Engaging Students – online teaching

Hello everyone and welcome back 🙂

As an online English teacher, your classroom is very small. The students can only see your face, hand gestures and the wall behind you. So, use these to your advantage! I have taught English online for 6 and a half months now and I use the following techniques to keep students motivated, make them laugh and also consistently receive high ratings.

TPR

  • Facial expressions and body language are essential when teaching online. Using your hands to give instructions and elicit responses from the student is called TPR (total physical response). This is the best way to communicate with a low-level student who cannot understand your wordy instructions. 
  • Teach a variety of vocabulary through TPR such as ‘stand, sit, jump, happy, sad, cry, apple, cat and dog.’ Instruct students through TPR – cup your hand behind your ear for ‘listen’ and point to your mouth for ‘repeat.’ All online English companies will want their teachers using TPR as much as possible.

Props

  • Props such as puppets, flashcards, stuffed animals, a whiteboard, plastic fruits and plastic animals are an excellent way to keep students engaged throughout the session – especially young learners who will be way more interested in your tiger puppet than you! 
  • Use props to teach vocabulary or demonstrate a dialogue between yourself and a puppet for the student to see and then replicate themselves.

Extended questions

  • Occasionally, lesson material can be too short to fill the full lesson time. As the teacher, you need to ask extended questions beyond the lesson material to not only fill the time, but also keep the students’ interest.
  • Props massively help with asking extended questions if the lesson material is too short or if you have spare time at the end. I have four go-to puppets: a tiger, an elephant, a giraffe and a monkey. I often ask young learners, ‘What is this?’ ‘What colour is a tiger?’ There is also the feature on iTutorGroup classrooms to enable animal sounds, so I often play the cow, cat or dog and ask students to guess the animal. This can also lead to ‘Do you have a dog?’ ‘Is your dog big or small?’ ‘What’s your favourite animal?’
  • Extended questions are important for higher level students to encourage them to expand on their opinions and ideas.

Create a connection

  • Personalising a lesson can make the student not just learn something new, but enable them to remember it afterwards as well. The student will associate your fun teaching with a positive learning experience and be more likely to not only come back to you for more classes, but also remember your content. Building connections with students every single lesson is important to make a student feel comfortable and confident to practice speaking and make mistakes. 
  • Achieve this through asking extended questions about the student’s hobbies. I always do this during the 3-5 minute warm-up of the lesson in which I’ll discover what the student’s favourite sport is or if they have a pet etc.

A creative backdrop

  • As I said, your classroom is so small that you have to make the most of it. If your company allows you to do so, then create a fun, colourful backdrop to your sessions. Have educational posters, and fun props or reward systems behind you which you can easily access.

These are my top tips to help you engage students throughout sessions. A happy student helps make a happy teacher, and this will only reward you in the long-run when the student keeps coming back to you for classes, and leaves you high ratings! 

Requirements to work for iTutorGroup

Hello and welcome back 🙂

Today, I want to discuss the requirements you need in order to apply for the online English teaching company iTutorGroup. I have worked for this company for 6 months now and am still really enjoying it. 

In order to apply, you must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree. This can be in absolutely anything, it doesn’t have to be teaching related.
  • A TEFL/TESOL/TESL certificate. Many companies state this must be a minimum 120-hour certificate. iTutorGroup allow you 30 days to complete this certificate from the date you are hired if you have not finished it yet.
  • Access to a computer with Windows or macOS, a stable internet connection and a set of headphones.
  • A commitment to teach 5 peak hours every week at the same time.
  • Teaching experience may help (this can be in a classroom, online, mentoring, tutoring, coaching, etc.) but I was hired with no experience!

If you meet these requirements and fancy working from the comfort of your own home, then feel free to apply using my referral code CSNC. Also, email me at onlineteachingwithmegan@gmail.com if you have any questions 🙂

How much can I earn at iTutorGroup?

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog 🙂

Today, we are talking all about money and how much you can earn working as an online English teacher for iTutorGroup. All the information below is in GBP and correct as of May 2020.   

How much will I earn at iTutorGroup?

There are many types of sessions at iTutor: one-to-one with children, a 1-on-2 session with children or group sessions with up to 6 adults. But, there are primarily two types of pay.

A one-to-one session will be 25-minutes long, and you will receive £7 /session, which equals £14 /hour. 

However, if you arrive to class on time and teach the full class (which is very easy to do), you will receive an extra £1 /session. If you teach 50 sessions in one month, then you again receive an extra £1/ session. Suddenly, your £14 /hour is now £18 /hour. In order to receive these two bonuses, you must not accumulate absences or put in requests for cancellations of lessons.

A group session can be with up to 6 adults and is 45-minutes long, but it pays a lot less.  You will receive the base rate pay of £6.92 /session.

