Low Cost Start-Ups: Teaching Online
CLASSROOMS WITHOUT WALLS
There are lots of work-at-home jobs available today but one of the most respected of these is online teaching and tutoring. You must have a teacher’s certificate in the state in which you wish to teach, and a desire to help kids. In addition to this, you may have to get a criminal background check, fingerprinting, and proof that you are eligible to work in the United States. In addition to this, you may have some training with the specific online school or environment that you will be working with, and the proper technology to do the job.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD ONLINE INSTRUCTOR?
The types of people that do well in an online teaching and learning environment are generally the same types of people who do well in a traditional classroom, with the exception of the fact that online teachers have the added responsibility of keeping up with records, communications, and instruction all in an online environment. This can add certain challenges to the job that you may not find to be true in a traditional classroom. The online instructor must be good at “follow-ups,” have a quick turn-around on grading and evaluations, and be well organized.
LEVEL OF COMMITMENT
How much responsibility you will have as an online educator depends upon your position, and particular institution you are working for. Some schools require you to meet with parents “in the real world” on a semi-annual basis, in an effort to increase parent involvement, fulfill state requirements, or help with PR. The online learning model, while widely accepted in most circles, is still new in the minds of most people. So some K-12 schools, such as K12.com and others require an occasional meeting with community members or participating neighborhood schools and communities to increase awareness and PR of the instructional model.
EMPLOYEE STATUS EXPLAINED
Online teaching is not a franchise opportunity but it is similar in that you are often in business for yourself and it is something you can set up for less than $100 on average. Most of the time, the online institution will furnish everything you need at no cost to you. So it is a low-cost setup business opportunity. Some schools hire you as an “employee” and even offer some benefits.
Retired teachers who wish to reenter the workforce but who do not wish to go back into the school environment may find their niche teaching or tutoring online. It offers them a chance to still help kids, while making good money from home.
The technology requirements are generally as follows:
- a high-speed internet connection
- knowledge of whiteboard or other similar online learning platforms
- reasonable fast computer
- a good sound card and microphone or headset to communicate with kids
- the required software (usually provided by the online school)
If you have these things or are willing to get them, you can teach or tutor online. Note that the tutoring jobs are usually a bit easier to get into, and do not require teacher certification in some cases. Teaching for a K-12 school always requires certification in the area you are teaching plus experience in the field in the real world (preferred). University teaching jobs are also available for places like The University of Phoenix and Walden University, to name a few. But these require a masters degree or higher.
Here are some places to start if you are interested in looking into either a tutoring, or part-time or full-time teaching position which you can do online:
- Educate Online
- Walden University
- Sylvan Learning
- University of Phoenix
The pay for online instruction positions pays anywhere from $10 per hour to $40,000 per year. That depends on the position you hold and the school’s policies on teacher pay. The classroom has moved online! Welcome to your virtual classroom!