It's the burning question many millennials are asking..how can I make money and travel? Well, we know of one option: teach English online. Sound simple? It is! CIEE TEFL recently interviewed Kristin M., a registered nurse in the U.S. who moved to Italy with her husband who plays professional basketball. We asked her all about her experience in Italy and what led her to teaching English online. WARNING: at the end of this blog, you'll be applying to teach English online.
Tell us about yourself! Where do you live,where are you from, and what's something interesting about you?
I currently live in Pistoia,Italy, but I am originally from upstate New York! I am recently married (July 2017) and moved full time overseas to be with my husband who plays professional basketball. I would say the most interesting thing about me is that I am able to live overseas and travel the world with my husband while still working!
What led you to start teaching English online?
I learned about teaching online through a group of women who are in the same situation I am (overseas with their boyfriends, husbands) . I left my job as pediatric Register Nurse and I was in search of a job where I could work from anywhere and I can do that teaching English. What a great opportunity!
What are some common challenges associated with teaching English online and how do you address them?
One of the biggest challenges associated with teaching online is making learning English fun while teaching through a computer screen. There is also the language barrier, and depending on the age of the student you have tailor your teaching style to that student. Behavioral issues can be challenging too! While challenging, there a ton of resources and teaching workshops available on how to deal with these issues.
What are the biggest pros and cons of teaching English online?
One of the biggest pros of teaching English online is the ability to make a difference in a students life from anywhere in the world. It gives you freedom to teach wherever and whenever you want. One of biggest cons would be internet issues! It is not uncommon to have unstable internet connection when teaching. If there is an unstable connection it can make it difficult to teach the class.
Who do you think would be a good candidate to teach English online?
I would recommend this job to anyone, and everyone! As long as you have some sort of background in teaching, this job could be for you. If you don't have teaching experience, a TEFL certification would be a good step to getting a job like this. It is such an advantage for individuals who want to travel or have the freedom from a "desk job."Also I would recommend this to students fresh out of college who want to make some extra money paying off those student loans =)
What are your students like?
My students are amazing. I am going on month 3 of teaching and I have gained steady "regulars". They are between the ages of 5-13, all with different levels of English. They love to interact with me and see my dog =)
What is your favorite thing about teaching English online?
My favorite thing about teaching online is the ability to have a job that I can take with me overseas and back in the states and how rewarding it is.
How much do you work each week?
My hours vary from week-to-week, but I usually teach anywhere from 5-8 classes per day. That is what works best for me at this point. I am able to work more or less depending on what I have planned for the week - I make my own schedule (yet another perk!).
Do you find teaching English online rewarding? What have you learned from your experience?
This is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I am lucky enough to have found two careers where I am able to make a difference in peoples lives . There is nothing better than when your student who was struggling with a sound, word, or sentence pattern, finally gets it! It's amazing to watch them progress over the weeks,and to know I am the one helping them along this journey is a wonderful feeling. I have learned so much from this experience. You engage with a student from a different country, culture and language and learn all about them. It opens your eyes to the world and you really do gain a new perspective!
Thank you, Kristin for sharing your story!
Interested in other ways to travel and make money?! Learn more here!