However, depending on how many students you have in the class, and how they RATE you, your pay increases. You should always strive for a 10 rating in every session, but in the group sessions they are particularly important because they mean more money! 

My best group session ever was with 6 adults, and I received four 10s and one 9, which gave me a grand total of £26.99 for one 45-minute class. My worst group session has been with one adult who didn’t rate me, which earned me £6.92 for 45-minutes. 

As you can see, group sessions really vary. My best advice is to open the peak hour slots, as that is where all the one-to-one classes are (and the more money). If you open less popular slots, you will most likely be scheduled with adult group classes. 

Can I choose which sessions I teach?

No, you can’t. Some people strongly dislike this about iTutorGroup but it can be a pro or a con. On the one hand, it can be very annoying if you’re only getting scheduled with adults, and you want to be teaching children, or vice versa. On the other hand, it can be amazing for making you more adaptable as a teacher and stronger in being able to confidently teach any student who arrives in your classroom.

Can I get a pay rise?

The only pay rise route with iTutorGroup is when you accumulate 1000 teaching hours with the company who then give you a 5% increase on your base rate pay. I have been teaching since December 6th 2019 part-time and I have recently marked 260 hours.

When do I get paid?

You will be paid on the 10th of the following month. 

For example, it is currently May. If you teach from the 1st – 31st May, you will receive payment for this month of teaching on the 10th June. 

How do I get paid?

You will be paid through a direct deposit into your chosen bank account. Once hired, and you are filling in your bank details, you will be required to enter a IBAN and BAC number (if you are from the UK), so iTutorGroup can make international payments to your bank.

Will I be paid on time?

Yes, however, do remember it will be an international transfer. Therefore, if there is a national holiday in China or your country where you will receive payment, then it is highly likely there will be a delay due to banks not operating on bank holidays etc. In April 2020, the 10th (payday) fell on Good Friday, which meant I did not receive payment until the following Tuesday 14th after the weekend and Easter Monday. 

Is there an international transfer cost? 

You must earn over a certain amount in order for the transfer to come through, and you must earn over a certain amount in order to avoid any international transfer fees. Please see below.

Is it a scam?

No, it is not a scam. I have always been paid the correct amount. There is a payroll tab on your consultant page which accumulates every session you teach throughout the month and totals your pay. This is very useful for seeing what you have earned as the month progresses. Here you will see your total pay at the end of the month.

If you are interested in applying or have any questions, feel free to get in touch at onlineteachingwithmegan@gmail.com 🙂

Why I love iTutorGroup!

Good morning everyone 🙂

I have been teaching English part-time at iTutorGroup for five full months now and I am very happy. I have regular students every week now and I am always fully scheduled.

Today, I want to share with you five reasons why I love working for this online teaching company.

No-show students = full pay

  • With most online teaching companies, if a student doesn’t arrive to their scheduled session, you only receive a percentage of your pay, such as 40% or 50%. But, at iTutorGroup, you still receive your full pay when a student doesn’t show up! I have looked back through my records and counted I have had 32 no-show students since I started teaching on December 6th 2019. That is almost £300 I have earned from not even having to teach!

No marketing

  • Unlike some other companies, at iTutorGroup you don’t need to market yourself through your profile or video to attract students. Although it is necessary to create these once hired, they are not the focus in increasing your scheduling. Focus on your teaching. If you always arrive on time, do not cancel lessons, do not accumulate absences, and receive high ratings, then you will always have a regular flow of students to fill your bookings. My profile video is not the best quality, but I followed these rules and have never experienced issues in getting myself scheduled.  

The students make me smile

  • Of course, it is natural you will encounter some students who are in a bad mood and don’t want to have the lesson. But, for the majority of my students, I really love teaching them. They genuinely make me laugh and put a smile on my face every time I see them.

£££

  • The pay during peak hours is well above the national minimum wage in the UK. If you arrive to class on time, and teach over 50 sessions during one month, then you will be paid £9 / session = £18 / hour. I tend to teach 1.5 or 2 hours every day during the peak hour slots (to ensure I get scheduled) which is £36 earned without even leaving the house.

24/7 classes available

  • You can open your availability to be scheduled at any time during the day. Most online teaching companies block out the 12 hours during the night when children are sleeping in China, therefore, your schedule is limited to half of the day. But at iTutor you can open sessions at any point during a 24-hour period. I live in the UK and am based in GMT, and I once opened hours from 19:00-22:00 and all the sessions got scheduled with groups of adults. 19:00 in the UK was 03:00 in China! Therefore, you really can teach any time during the day and get scheduled.

Of course, every company has its disadvantages too, and like most things in life, there are always aspects that could be improved. However, as a part-time job I am so happy working for iTutorGroup and don’t have any major complaints!

