The answer probably needs the attention of some psychologists and a decade of study, however, we think it absolutely makes you happier if…
… you like controlling your income
Teaching online differs from regular teaching in all sorts of ways, but none as liberating as the ability to start actively controlling your income. It’s hard not to feel frustrated during those “busy periods” that require everyone including the office goldfish to clock in 12-hour shifts for 2 weeks straight because of … reasons. But this frustration is only compounded when you have nothing to show for it except unsightly bags under your eyes. Teaching online means managing your schedule and, more importantly, managing how much you want to earn. Unpaid overtime doesn’t exist in the lexicon of the online classroom – you choose your hours, and therefore your pay.
… you’re a travel junkie
In the very broadest sense of the term. If you feel trips to the beach are only worth it on Monday through Friday, why not turn weekdays into ‘beach days’. In the same vein, if the idea of Cambodia in March, India in April and Uganda in May strikes a chord, it’s time to get your passport ready. Online teaching can totally change the way you think about travel. Since all you need is an internet connection and laptop, there are very few places you cannot teach from, and because ‘office hours’ are another non-existent term in our world, arranging work around travel (not the other way around) can become your new reality.
… you’re in it for the kids
Of course you’re in it for the kids. Every teacher is. Even those who sometimes have their students thinking otherwise. But online teaching changes the dynamic between student and teacher. Your experience as an online teacher is almost purely centered on the interaction taking place between you and your student in the classroom. PTA meetings, staff showdowns, forced team building and Alpine-like mounds of paperwork are a thing of the past for online teachers. Your job is teaching. Period.
… you like making a difference
One of the biggest impacts of online teaching, is the increase in accessibility. Especially in the context of foreign language acquisition, having access to high quality and native-speaking teachers is a rare commodity in many places. Large metropolitan cities such as Beijing and Shanghai may have access to foreign teachers, but in more remote regions the need for English literacy can be even greater, yet with fewer resources to provide for it. Online teaching fundamentally changes this. Your impact is direct and real, one student at a time.
… cultural exchange is your vibe
In the same way that working in a candy shop comes with the added benefit of lots of free candy, so too does online English teaching come with a great side benefit – cultural exchange. In every class, both teacher and student are transported into each others’ respective homes through the screen. And throughout the lesson, each will be exposed to new cultures through interaction with family members, intruding pets, interesting decorations and a cacophony of background events that inevitably occur. Many students and teachers naturally learn more about each other’s cultures through these sessions, and in ways no textbook or even tourist package could ever teach.
… you get FOMO easily
Fear of Missing Out. It’s a thing, and many of us get it. If you are particularly susceptible to FOMO, then online teaching is a no brainer. Because it’s the future. It’ll be the norm sooner than most people think. Being part of this giant shift in education means being at the forefront of a global movement that is here to stay. You can’t miss out on that!
So does teaching online make you happier? We think so.