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Teaching English Online (from Mexico)
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peoplewitheyes



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 6
Location: uk

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone here work for Lewaijiao? I had a successful interview, and have made it to the next (paid) training stage. They initial pay is between 13-18usd/hour, which suits me ok for the moment (given the current exchange rate).

I should start with 18 hours per week (early morning Mexican time).

I´d definitely like to hear your experiences if you have any!
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm been working online teaching ESL for years. I'm always interested in online teaching discussions. Some of the pay discussed in past posts is a little off. I don't know all owners and managers of all online ESL companies but I know many well and have spoken to them in depth at one time or another.

OPEN ENGLISH...

It seems is not hiring as many people as they used about 5 years ago. I've also been told they don't offer as many hours, their pay is lower than before and they want teachers who speak both English and Spanish.

TOPICA...

Does surely not ever pay $18 dollars usd an hour. I know the people who run TOPICA. They pay around $8 usd per hour or less depending on where the teacher is located. It is my understanding $8 dollars usd is the most they will pay anyone. You will get less with less experience.

RUSSIA...

I've talked to a few online ESL companies in Russia. In general they say they have a lot of students to 'fill' the teachers hours. They pay around $8 dollars usd per hour. The main appeal is they say they WILL fill all the teachers hours on the schedule. Anyone who has been teaching any amount of time online knows this is rare.

One Russian company I talked to offered $15 dollars per hour and there would have been 1-on-1 students daily. But the teacher was expected to write every lesson every day for every student, do reports daily and address specific issues like grammar, pronunciation, etc... Meaning the teacher was expected to create lessons specific to students individual needs.

HOURS...

The hours with online teaching are the most difficult thing to deal with. Teachers must state which hours they are open. If there is any class overlap the teacher can get fired more times than not. Missing class when you teach online is not accepted by any company I know of.

I myself work for 3 separate online companies at the moment. Why do I work for 3 separate companies?
Because if one is having a slow season it is possible the other company can make up the hours.

I tend to choose companies that provide pre-made lessons. Writing lessons daily can be time consuming and difficult. There is an appeal to do a pre-made lesson with a student and not have to think about it again. But, the pay is usually less with companies where the lesson material is provided.

Online teachers need to decide what pay is worth it and what is expected of them for that pay. I did have a job with a company in China which paid $25 dollars per hour. This is high pay for online teaching. BUT... The teacher had to write a different lesson every day, had to send in depth student reports in every week for each student and the teacher had to do their own payroll to get paid. There were also constant meetings and harsh critiques of lessons. Yes, the pay was nice. But, for that 'extra' money they are working you 'extra' hard.

Chinese companies are notorious for being difficult to work for. As an online teacher the more you can suck it up the better you will be. Its not easy but what in life is? There are just as many cultural differences to deal with online as in a physical school. I'm not referring to the students really. I'm referring to the management styles and ways companies choose to deal with teachers.

CALL OUTS...

When a student calls out sometimes teachers do not get paid. Other times the teacher will get paid a percentage of the session like 20% - 30%. Students call out A LOT. This does affect the bottom line.

EXPERIENCE...

Online ESL companies do like some experience as a general rule. It can sometimes be best to start with one of those companies that hire anyone and that are super easy to get into. If you can hang in there for 6 months - 1 year you will have some nice experience under you for your next online job.

WORKING HOURS...

Usually the online company will tell you their 'peak hours.' In China peak hours are 24 hours ahead of me. So, when its 10am for them it is 10pm for me. This timezone may or may not be crappy for the teacher. I am making the point though that working with different timezones can be an issue, can be difficult and at times can be impossible. For example... One company I was with wanted me to get up at 3am and start teaching. I had to say no. I can't force myself to do that daily, its too much.

GROUP SESSIONS...

Some companies offer group sessions. These can be more difficult to deal with depending on if the group session is for adults or children and how many individuals are allowed in the group session. You may get paid more for the group session. Is it worth it? Only you can decide. Can you handle 2 - 8 kids in one class and still get high ratings so you can keep your job?

CHILDREN...

In China especially many parents will enroll their child in online ESL sessions. Most of the time children in ESL online sessions are on the ball and into the session.

But, there are times... Believe me on this...

There are times you will get children with severe behavior issues. The parent of these students will usually complain about the teacher. Something to keep in mind... Many times depending on the company complaints are difficult or impossible to remove off teachers record. More times than not ESL companies will take the side of the paying student. To most companies the student brings in the money NOT the teacher.

Also... To teach children many companies want the child to be 'entertained.' If you are good at entertaining teaching children can be a fantastic job for you. If you are not an 'entertaining' person teaching children can be hell. Its important to ask the company what they expect from the teacher.

That is all I can think of for now. All this typing got me tired. I need more coffee.


Last edited by inotu-unotme on Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate all the work that went into this post. Great details! From my perspective, that whole realm of work sounds pretty unappealing. I dipped my toe into the water, pulled it out quickly, and decided to keep concentrating on teaching en vivo.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 1178
Location: 24.18105,-103.25185

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inotu-unotme wrote:


OPEN ENGLISH...

It seems is not hiring as many people as the used to say 5 years ago. I've also been told they don't over as many hours, their pay is lower than before and they want teacher who speak English and Spanish.



I am still working for Open English, almost 6 years now......and that is the reason they are not hiring as many people as before, turnover is not that high. I did want to correct a couple of things here. Pay is NOT lower, in fact, there are now two options, if you are a non US person you can be an independent contractor, but if you are you can be an employee and pay is higher. We are actually looking for people who speak English and Portuguese, not Spanish so much, but if you speak both you are gold. But we do hire lots of people who do not speak another language if they have good teaching expereince.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 1178
Location: 24.18105,-103.25185

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzgerald wrote:
I appreciate all the work that went into this post. Great details! From my perspective, that whole realm of work sounds pretty unappealing. I dipped my toe into the water, pulled it out quickly, and decided to keep concentrating on teaching en vivo.


Yeah, there are times it is monotonous and repetitive, and I have to really psych myself up before starting work for the day. But, to me, the trade off of being able to live in a small town vs living in Mexico City is worth it and all I have to do is think about living in DF for about 15 minutes and I am good to go, haha. I LOVE visiting DF, but can't imagine ever living there again.
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 110
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hahaha pretty monotonous and repetitive is right...

right now I have 2 elementary classes with a few students in each who are all below level...somedays I'm not sure whether I want to shoot them or myself. Especially since I travel 40 minutes each way and none of the students put any effort into learning. Good thing I have a driver.
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