Still considering when to move online? Today, I’ve invited four great online teachers who are going to tell you about why and how they started!
Don’t miss a thing and keep reading, I’m sure they will motivate you with their stories.
1. Natalia from spanischmitnatalia.com
I studied to become a primary school teacher in Spain. However, when I finished my degree, I decided to go to Hamburg, Germany, to start a new life and I worked there as a Spanish teacher at a bilingual children’s school.
While I was working abroad, I realised that Spanish was in demand and that’s why I decided to take a Master in teaching Spanish so that I could find more and better opportunities. After finishing it, I went to Valencia and started teaching in International House. At the same time, I started training to become an online teacher. This new way of teaching showed me a new world full of surprises and freedom.
What inspired me to teach online in the first place? From my point of view, the most important advantage of teaching online is being able to work where and when I want. I love travelling and discovering new places and cultures and working online allows me to do that.
Another great upside is being able to accompany my partner and my students wherever they go. It no longer matters where my husband works or where my students move or travel, I will always be able to be in touch with them or even follow them. I just need my computer and some other light stuff.
Finally, another aspect that motivates me is being my own boss and making decisions at work. I can decide how, with whom, where and when to work. This may sound unrealistic or like luxury but it’s totally possible when you work online.
Who hasn’t ever felt disgusted, demotivated or stressed at work? I bet every teacher has sometime had colleagues or students that made their life impossible. I’m sure they have felt unappreciated at some point and have realised they can’t grow personally or professionally in those conditions. Well, I think feeling at ease and recognised at work is absolutely important in order to be happy.
Nowadays, having a job that allows you to adapt to the circumstances and achieve all your objectives is a huge step towards freedom, which humanity really needs these days.
2. Olaya from enjoyespanol.com
Every time I take a profound look at my past self, I wonder how I ended up teaching online. I consider myself a very active and social person. I like to be in contact with people and feel them next to me. I thought teaching online was the opposite of all that! I’d expected it to be something cold, distant and boring…
However, I changed my mind about it since the very first moment I tried it.
I had been living in London for 4 years. I was working as a Spanish teacher in high school, organizing Spanish clubs and as a private tutor. I was doing well but I missed my country lifestyle, my friends and family. That’s why I decided to go back to Spain.
It was really sad to tell my students I was leaving London. I had spent a long time teaching them and we were like a family. And then, it was at that moment when it dawned on me and asked them: Why don’t we try to continue online?
I went back to Spain with this idea of continuing doing what was my passion: teaching. When I arrived, I got a bit scared though. I couldn’t help asking myself: Will it work? I started reading and researching about teaching online, I trained for it and it turned out to be something really exciting to me.
I remember when I taught my first class to some students I had known for two years. I got an email from their mum right afterwards thanking me and telling me she felt so relieved because the class had worked and her children could continue studying with me. That’s how I started specializing in teaching kids and teenagers.
Bit by bit, trying, making mistakes, adjusting and trying again, I started teaching higher levels and preparing students to take DELE exams.
I soon realized I could travel around the world and meet new cultures just by sitting in my office.
After two years working online, I have already many students. I think that my career is, in fact, my hobby. It allows me to meet many students and entrepreneurs. It also challenges me, it keeps me really busy but at the same time allows me to be free, travel, keep on learning and do something that I absolutely love.
3. Belén from spanishbmb.com
I started teaching online by chance. My husband’s job required us to travel. One day I came across an article about online teaching and I thought it could be the perfect solution for me to be able to accompany him around the world and continue working. I could work from any country, choose my timetable, my methodology, my holidays…It all sounded like advantages.
I said to myself: I just need a computer, a good internet connection and teach as I usually do. Well, the latter was not so true.
My first online student was Sonia. I had been teaching her for a while face-to-face. She was moving to Ireland and wanted to continue learning with me. I thought it would be simple so I didn’t prepare the class very well. What a disaster! We both ended up exhausted and frustrated.
After that class, I decided to take a course in teaching online. I trained, I created my website, I organised my materials and, finally, I found my first student, Victoria. While we were doing the trial class I realised I was much more confident using the screen. We clicked and after 20 minutes something magical happened: we were having a conversation as though we were together face-to-face, we had forgotten about the screen and the 5,000 km that lay within us.
You can teach online as effectively as you can in person, or even more. There are many students who prefer to learn online and online teachers are in high demand.
However, it is necessary to prepare yourself thoroughly. In my opinion, it is much more difficult to keep the students focused so it’s important to prepare a suitable material, simpler, graphic and summarised. The classes should be shorter and the student should do some homework before each lesson so that these are 100% effective.
If you are considering teaching online, seek for professional advice, look for the best information, train, prepare yourself and, when you are ready, go for your magic moment.
4. Vicente from Spanishwithvicente.com
I gave my first Spanish lesson when I was living abroad. I thought that maybe I could help others to learn my language the same way I was learning English and that’s how I decided to become a Spanish teacher.
I will never forget the moment when I left the library where I taught the first lesson. I spent almost two hours preparing the session and one hour giving it but it was worth it because at the end my students thanked me and I felt like I had enjoyed all the time (I even forgot about what time it was). After that, I thought: what if I could make a living out of this? What if I could go back to Spain and still do what I love? What if I opened my own business online?
These are the main reasons why I started in the online world: freedom, doing what I love and helping others to learn how to speak Spanish.