Home-based Job 101: Online ESL Teaching

Home-based Online ESL Teaching


Wouldn’t it be grand if you could be your own boss, have total freedom with your time, and then earn a lot? Your English is pretty decent and home-based teaching, along with home-based other things, seems very promising. And, it is, really.


Not to drum up the hype around teaching home-based, it is indeed a viable means of livelihood without you having to contend with the horrible traffic everywhere and you having to get dressed. Can’t go bust with that, right?

Then you see all these ads that scream: Money, honey! Oodles of it! Too good to be true? This is the only thing I can say:  If you’re prepared to put in enough effort, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.


 But pay heed.  Before you can set off for the great ride ahead, here are the minimum things that you’ll need:

A sturdy laptop with good enough specs


It took me three months to save up for this. I totally had to be selfish last Christmas. (I didn’t give anyone anything; I kept all the money to myself, 13th month, tax refund, and all.) It also meant months of keeping my expenses at their lowest possible levels. I have a 2.2 GHz i5 Lenovo G4080, a laptop for gaming. I’m not techie at all, but according to my own research, mine is tough enough for my online teaching needs. Why you need gaming level specs? You’re going to juggle many websites and open a lot of apps, you’ll need a computer that won’t crash.


A quiet and well-lit working space with a neat white or gray background


If you have your own nice and quiet room in your family home, well and good. However, if you’re like me whose accommodation was only some bed space, it means a few more months of saving up. For you indeed need to have your own room or apartment. But please don’t jump right into the first quiet and nice room you find. Since you’re going to teach home-based, the internet is your main tool. Without it, even your excellent goods – amazing English and astounding teaching skills will go to waste. In short, you need a room in an area that has a proven good internet connection. So check around first. PLDT has never failed me so far. I’ve tried two other ISP’s now.

So then, a reliable high speed internet connection

You’ll be doing a lot of video calls and they use up a lot of bandwidth. Most online schools understandably have to protect their business by penalizing those with high emergency and cancellation rates. PLDT’s Plan 1699 5 Mbps will do. Where I am right now, I don’t need any backup. PLDT is pretty robust here rain or shine. It may be different in other areas.

A good quality noise cancelling headset and a good quality laptop cooler


A few more thousands may mean nothing to the affluent, but again, if you’re like me, it can mean at least a month’s worth of fasting. If you’re gunning for your thousands of earnings, your computer may have to be on for 15 hours a day more or less. And of course, before you can allow your computer and its accessories to quit on you, you need to recoup all of your investments first. So, you need to take care of them; they have to last years. I can vouch for Plantronics Audio 478 and Deepcool Laptop Cooler. The best so far.


A basic knowledge in computer troubleshooting


You need to know how to clear your cache, do a ping test, a speed test, and many other tests. It will also help a lot if you know how to keep your computer in tip-top shape – free from viruses, gives optimal performance, and so on. It can come in very handy as computers, however amazing an innovation they are, sometimes act up too. They are of course also vulnerable to virus attacks.


A lot of confidence and dedication


While teaching English online is never stressful, it has its own demands. For one, you’ll need to be able to shift from one teaching style to another as students can come from all ages and English levels. This may be true for other jobs as well, but if you’re in it for the long haul, you need to always be ahead of the game. What it means? You need to read up on a variety of disciplines: business, politics, culture, health, global and local issues, and so on. As students also may ask for recommendations from you, you need to know what good stuff are out there. You may need to check for quality websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, books, songs, and the like.

If you have all of these, you can go full steam ahead. Full-time home-based teaching may be the job that’s going to finally make you rich.



This is not a paid post. All products mentioned are those that I’m personally using. Please let me know if you know any better products.

October 17, 2017
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