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Teaching English Online (from Mexico)
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jultime wrote:
Anyone know what happened to Fitzgerald? Haven't seen him online in ages.

I'm still around, and still living in Queretaro, but you're right, I haven't been posting to online groups very much. As Guy says, I'm pretty busy. I'm teaching private Business English classes to more than 15 students, and also doing a lot of freelance writing and editing. As recently as November I had only five private students, but I guess that hard work pays off.

I've got six pets now (three cats, a ferret, a small dog, and a hamster).

I love being fully independent. There is no denying, though, that managing private students involves plenty of work. It's not teaching the classes so much; that part is easy! But even when you screen them carefully, private students can be very flaky, prone to last-minute cancellations and no-shows. I'm continually assessing whether or not to continue with particular students; I cut one loose just yesterday. I can't commit valuable teaching time-slots, especially on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings, to students who demonstrate low commitment. Fortunately, I've gotten to the point where I always have new students in the pipeline.

After almost a year and a half in Queretaro, I'm understanding the social landscape better, too. That took a while.
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 110
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Fitz, good to know you're alive and well in Qro.

I've just completed my first year, still at the same school. Qro is great.
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jultime wrote:
Hey Fitz, good to know you're alive and well in Qro.

I've just completed my first year, still at the same school. Qro is great.

Isn't it, though? I am very happy to be living here. I'm never leaving.
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jimpellow



Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 847

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Guess they don't like my availability since I'm already working 32 hours a week at a language school."
-That is a good point to note about teaching online. My overall impression is that it is more based on fear of bringing students over to the other school, as well as a control issue as I referred to above in terms of autocratic management. It is usually not stated explicitly, but I have noticed it seems to occur with Asian schools as a glaring example. They will decline your services even if your schedules do not conflict conflict. One Japanese school did have a bold warning that they would sue you if they found out you were working for another online school. Hahaha

The post about privates above was spot on. I used to have a client based business for years in the States and got so tired of no-shows and work outside of the session that when I decided to go nomadic, and make ESL my income base beyond my online business, I vowed not to have to deal with the hassles ever again.

Teachers I have known who have had the most success seem to do so after considerable effort through group classes online or locally.

As for my Internet issue, I think the Yucatan is just not up to snuff yet.
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jimpellow wrote:
The post about privates above was spot on. I used to have a client based business for years in the States and got so tired of no-shows and work outside of the session that when I decided to go nomadic, and make ESL my income base beyond my online business, I vowed not to have to deal with the hassles ever again.

Teachers I have known who have had the most success seem to do so after considerable effort through group classes online or locally.

You are right, the hassles involved with teaching privates are considerable. The reward of being in control of my business, income production, and time is the counterweight to that. I don't like working for employers very much; I'd rather deal with client headaches.

I only allow clients to push me so far, though, and I make every effort to decline probable pains-in-the-fundament upfront.

The same holds true for my writing and editing work.

I believe that it is optimal to have other income-producing activity besides teaching. I believe in the "multiple streams of income" model! And it is advantageous to earn some money in dollars instead of pesos these days, because of the exchange rate.
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 110
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Open English decided to accept me after all. So I'll sign up with them and see what happens. That extra money in USD would be nice.

I don't have the entrepreneurial spirit so I won't be going into business for myself.

However, I did rent a house, I rent out 2 rooms and that income covers my rent and bills...so yeah, I'm living for free in a nice house in a nice neighborhood.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 2038
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jultime wrote:
Well Open English decided to accept me after all.


If you would like to talk to and get help from your new colleagues, I still run a similar forum to this one that I set up when I was working there. Send me a PM, and I can give you the link and sign-up details. There are around 100 people there.
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rafomania



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LarssonCrew wrote:
Hey guys, thought I would chime in here.

Before I begin I'm not in Mexico, never been , blah blah.

I'm currently in the UK and I had just had to have my retina reattached and a ton of other stuff related to my eyes done in surgery.

Anyways so for 4-5 months I'll be in the UK before I eventually head back to Asia to work. In the meantime I didn't want to mope about so signed up for a few schools.

First one is dadaABC, which teaches kids.I do 3 hours a day [6-9 Beijing time] 6 days a week, generally I earn about $60 a day through it, it pays just over $20 an hour. If you don't have a student [my schedule is now full] they pay half for you to sit infront of a computer incase they do need you.

This month I'll be pulling in around $1500 from them. They were also really chill with me needing so many appointments.

The other one I use is talk915. I literally could fill 14 hours a day for 7 days a week if I needed. I generally do an hour before my dada and 1 or 2 hours after. They pay $11.50 an hour but they are cheeky and class 2 x 25 minute classes as 50 minutes, so only actually pay about $10.

I do about 100 classes a month there [1 class = 25 minutes] and make about $600 from them.

In a good month I should therefore pull in about $2000 for 5 hours a day x 6 days, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more.

