How to Build Your Community as an Independent ESL Teacher
I am Jade Lucille Abundiente, an independent ESL teacher based in the Philippines with almost 4 years of teaching experience. Once a manager at one of the biggest fast-food companies in the country, I quit my job to pursue my passion through online teaching. Now an independent teacher to more than 50 students, I have been able to save up and build a small house for me and my kid.
Teaching independently doesn’t mean you have to take the journey alone. From teaching at a company to figuring it out on my own, I am grateful that I have built up communities of Filipino teachers where we support and drive each other. For those who are on the same path, I’d like to share why it’s important to have a network like this, and how you can grow your own community!
Getting Started as an Independent ESL Teacher
The last few months of 2021 were a depressing time–ESL companies and foreign teachers took a great hit as China announced a sudden ban on tutoring. Amid the chaos, I had the chance to communicate privately with one adult regular student and one parent of my regular kid student who gave me the idea to teach them directly instead. Therefore, in November 2021, I took the first step in my English private tutoring career.
At the moment, I have 55 students and counting. My usual schedule is from 8am-12pm, 1-5pm, 6-8pm fully booked 5 or 6 days a week.
Building a Community for Support and Growth
Since I started teaching privately, I was of course working alone without any support, and I realized how difficult it was. To have teaching resources, I used to purchase textbooks at very high prices. Hence, here I am, offering assistance to all the private teachers in need, especially those who are still starting out in their teaching careers. Having support and a community where you can give tips, offer assistance, and share lesson materials all for free with other teachers is such a great help. And I am very much honored to provide these opportunities for my fellow Filipino teachers, who are undoubtedly one of the most passionate and best tutors in this industry.
And I am very much honored to provide these opportunities for my fellow Filipino teachers, who are undoubtedly one of the most passionate and best tutors in this industry. ----Jade Lucille Abundiente, Independent ESL Teacher
How do I manage to make the community grow? It is quite easy. As a private tutor myself, I know the resources I need. I know what the teachers need. I know what they need to know, especially in a ClassIn virtual classroom, for them to be able to conduct fun and successful lessons. Sharing and caring.
I share with them my knowledge by making short tutorial videos about the basic ClassIn tools.
I share free lesson materials, which are one of the vital resources in private teaching.
I may be working the whole day but whenever I have the time to answer queries, I spare some time for them. That is what a community is all about.
Knowing the Right Tool for You
From the moment I decided to teach privately, ClassIn was and has always been my chosen tool. The platform was introduced to me by the former company I was affiliated with, which was used in combination with their own teaching tool. Although there were many platforms to choose from, I stuck with ClassIn for its user-friendliness and so many exciting features that can make classes fun and interactive, especially for the kids.
More importantly, ClassIn has helped me attract more students through tools and functions that make my classes more interesting and fun. I can make customized backgrounds like my students' faces, their favorite cartoon characters and anything related to our topics they find amusing. I can make background/ClassIn skins while the classes are ongoing! I just love how easy it is to bring sparkle to my classes every day.
For those aspiring Filipino private ESL teachers, never give up. Your rate does not reflect your worth. You may be offered a low rate, but do not be discouraged. Give it your best shot and teach with all your heart. Improve your skills. Be knowledgeable and flexible. Your time will come. Be patient as patience is a virtue.
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