Finding teaching work

You have completed your training, passed assignments and received your certificates, so what is next for you?  You could apply to jobs and join an organization or you could freelance from right this minute!  Here’s how the top 5 things to do first:

  1. They say it’s a good idea to have 3-6 months expenses saved before you go completely freelance, this acts as a buffer to ensure you have enough for house bills and is really good advice if it’s possible to do. Furthermore, it might be best to forget about the money for a moment, think about ways to provide value in your teaching, give something back with some volunteering all to deliver an amazing experience to your clients.
  2. Learning how to communicate with your students effectively and build long-term relationships is key to working freelance, hoping that they will remain your clients and recommend you as a teacher.  Learn how to know what they need in their courses and what their next steps in English might be and remain calm and respond politely if they ask awkward requests or become a bit needy towards exam time for example.  Some of this will come with experience but you lovely people who have become teachers undoubtedly have interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively! 
  3. For every enquiry, introduction or completion of a course add that client’s email address to your address book so you are building a database of contacts that you can promote to – ensuring you follow GDPR good practice procedures.  I have email addresses of all my FB group teachers just in case of tech problems with FB and I can still be in touch although I don’t use the emails for marketing or any other reason.  Use social media extensively to promote your own teaching and gain new clients – the more regular you can post across the platforms, the better plus including visuals and links to practice ideas for your students will provide you with kudos. 
  4. Join a network of peers or find a mentor who can guide you through difficult times or help you with a problem as well as figure out how to advance your career.  Having a mentor can be key in developing your own skills and being part of a network helps with questions or challenges when discussing with someone in a similar position really helps.  
  5. Keep reflecting on the lessons you deliver by completing a journal or similar after each lesson.  Think about or record what went well in the lesson, what didn’t go so well and what you would change or improve if you taught the same lesson again.  This is a constant aspect of teaching and I wish I had done this more often – I usually relied on a mental note to self on my lessons but when teaching in the public sector a few years ago we had to complete an official log to keep hold of our teaching status so I know it is good practice! 

Finally – best of luck on your teaching adventure and enjoy one of the best freelance jobs in the world!

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