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I’ve talked a lot about online ESL teaching as a legitimate work from home opportunity (it certainly was for me!). I’ve written about the general job requirements here, here, and here, about online ESL companies that hire Australians here and here, and about how to choose the right company for you here. Something I haven’t touched on yet, is the absolute wealth of information and assistance for both current and aspiring online ESL teachers that can be found on social media. You can find a tonne of information and support to help you succeed with every step of the application process for almost any company, and a whole community of colleagues to connect with and share the experience of being an online ESL teacher with.
So, where to start? Well, if you’re new to all this and looking to dive into the world of online ESL teaching, a great place to start is YouTube. A quick search will show you that there is an ever-growing supply of informational videos from online ESL teachers about all aspects of the hiring process, actually working for various companies, and essential online ESL teaching skills. I personally recommend you check out LaShundra Wigfall’s YouTube channel. LaShundra is a current DaDa teacher and she was DaDa’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, and her videos are a terrific resource for any aspiring online ESL teacher. Even if you’re wanting to apply to companies other than DaDa, you can learn so much from her videos about online teaching in general, as well as things such as classroom props, reward systems, TPR, etc., etc. She also has a Facebook page where you can connect with her, and she’s very responsive to questions and requests for assistance or information.
Another terrific social media resource is the ESL Educational Rockstar group on Facebook. This is a group for all current and aspiring ESL teachers, and you can really get a good understanding of the wider online ESL community and the many, many companies who you could possibly apply to work for from this group. This group is run by Lily, who has multiple roles with various online ESL companies, including recruiting for several companies. She’s an active presence in the group, and is enthusiastic about online ESL and promotes a really positive, collaborative environment in the group. The group is almost 6,000 members strong, and it’s an active community, with lots of conversation and information being shared on a daily basis. If you’ve got a question about online ESL education, there’ll usually be lots of people happy to answer it for you here.
There are a heap of other groups and pages you could look into. There’s an Online ESL Reviews group on FB, and there are also individual groups for pretty much every company out there. Just do a little searching on Facebook, or contact me here on the blog or ask in the ESL Educational Rockstar group if you’re struggling to find the group for a specific company.
I’m going to finish with a few pointers for navigating the online ESL teaching social media landscape:
Use the search bar
If you have a question about online ESL teaching, I can almost guarantee you that at least 3,000 other teachers have had the same question before you. The Facebook online ESL groups are a bit unique in that they’re some of the kindest, least drama-filled groups I’ve seen on FB. There’s a pretty decent level of patience and understanding amongst the members for answering newbie questions, and if you can’t find current info, you certainly shouldn’t hesitate to ask any questions. But, a quick search of the group may provide you with detailed answers to your questions, without having to wait for replies, and without cluttering up members’ news feeds with a question that gets asked several times every week.
Verify important information
If you ask a question of a large and varied group of people online, you’re often going to get a variety of different answers. This can be terrific if you’re looking for an overview of a particular company or something such, but if you’re seeking information which you’re going to base important decisions on, make sure you’re getting it from an appropriate source. The online ESL education landscape in constantly evolving, and important details about companies, their hiring requirements, their pay structure, etc., etc., can be subject to change. Make sure you’re comfortable with the source you’re getting your information from.
Think about returning the love
Resources like this blog, and some of the social media channels I’ve mentioned in this post, take a lot of effort to produce and maintain, often with little compensation for the creators’ time and effort. If you find a resource or individual who is super helpful to you in your research and application process to a particular company, you might want to think about using their referral link for your application to that company. Using their referral link usually means that if you’re successfully hired and work for that company for a certain period of time, they’ll get a once-off bonus for referring you, at absolutely no cost to you. I’m super grateful to anyone who uses the links I have in my posts and jobs hub, but even if you don’t want to use mine, think about sharing the love and using the link of whoever helps you most along the way.
Well, that’s it for this post. I hope you find the social media links I’ve provided above as useful as I did during my time as an online ESL teacher. If you’re interested in online work opportunities beyond ESL teaching, keep an eye out for our upcoming blog post which will be up next week, where I’ll be providing more info about various other work from home leads you can find on social media.
Happy job hunting,