The pros and cons of being a teacher become slightly different for online ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers. Even though the job description is still pretty much the same but your approach towards the teaching profession may change.
One of the best pros of becoming an ESL English language teacher is the job opportunities available on the internet. The requirements for procuring these jobs are also slightly different. For large online language schools such as VIPKID, you do not need years of experience to apply for a teaching position. The website requires you to have the following;
- A bachelor’s degree
- A year or teaching or similar experience
- Fluency in English
Other advantages of becoming an online English teacher on VIPKID include;
- You do not have to find your own teaching material – VIPKID provides you with its own teaching material, which means you do not have to spend hours on searching for authentic content to teach. To me, this is a major advantage of becoming a VIPKID teacher. Instead of spending time on looking for material, you can use those hours to plan interesting lessons.
- Students are easier to find – One of the toughest things for an online teacher is to find students; VIPKID, on the other hand, has more than 500,000 students on its platform. As long as your performance as a teacher is good, you do not have to worry about finding teaching jobs.
- You can plan creative lessons – Unlike a regular school job where you have to follow a lesson plan approved by the school, VIPKID allows you to plan your own lessons. You can use creative teaching tools, such as games, activities, and quizzes to teach your students. The only requirement is that your plan should be relevant to the material the website gives you.
- You decide your own working hours – This is a great advantage especially if you are working multiple jobs. You can pick your own working hours and teach from anywhere.
These advantages add an element of fun and creativity to the teaching process, which is why VIPKID has more than 60,000 teachers on its platform.
Like any other profession, being a teacher has a range of benefits and drawbacks. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been teaching for quite awhile, it’s important to reflect on the pros and cons of being a teacher. It gives you perspective on the job, and you can use that to embrace the good aspects of teaching and limit the bad ones.
In this article, we will discuss all of the common pros and cons of teaching. This will be especially helpful for those who are thinking of becoming a teacher. So if you’re considering it, please read on.
Pros of Being a Teacher
Long Summer Vacation
Both students and classroom teachers have a rest from a school year during the entire summer or at least for the two summer months. At the same time, in many cases teachers continue receiving their salary during the vacation, or at least have the option of increasing their salary instead of receiving it in summer. Teachers can grab a summer job or travel or work on passion projects. Most careers don’t give this extra time.
Good Working Hours
In addition to long summer rest, teachers sometimes work only until the afternoon, depending on their curriculum and number of lessons, and that also belongs to benefits of being a teacher. Of course, if you teach English online, your hours could be a little different, but ultimately way more flexible.
Feeling of Accomplishment
For any job, it is important that you see the results of what you have done. And when it comes to teaching, you constantly see the results of your students as they are acquiring new knowledge and advancing in the subject. Isn’t this feeling awesome?
Opportunity To Influence
As a teacher, you always have an opportunity to change the future of education. At some point, experienced teachers are asked to mentor newer staff members. In this way, you can share your expertise and knowledge.
Ability to Work From Home
Teachers can give individual lessons both on Skype and personally to homeschooling students. Moreover, individual teaching extends the teacher’s “target audience”, meaning that they can teach not only kids but also adults and get extra income. Teaching online from home can be a great experience for either retired teachers or teachers looking for alternate career paths outside the classroom.
For tips on teaching online from home, see this article.
Becoming A Role Model
Your students listen to you and look to you for advice and guidance, which is also an undeniable advantage of being a teacher.
It’s Just Fun
Opportunity To Work Abroad
There is a range of special programs for teachers, especially foreign language teachers, which allow them to move abroad and teach foreign students for a decent salary. For example, there is a high demand for teachers of English in China, Japan, and South Korea. Teaching abroad could be an exciting experience.
Cons of Being a Teacher
Lack of Cooperation with Parents
Unfortunately, some parents are reluctant to help their children improve their performance at school, because sometimes only the teacher’s help is not enough. Even worse, some parents may even blame you for their child’s poor grades or ask you to change those grades.
Lack of Cooperation with Administration
Sometimes the administration may not like your teaching style and you may have conflicts.
Unfortunately, there are always a couple of such students in any classroom. They do not respect the teacher or their classmates, thus causing problems that may interfere with the teaching process. It’s difficult to reach students that have an aversion to learning and it can be troublesome to deal with.
Sometimes teachers have to take their work home and correct the mistakes of students in their workbooks. This work can be rather tedious and boring at times. Furthermore, teachers have to plan and prepare their next lesson plans, or writing prompts which can also be considered homework.
Being a Role Model
Yes, this belongs both to pros and cons of being a teacher. We are all humans and we make mistakes. But if your students see you make a mistake, they may not forgive you, as you may no longer meet their expectations. This is a con of being a teacher only because of its added responsibility and pressure. Most teachers see it as a pro, though.
The emphasis on standardized testing has changed over the last few years. Teachers are often evaluated based on test scores. If your students score well, you are a great teacher. If they fail the tests, you are a bad teacher. This black and white review dynamic can be frustrating, depending upon where you teach.
Lots of Stress
Every day teachers deal with lots of people: students, parents, administration, other teachers, etc. It may be quite stressful as all people are different and have different views on education.
There surely are many pros and cons of teaching but one of the major cons has to be the time you have to spend on your job. As every teacher knows that teaching is not just about taking a class, delivering your lesson and scoring a test; it takes hard work and commitment. Your work starts well before the class and continues even after it ends. You have to spend the time to find the right and authentic material and then plan your lessons.
Lesson planning is not an easy task; there are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration. You have to decide which teaching style to use, which type of activities must be included and think of ways to keep your lesson interesting and effective. Then there is homework and tests, which need to be assigned and checked regularly to see if the students are making progress and achieving the learning objectives you set for them.
For an online teacher, lesson planning is even more difficult. Every student you teach is different; their learning style and purpose of learning are not the same. Therefore, you cannot use the same teaching method and lesson plan for every student. If you take three different classes in a week then it means three different lesson plans. This could take a lot of your time and may become a problem especially if you have a day job.
Therefore, to become a teacher you must be ready to work hard!
Is being a teacher worth it?
It is up to you to decide. It can depend on school, subject, and other factors. However, you can organize your working process in the most convenient way. For example, to avoid the bureaucracy of schools, you can become a private teacher.
What do you think? Does this accurately represent the pros and cons of teaching? We’d like to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below. Also feel free to name any advantages or disadvantages of being a teacher that you thought we missed.