If it was only talk I was working for I would be miserable, doing 50 hours a week for $300 is grim, but I use dada as my 'base' and 'top up' with talk for however much I need.

I estimate after a slowish start that I'll have made around $10000 in the 5 1/2 months between starting and heading to China. Bare in mind I had 3 weeks off for surgery and 2 weeks off for Chinese new year so realistically more like 4 months.

Any questions let me know. And no, I'm not affiliated with any of them.


Interesting post. How do they pay? Via bank transfer, paypal? What are the requirements to get a job with either site? Is there an interview, assessment? Also are hours easy to get once signing up or do you have to wait until your reputation has built up a tad?

Thanks
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 1285

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry just saw your reply.

I currently am on a 'summer' schedule which is 7-9 [am] and 11-2, so I do 5 hours total a day right now 6 days a week and I'm on about 22 USD an hour, so...roughly 2500 a month.

The other job I gave up, 9 dollars an hour was grim and I have other projects on the go [my website for instance] and some video production I do. So I was happy just doing 15 hours a week and earning around 1500, but they asked me to do overtime in June July and August.

They pay via a bank transfer and I end up about 15 dollars short of the total because of bank fees. They've paid on time every time although rather annoyingly they pay on the 15th of the next month, so I get it about the 19th. So I've essentially worked 2/3 of the next month before I get the month before's pay.

I will continue to do this. I will study an MBA in a years time online and I'm seriously considering working this schedule [although maybe I'll just do 3 hours a day 6 days a week] whilst living in a different country for each month. So I'd do 6 months in SEA, maybe a month in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Philippines, then head over to SA and do Chile, Peru etc. If my flights and MBA fees are paid then I can quite easily live on around $2000 in each of these places. In January I'm due a raise and also I will be paid a one month bonus. So I should be back to about $28 an hour from then on.
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rafomania



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are those the only available hours for the summer schedule? How about winter hours.


I'm thinking about a move soon and online teaching is looking an attractive option for me.

Thanks for your input, it's been helpful.
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peoplewitheyes



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 6
Location: uk

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have any of you guys worked for VerbalPlanet? How is it in terms of salary, hours etc? Thanks
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peoplewitheyes wrote:
Have any of you guys worked for VerbalPlanet? How is it in terms of salary, hours etc? Thanks

I was accepted there recently, but haven't gotten any work out of it. There is a lot of competition (as at most such sites).

I have strong ambivalence about online teaching; the times I have tried it have not satisfied me. I much prefer in-person teaching, even though that offers its own headaches in the form of cancellations and no-shows. Live teaching is more personal, direct, and three-dimensional. I don't think there's any question that it is pedagogically superior, although of course it is good to have electronic options available for those who do need them.
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abbott123



Joined: 08 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Queretaro, Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:17 pm    Post subject: online teaching Reply with quote

Hi Fitz, Yes, I agree with you about online being impersonal and live teaching being superior, but sometimes people need to bite the bullet and get the work they need to get. I am currently lucky to have the job I have and a few private classes as well. I don't need to go the way of online teaching... Smile Smile
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:08 pm    Post subject: Re: online teaching Reply with quote

abbott123 wrote:
Hi Fitz, Yes, I agree with you about online being impersonal and live teaching being superior, but sometimes people need to bite the bullet and get the work they need to get. I am currently lucky to have the job I have and a few private classes as well. I don't need to go the way of online teaching... Smile Smile

Absolutely right. Sometimes students need online classes because no others are convenient, and teachers definitely sometimes need the work.

I just found that there was (literally) something very flat and two-dimensional about online teaching. Live bodies in real space make a difference.

The latest studies of online classes of all types show that learning outcomes are superior offline, which is disappointing to those who thought that online education was going to be a big game-changer. In my opinion, technology in education is assistive, but is never the answer in itself.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 1285

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, the fact I can wake up 30 minutes before class, get a shower and a coffee and be ready, when I hear it raining outside and knowing it is cold and miserable feels good.

The internet has been surprisingly good, and essentially making around 2000 a month now, I could live almost anywhere [maybe not Zurich but oh well].

Also one tip, don't work for the companies who make you set up a profile and then get 'picked'. Work for a school, they do the leg work. I started working and within 2 weeks had a full schedule of 18 hours.

I signed up for some of those sites and the competition is ridiculous. Retired guys living in Philippines offering classes for 6 usd an hour. Then again there is delusional people who ask for 120 usd an hour, yeah, you're an ESL teacher, not a lawyer.

So I had another offer, for full time teaching [40 hours a week] for 1300 usd, turned it down, not my style.

Topica in Vietnam pays 16 usd an hour, not bad.

Depends how you see it. Once I start studying my distance masters I may be tempted to live by the beach and do 6 hours of teaching 5 days a week and live it up on 2300-2400 usd a month
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