UNITED STATES—The ‘great resignation’ is an unprecedented phenomenon that has occurred in the last two years, becoming widespread worldwide. Recent changes to the work environment in every industry have led people to reflect on their existing situation and reassess their priorities. As a result, many have decided to quit their jobs, ultimately seeking a better work-life balance. 

With in-person attendances being restricted and face-to-face contact replaced with an online connection, the education industry has been one of the most affected.

Teaching English Online

Taking advantage of recent technological developments and taking advantage of the need for physical social distancing, the sector of teaching English as a foreign language continues to thrive (TEFL).

Because of this, combined with a general interest in achieving new goals, more and more people have turned to teach English online as a way of reinventing their work lives and improving their personal ones.

If your personal commitments clash with the demands of a full-time job, teaching English as a foreign language online could be a solution. It offers flexibility and independence while maintaining interpersonal connections and offering the chance to build international relations. All you need is a PC or a laptop and a strong and reliable internet connection.

Who can teach English online?

From the age of 18, there is no age limit to online English teaching. There are teachers of any age, from all over the world, who teach English with a flexible schedule that suits them – even as a second income!

You do not need a university degree to teach English online, but this is at the employer’s discretion. What you do need, however, are:

  • a strong command of the English language. You need to be able to speak, read and write confidently, as well as to understand a range of English accents.
  • an accredited TEFL qualification from a reputable provider. This training is crucial, especially if you are new to teaching. It will help you discover many tricks of the trade to be the coolest teacher in the school! As well as a basic 120-hour course, you could increase your chances of being hired by continuing your professional development by focusing on online teaching;
  • a laptop or a PC. Although you could technically teach via a tablet or a phone, some employers have strict requirements regarding their teachers’ equipment;
  • additional equipment. Your laptop/PC is likely to have a webcam and a microphone already, which is great if you are going to teach in a quiet environment. However, if you want to enhance your students’ experience and make yours less stressful, you could invest in a webcam with a higher resolution and a good-quality headset;
  • a well-lit space. Sitting by a window is ideal if you want your students to have a clear picture of you. Unfortunately, natural light is not always available, but a strategically placed lamp can do the trick!

One of the reasons why teaching English online has become so popular is the flexibility and independence that it offers. It allows you to decide how much or how little you want to work every week, when, and where. You might love the idea of teaching from the comfort of your own home, or you might prefer to deliver your lessons while traveling the world.

Teaching English Abroad

Although teaching English online appears to offer the best of both worlds, some people believe that nothing can replace the feeling of living abroad, both from a personal and professional point of view.

As countries open their borders again, many people have taken this opportunity to travel again, especially now that finding cheap flights has become easier than ever. Others, however, want to go beyond the safe tourist route. They dream of a more immersive experience abroad and a deeper connection to foreign cultures than any typical two-week holiday can offer. 

If you are longing for new adventures and are itching to start afresh somewhere away from your comfort zone, there is a way to make your dreams come true. It is possible, in fact, to grab a golden opportunity that would allow you to quench your thirst for new experiences, friends, countries, and cultures, as well as a new career path. There are plenty of articles you can read on planning your first trip abroad for you to be guided.

The opportunity that can offer you the full package is becoming a teacher of English as a foreign 

language. Think about how many countries you could explore! And if you can’t make your mind up on where to go first, don’t worry, there’s plenty of information available online. For example, this article tells you all you need to know about teaching English in France

Is teaching English abroad for you?

In terms of qualifications, a 120-hour TEFL certificate from an accredited provider is a must. Gone are the days when you could just land an English teaching job on the basis of your language fluency. Competition is tougher nowadays, and employers have become more selective. Because of this, some countries are strict regarding the level of formal education their teachers hold. However, there are many countries where you can teach English without a degree. 

Besides qualifications and training, your personality and professional attitude can considerably increase your employability levels. Be honest with yourself and check if you fit the bill:

  • Are you open-minded? While teaching English abroad, you will no doubt encounter a range of behaviors, beliefs, and mentalities very different from yours. You might find some of these difficult to understand or accept, and this can be challenging.
  • Are you a keen learner? The best teachers are those who never stop learning. Investing in your own professional development will certainly make your job applications stand out. What’s more, it will improve your students’ classroom experience as well as yours.
  • Can you adapt easily? Different institutions work in different ways. From the availability of classroom resources (e.g. technology, books etc.) to the day-to-day admin procedures, there might be some unfamiliar situations you could find yourself in. The ability to adapt and think on your feet will definitely be an advantage in your career as an English teacher abroad.
  • Are you culturally sensitive? As a TEFL teacher, accepting and welcoming different cultural backgrounds is not enough anymore. You are expected to foster a classroom environment where cultural differences are celebrated, by creating a safe haven where learners can learn from each other’s differences.

In conclusion

Teaching English as a foreign language can offer wonderful opportunities: a flexible timetable, a stable work-life balance, and fulfilling goals. Whether it be teaching online or abroad, there are always many advantages to teaching English, but be sure to do your own research to understand which path is best suited to your needs.