential
High pay per class. This is a great pro as it means that you can replace your previous income with teaching online!
You only get paid for the classes booked not your open schedule. So getting a full schedule can sometimes be a challenge.
Also, there are no benefits, as in health benefits. This can be a con especially depending on where you live.
You get to have great experiences with your students. Because many of your classes are one-on-one you develop a great relationship with many of your students. If you have long-term students you’ll enjoy seeing them progress with the language.
You may not always have the same students. Depending on the company that you work for, you may not always have the same students. This can make it difficult for you to develop a good relationship with your students.
So as you can see there are many pros that make teaching English online is really attractive as a work option. However, it’s always good to know both sides of a possible decision. I hope that you’re able to get a better idea if teaching online is good for you.
I really hope you got value out of this blog post as you continue your journey towards teaching English online! If you want to keep learning why not subscribe to this blog by clicking here.
You can also check out and subscribe to my daily podcast called You Can Teach English Online by clicking here, available on iTunes, Spotify and more.
Are there other pros to teaching English online that you can think of? Share them below!