Teaching Schedule in March

Good morning! 🙂

Today I would like to show you my schedule for teaching online with iTutorGroup. Let’s bear in mind that I am a full-time post-graduate student and I have two part-time jobs with teaching being only one of them. You can see I’m pretty busy. This is why my teaching schedule is pretty minimal at the moment. I take strong advantage of the flexibility teaching brings and vary my teaching schedule week-to-week accordingly. 

I will go into more depth about ‘my prime time’ hours, bookings and scheduling in future posts, but for today, let me briefly explain the system. Working for iTutorGroup, you need to commit to 5 set hours every week. These hours do not change regularly. If life commitments change, then you are able to put in a request once a month to change these fixed hours, otherwise, they remain permanent. 

My five Prime Time hours are:

-Monday 11:30-12:30

-Friday 11:30-13:30

-Saturday 11:30-13:30

I teach these same five hours every week and have done since I joined the company in December. You can see these hours are highlighted in the pictures below with an ‘M’ in that session.

The darker the shade of the green, the more popular those sessions are, and are likely to be scheduled. However, teachers have the option to add as many extra hours as they like. iTutorGroup is great in that it allows you to book slots at literally any time of the day, unlike some other companies which block out the 12 hours in which students will be sleeping due to the time difference. You can see many sessions are a light grey, however, this doesn’t mean you won’t be scheduled at all, just that it’s not as likely. I have taught an evening before from 19:30-22:30 (GMT), which was 02:30-05:30 (BJT).

On top of my five core hours every week, I regularly add extra bookings. For most of March this included:

-Saturday 08:00-09:30 + 10:30-11:30

-Sunday 10:00-13:00

That totalled 10.5 hours a week. But, I had the flexibility to keep this at five hours a week, or add many more. For example, this week I am not as busy as my university has just started the Easter holidays. So, I opened up extra sessions on Tuesday and am mostly scheduled.

My schedule will likely change in the coming months as I finish my post-graduate degree and change to full-time teaching English online. But, for now, this is what my schedule looks like.

If you ever have any queries about iTutor Group, please email me at: onlineteachingwithmegan@gmail.com 🙂

All times stated above are in GMT standard time zone.

Apply to teach online today!

Good afternoon 🙂

As I spoke about in my last post here, I teach English online through the company iTutorGroup, and I absolutely love it. I plan to document my online teaching journey through this blog. I will also give tips and tricks to working from home and managing your own schedule, give detailed information about the teaching companies I work for and hopefully inspire some of you to try this out for yourself!

If you are ever intrigued to teach English online, or if you have any queries about what the job involves, then always feel free to get in touch at teachingenglishonline@gmail.com 🙂 I will be happy to help.

But, if you are already decided and would like to apply for a position yourself, then feel free to use my referral code:

Using my referral code will allow me to see when you have applied, and I can help you through the application process and guide you to ace the interview. I had my first two successful referrals only last week – both applicants applied, had an interview and got the job all in three days!

Featured

Hello!

It’s lovely to meet you. This is what I say to most of my students at the start of every lesson. I’ll get more into that later, but for now, let me introduce myself 🙂

My name is Megan, I’m 23 years old and I’m from the UK. I’m close to finishing my post-graduate degree in Spanish and English translation at a UK university. I’m passionate about languages. I love communicating with new people, learning about other cultures and then visiting countries to practice my new language skills. I studied Spanish and Italian in my undergraduate degree and I was lucky enough to live in Spain and Italy for a year. I travelled to so many beautiful cities, it was an incredible time.

I decided to continue my love of languages into translation. This postgraduate degree has been very rewarding and I’ve learned so many skills to take me into future employment. However, I have a love for education and learning beyond the structured classroom, which is why I enjoy taking home-based and self-paced courses separate to my university education. I first took a level four diploma in proofreading and copy editing which I loved, and then I completed a level 5 certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), the latter of which I was inspired by a friend who was also completing the same course. I haven’t known exactly what I want to do with my life, and I always see learning these new skills as adding more strings to my bow, so to say.

Fast forward to now and I am an online English teacher, currently part-time but about to go full-time. I work for the company iTutor Group. I’ve been there for five months and I absolutely love it. I still love translation, and have no idea where translation will carry me in the future – I’m definitely open to freelance job opportunities. But, right now I am massively enjoying teaching and want to pursue this further. 

I have so many positive things to say about iTutor Group, and I would like a place where I can talk endlessly about everything I’ve learned, give details about some online teaching companies, as well as give advice for new teachers out there! So, I have created this blog for exactly that. I want to inform others about all the joys and benefits of working from home and teaching English online, and maybe even persuade you to apply yourself! 

If you ever have any queries or want to get in touch, feel free to email me at onlineteachingwithmegan@gmail.com 🙂