Have you thought about teaching English online?
The Internet opens up all kinds of job opportunities for teachers and offers flexibility that many schools don´t. But while the potential is there, a lot of us are hesitant to take it. Maybe we’re still skeptical about businesses founded in the virtual world, or are apprehensive about how successful our online ventures can really be. In the following guest post, Emőke Hevesi – a young and aspiring teacher from Hungary, is sharing her story:
When I was offered this opportunity to write about the beauty I see in on-line teaching, I was scared first. My initial reaction was: “What is it, that I could share, that has not been shared before?!” Then I realised that it is about MY perspective. About how I feel comfortable with it. So here it comes, guys! 😊 My thoughts about this amazing phenomenon that is slowly becoming our future 😊
As most of us, I used to teach face to face. That was perfectly fine, while I lived in a smaller city in Hungary….could even deal with it in Budapest, the capital, as there were no huuuuge distances to travel. It was a practice that everyone followed, therefore there was no need for me to challenge it then, was there?!
There are obviously many advantages of face-to-face teaching but I´m here to
share with you my experiences when it comes to on-line teaching.
I absolutely LOVE IT!
I truly believe that it is the future of teaching, whether we like it or not. As our lives are becoming more and more digitalised, this is a tendency that reaches teaching. It is something that I have accepted and now I have made my peace with it, even though I did have my doubts at the beginning. I couldn’t imagine not being next to my student, not being able to see his / her reaction live…but again, we know there are cameras that can help us there, right?! 😊 So my first EVER on-line student started out as a face to face student! After a while, the travelling became a burden. I have to mention that in the meantime I moved to London, so naturally, the distances became much bigger, the time spent on travelling became a pain in the a**. Let’s be honest….it can be! So I decided to give on-line teaching a chance. I am not saying that I did not have to get the hang of it….I really did! The more I got involved, however, the easier it showed itself to be. I realised how effortless it is to just sit in front of my laptop with my morning coffee on one side and my notes on the other. I can wake up 10 minutes before my first lesson, if I want, because I do not need to spend time on getting anywhere. I can even skip on brushing my teeth…I COULD, I mean!
So, the first and most obvious argument for on-line teaching for me is SAVING TIME.
Sooooo much time!
The difficulty that so many people think about when it comes to not printing materials out, kind of disappears after you have had your second lesson, to be honest. To tell you the truth, I have always loved typing on my laptop, so I feel like I was born to do this! 😀 The help of the easiest programs like Word and PowerPoint could not go unmentioned. It seems like such a trivial thing to include, but it IS this simple.
At first, I was scared because I am not a tech-savvy at all. When I go near a PC, it breaks down. Like, literally. So when it came to teaching on-line, my biggest fear was that I would not be able to deal with the technical part of it all. I could not imagine how I would do the listening, how awkward it would be to have someone looking into my face for the duration of the lesson….See? I had my doubts as well.
But once I started, it all started to align beautifully. I started out by using Skype and I still am a loyal user. I know there are people who prefer Zoom, more in the United States maybe, but I still haven’t really gotten familiar with it. That might be my next step.
Skype has perks of its own! I first struggled with the listening exercises big time. I did not know that I could share the sound, the screen or any of that. As you can see, I was a rookie! But slowly, I learnt the tricks. Or better still, I have been learning ever since….
But hey! You could say, where is the creativity that we love so much in teaching?! Going on-line will limit your possibilities to create colourful and interactive exercises – some say. But, is that necessarily true?! There are countless programs, apps and websites out there to assist you in your creation. You can be as free as your mind is set to be. There is not limit, only people who are lazy to go after the possibilities! Again, that is my point of view, but I am convinced that teachers are people who can never really stop learning. We have got to keep up with the latest trends, let that be music or technology, we have to be able to incorporate sometimes boring grammar into exercises and make it seem exciting. Wow….seems tiring, doesn’t it?!
What do I do? Keep my eyes open. Keep my ears open. Listen to every single person around me. The language that surrounds you doesn’t necessarily have to be English. What counts is that you keep all your options open and when you do, trust me….the combination of your creative mind and the opportunities that you allow yourself to see, will bring out something incredible!
So if you are afraid of going on-line…don’t be! Just give it a go and you will see whether you like it or not.
You will see that it has so much more in it than you could imagine.
I believe that when it comes to us being passionate about a particular subject or area, there really are no boundaries.
If it means that you need to learn how to handle Skype, you will do it.
If it means that you need to spend time on learning something you never thought you could, you will do it.
That is what teaching has taught me. It is a passion of mine that keeps giving back much more than it takes!
And I haven’t even mentioned the best part….when you teach on-line, it doesn’t really matter where you live, right?! 😉
Emőke Hevesi from Hungary
Feel free to contact Emőke at:
#AskEmcsi on Facebook