Once upon a time, there was a traveler.
She made money by teaching English abroad, specifically in Thailand.
One day, while looking for a job in a new city, she stumbled upon something that would change her and her travels forever: She found work teaching English online.
She never looked back.
It eventually opened up a whole new world of making money abroad, including numerous other jobs online, like becoming a travel blogger.
But it all started by teaching English online.
It makes sense, don't you think?
What can't we do online nowadays?
People are already overworked after taking care of the kids, working all day, making dinner, running errands and doing whatever else they have on their plates.
Fitting in a class at a language center is pretty much not an option. So welcome to the virtual world.
The concept is simple: You both log in to an online platform. It might be a special virtual classroom, or it might just be Skype.
Then, you have a lesson. You converse, you correct mistakes and you have fun.
People who want to know another language can now schedule a class at any time of the day, and speak with a native speaker around the world via an online platform.
While English is my only language, this concept doesn't stop at English.
If you know another language while at least having English as a base (or perhaps another common language with the student), you can still teach.
If you teach a language, you don't necessarily need to know the student’s native language.
Nobody said it was going to be easy, but this is where online tools come in.
Depending what company you work for, you might have many tools to work with to make teaching easier and more fun.
For example, a company might have a PowerPoint presentation in a virtual classroom.
This is the program used to teach.
It has grammar exercises, pictures, listening activities and other features. This way, teachers don't have to plan very much.
The student can also see many things to aid him or her when he or she is at a lower level, which is helpful.
There might also be a chat box feature.
Perhaps the student is pronouncing something the teacher simply can't catch. This tool is there for him or her.
If there is something the teacher wants to spell out for the student, he or she can chat back to him or her.
Some also have a notes section for the teacher to add anything, such as vocabulary.
Some classes are simply done via Skype. The only features here are the voice chat and typing chat box.
Depending on your awesome teaching abilities, teaching beginners might not be a possible option.
But otherwise, you're golden. All you really need is your voice.
Also, let's not forget about online translators.
Do they translate sentences well? Hell no.
A word? Yeah. It's not so bad.
So if a teacher can't get the explanation of a word across, he or she can use an online translator and copy and paste the word in the chat box.
The more effort you need to put in -- like if you use a camera or prepare the lessons by hand -- the more you get paid.
So, how much can you actually make by being an online teacher?
You're not going to like my answer, though. It depends on the company and your experience.
You can get paid anything from a few dollars an hour to over $40 an hour.
There are sites that pay you hourly, and they already have a pool of students waiting for a teacher.
Then, there are sites where you name your price and must attract students yourself.
So, what about the schedule?
Some require you to have a set time every day, and some allow ultimate freedom in choosing your weekly schedule.
Being a traveler, the latter is my preference.
But again, it depends. There are many jobs out there, so if you qualify, you can be choosy and find one that fits you best.
"Um, but you're not a teacher."
You don't need to be a "real teacher."
The minimum requirement is just being fluent in the language you are teaching.
What else might you need to be an online teacher? If you're trying to teach English, the general requirements are:
1. Native English speaker
2. Bachelor's in any subject
3. TEFL certification is preferable, unless you have many years of experience or a degree in teaching
4. ESL teaching experience
Now, these are general requirements.
Some companies might require more from you, or you might get away without having some of them.
You will have to check with the particular company.
Other requirements that are essential include the following:
1. A quiet space to teach in
2. A decent computer to work from
3. A headset, and possibly a webcam
4. A reliable Internet connection
Where should you look?
Teaching abroad in a real classroom is a good way to start and get that experience. (This is what I did.)
After that, freelancing websites would be a good choice, and a simple Google search should serve you well.
You would be very surprised to see how many things come up for searches for "online English teacher," "virtual teacher," "teach online," etc.
Being an online teacher is a pretty awesome job because you can do so many things:
Work from home (or anywhere else in the world)
Talk to cool people around the world
Make your own schedule
Pretty much get paid to simply have conversations
Wear your PJs to "work"
The purpose of this article is show you there is an option to teach (or learn, for that matter) online.
This, of course, makes life easier for the teacher and student.
It's a way people can make extra money from home, or possibly make teaching their full-time job.
It could be potentially great for stay-at-home moms if they have a solid chunk of time to dedicate to teaching.
(There is no option to stop a lesson to attend to your crying child.)
If you're in between jobs but have the requirements, this could be a great way to still earn money while on the hunt.
But my favorite reason is it's a great job to have while living and traveling abroad.
It's how I survived for about three years living abroad.
Working online is the way to go if you need some cash while on the road.
These jobs are only becoming more and more abundant, especially for English teachers.
Good luck with choosing the right option for you.
This post was originally published on "Where In The World Is Nina?"