Finding Online Teaching Employment

Finding online teaching employment, like in the physical world, is a competitive exercise.

The Internet came into common use in the mid 1980’s. Within a short time, developers acknowledged that opportunities existed to enrich career choices by expanding learning online. The Internet has made it possible to reach people wanting to combine studying during off hours with full-time jobs during typical hours or vice versa.

There became a means to expand access to knowledge into international and/or rural areas. Over time, the Internet has become the most expansive virtual library imaginable. By using reliable online translators, the Internet has become a platform for creative teachers to reach a student nearly anywhere on the globe where there is Internet access.

Looking for work teaching ESL online, I visited www.esljobsworld.com. The site stated that over 30K teachers are looking for ESL jobs each month and 1,250 submit applications each month, but they failed to state how many are seeking online positions only.

Under a search for all jobs, over 1K appeared and most paid 40K or more a year. The online positions offered only 16 options - a smaller market.

It is important to read the requirements carefully. Most positions listed on that job site required Skype, Vonage, or some other means to talk to the teacher. This was not a requirement a few years ago when independent courses were offered. In fact, several teachers told me that they were happy not to talk to the students on the phone and/or with a computer visual.

One instructor said that her accent was a deterrent. Another did not want the students to see her dark skin and Indian-style clothing. It is likely that a teacher with one or more disabilities would state the same objection to additional contact using other senses. It is unlikely that these educators were trying to be dishonest, but they were clearly trying to express themselves to their students in the best image possible.

Individual branding as an online teacher on social networking sites, especially business sites liked Linkedin, might increase your exposure to employers.

Make certain your cover letter is professional enough to offer the employer something unique. The optimal word is to market you as a creative online teacher. Examine what features about you are different, unique, special, and desirable. Be sure to focus on that when you apply to gain the success you seek. Like Lady Gaga, this is the most valuable marketing you can do – you as an online teacher.

By Dr. Jacqueline Zaleski Mackenzie, author, speaker, and social scientist


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