This is a controversial blog post, but we’re here to stir a debate. So let’s get stuck in.
At TeacherTee, we specialise in recruiting ESL teachers, finding people jobs and setting them on their online teaching journey. So when it comes to placing teachers into schools, it’s safe to say that we know what we’re talking about, including exactly the type of candidates schools are looking for.
Teaching is often associated with academic qualifications (and don’t get us wrong, qualifications are important) but they hold far less weight than a vibrant personality when it comes to winning a job and becoming an excellent teacher.
Think back to your days at school and the teachers you were inspired by. What characteristics did they have? Were they disinterested? Demotivated? Downright dull? You probably don’t remember because all they did was spend their time telling you to stop falling asleep, right?
Or were they vibrant? Extroverted? Enthusiastic? We all remember the teachers that would have you checking your timetable in the morning, praying you had a lesson with them that day. (Shout out to Mr & Miss Mannion from St. Anselm’s secondary school in Canterbury – they were my English teachers and I remember them until this day).
Back to qualifications for a moment. To qualify to work in China, you do need at least a Bachelor’s Degree and a 120-hour TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification. Teaching in Chinese schools has its pros: they offer you fixed classes, fixed lessons plans, and fixed pay – but there is a ceiling on your earning potential here. The top teachers look to make around £30 an hour.
Now let’s imagine a different scenario: you’re a vibrant, energetic, interesting person, but with no degree and no teaching experience. Is it possible to make this kind of money? The short answer is yes – and more.
While many ESL teachers cut their teeth in Chinese schools, freelance teachers are the big winners in the online teaching game. You dictate how much you earn, teach your own material, pick your own hours, students and work whenever and wherever you want.
But how is this possible without any qualifications? The short answer is marketability and selling who you are as opposed to your qualifications.
There are plenty of freelance platforms where you can sign up without any qualifications. Providing you’re proficient in English, you simply need to create a profile that gets across your enthusiasm, energy, tenacity and all the other amazing traits you have. You can write a bio, post photos and an introductory video that can get across your personality far more than any degree can.
Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. People buy from people, so you can have all the qualifications in the world, but if you don’t do yourself justice and come across as dull and boring on your profile, you’ll get left in the dust. Go the extra mile.
Over time, when you prove yourself as a good teacher, you’ll build up your client base rapidly. It’s worth noting that these platforms display their teachers based on ratings and reviews – if you smash those two, you’ll be able to increase your pay rates at your leisure, with no limit on how much you can earn per hour. Many freelance teachers charge upward of £100 per hour! Fancy it?
Here at TeacherTee, we’re looking for teachers with personality and drive and can inspire the future generation. If that’s you, get in touch today and let’s get the ball rolling.