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Teaching online free 20 minute trial lessons? Seems shady...

 
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zbethz



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:10 am    Post subject: Teaching online free 20 minute trial lessons? Seems shady... Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

In my search for online teaching positions, I'm interviewing with one in particular who pays only $11-13/hr, and offer free 20 minute trial lessons to new students. I saw a post someone wrote on here about working for a company like this, and having to offer free 20 minute lessons to new students, which was time consuming, only to have students not sign up after the initial session. I mean, how can you sell yourself to the student in a 20 minute lesson, when you need the first lesson to asess them and their needs anyway? This seems fishy to me, the idea of teaching so many free lessons with no guarantee of pay. Has anyone had any recent experience with this? I'm wondering if it is a scam and even worth my time interviewing with this company. Thank you for any input Confused
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 854
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some legitimate companies (Myngle is one) do require teachers to provide free lessons as part of their contract. I'm not sure if you are talking about Myngle, but if you are then yes it is legitimate. It's really up to you what you wish to do - I have heard some students take advantage of this (of course) and move on to different free lessons frequently.

When I used Myngle personally for French and I did a free lesson with two teachers and hired one of them. As a (serious) student, I found it a good opportunity but as an ESL teacher, part of me felt bad Laughing
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zbethz



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply. The company is not Myngle. It's based in Moscow. It just seems very time consuming to be giving up 20 minutes for each new student, when there is no guarantee they will sign up as my paying student. I heard the same from other people about students that just jump from one free lesson to another...doesn't sound good to me.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 854
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I know which one you are referring to. Hopefully hollysuel will see this thread, she has a lot of knowledge about online ESL teaching. If I recall correctly, she mentioned that she does not waste her time with free lessons, because of the "floating" students. I see you've been registered since 2004 - if you have some decent experience, have you considered going independent?
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zbethz



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I just had skype interview with 'said' company. It was brief, only to ask if I've taught TOEFL prep and Business English. She said I'd hear from them in a day to set up my profile. But, she said all questions I had needed to be sent to HR via email, and that she couldn't answer any because she knew little about the company....hmmm.

I've considered teaching online independently since I have 12 years exprience teaching ESL and a Master's degree in TESOL. However, I'm new to teaching online, so wanted to get my feet wet first figuring out how to be effective via skype. Not sure about this company, but I have some other online options that seem legit, so we'll see. I'm curious about the person you mentioned who's been teaching online for years. Would be helpful, like you said, to pick her brain. I appreciate all your feedback Smile
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hollysuel



Joined: 07 Oct 2007
Posts: 217
Location: Idaho, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the organization guarantee hours/students? If so, twenty minutes isn't that bad--consider a free trial lesson as training for you as you build a reputation in said company...

If they don't guarantee hours, I would think twice about it because many of the students are going from online company to online company taking the free lessons and not really paying anything.

Back when Myngle & Edufire started the problem was rampant. I know Myngle fixed it eventually and they only allow two free trial lessons per student, but not all of the newer companies that are coming into the market at this time have fixed this issue as far as I know. Companies like Talk Bean and Tutor ABC always guarantee students and so giving a free demo for them is not an issue. So, my answer is just like some of the others--it really depends on the organization.

If you are new to teaching online and have 20 minutes to spare--use it for training! If your time can be used making money on a different task/student, think twice.
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