3 Mistakes I Made When I Started Teaching Online (And What to Do Instead)



hello this is Jack from teaching ESL online and in this video I'm going to talk about three mistakes that I made when I first started and this is going to help you avoid those mistakes if you move online as a teacher so here is mistake number one mistake number one is not connecting with other teachers so when I got started I would check out the competition and I felt really anxious about doing this because I didn't want to see what other people were doing I felt like a lone wolf and that I had this idea to teach online and if other teachers saw this and got the idea then maybe they could do it better than I could so when I found some websites I start to panic a little bit and think they're doing this better than me they have a team they have a bigger budget they seem to be more established as teachers and I will start to panic a little bit thinking that my students might go to this teacher but since then I have realized that there is no competition if you set things up correctly because every teacher is unique and we all have our own ways of teaching and people are going to connect with us or better said different types of students are going to connect with different types of teachers so when a student comes onto your website or they take a trial lesson with you or they watch one of your videos they'll know if there is that chemistry between you and the teacher and you're going to find learners who are perfect for you and the learners will see you as a perfect teacher so we're all different and we can't have all the students in the world obviously so that is one reason why you shouldn't think of this as competition you shouldn't see other teachers as competition instead teachers can help us improve our own situation so when we connect with other teachers when we share resources get feedback doing mastermind groups those types of things then you are going to improve you are going to get better and also you're going to find teaching online a lot less isolating because it can be quite isolating on your own in your room Doon your online lessons without seeing anyone all day but when you actually connect with teachers and share those experiences then you'll realize that other people are doing this too the second mistake I made which was really for the first 18 months was staying in my comfort zone for too long so I put up a website put up a picture started writing some blogs but I didn't really push anything else from there I didn't make videos I didn't offer different types of lessons I didn't increase my prices I didn't think about courses or anything like that or group lessons so I stayed in my comfort zone for too long now moving online means for most people getting out of your comfort zone and you can do this little by little so when I first started to make videos I made them and only shared them with a few people then I look back and proved upon them and went from there it can be daunting doing some of these things like creating a website putting up your own picture on this website using your name even on the website too and so just know that it gets easier and it soon becomes a new new normal but you can take this step by step you know you can start with the website put up a picture that you like and then the next stage is to create a welcome video for people who come onto your website and then maybe from there you do things like YouTube videos so for me I stayed in my comfort zone for too long and you might be doing this too and especially if you're wanting to get started but the best advice that I have here is just to go and take baby steps do something that you feel a little bit uncomfortable about doing but you'll soon realize that it's going to be okay and then you can gain confidence and move on from there mistake number three was not using email marketing right from the start what I mean by email marketing is using some kind of service an email marketing service so you can send out newsletters information about your lessons and you can keep in contact with those who want to know more about you as a teacher this is the true way to build up an audience but it's also the best way to keep in touch with learners and to remind them of your lessons and your courses and your one-to-one lessons so for example some learners might sign up for a trial lesson but they don't go on to take a lesson with you or they'll take the trial lesson but they won't go on to take regular lessons with you but having an email list allows you to contact all the people who have requested a trial lesson and to remind them of your services or to persuade them to take a lesson with you additionally it allows you to offer new products and services further down the line so if you start with one-to-one lessons but then you start to offer a new course a video training course for example you can contact people who have followed you by email and tell them about this and say I have this new course buy it it's going to help you so email marketing is the most powerful way to build an audience and to keep in contact with past students so I had hundreds maybe even thousands of learners who requested a trial lesson but I couldn't contact them on mass I had to go back and send an individual email to all these people so getting an email list is such an important thing to do right from the start and it's very easy to do these days too so just share three mistakes I made in the first three years of my online teaching business what I want you to do is to share any mistakes that you have made too and also let me know if you're making the same mistakes as I did if you haven't started an email list if you don't connect with teachers if you don't put yourself out there so leave me a comment below this video and please share it with anyone who will find it useful thank you for watching see you guys next time

26 thoughts on “3 Mistakes I Made When I Started Teaching Online (And What to Do Instead)”

  1. I think my biggest mistake was getting sidetracked by far too many other things. I'm getting myself back on track, getting ready to upload videos to YouTube, using a blog, using Patreon to offer services, and I'll be getting a mailing list set up. I have more than 11 years experience teaching ESL, but that was in person, not over the internet. This is a shift for me.

  2. Hi Jack, I am grateful for this perspective that every teacher will relate differently to each learner and that it is not about getting the maximum amount of students but getting the right amount of right students 🙂 I'm encouraged to speak to more teachers – thank you for sharing!

  3. Thank you for the 1st video. It was a pleasure to listen to you. You've got a beautiful accent. Just what I need. British, I think. I am just beginning to teach online , and English is not my native language. Hope to improve what skills I have.

  4. Hi mate, i am about to teach online on my mother languague. Is there any tips from you for me?
    I mean, i still confused what to plan, how to set price, what platform i have to use, should i make my own website, what kind of style i will teach, what syllabus i will offer, and there still a lot of thing i still wonder about.

    Thanks mate 🙂

  5. Thank you for your video. I’m glad that after all, you’ve learnt from your mistakes and now you’re kindly sharing your experiences. I feel more confident after hearing them. My story is even more sad: I’ve worked as ESL teacher in China for 4 years, but I’m not a native speaker. I’ve neutral accent but many companies are still prefer to hire those who have passports from America, Australia, so on. And I often a lack of confidence, only because my mother language isn’t English.

  6. mate, i want to be in touch with you. my email is [email protected] and i m planning to start teaching ACCA online. may be its a good idea to keep in touch with someone who really understands the importance of keeping in touch

  7. awesome! Very handy. I am starting to get familiar to the resources such as zoom, hangouts, facetime… Very difficult for me that is trying everything by myself. e.g today I watched your zoom installation tutorial, tried and didn't get anywhere yet. I feel walking like tortoises kkk

  8. What city is your accent from? (I won't offer my guess, but I just wonder if I'm correct. I'm trying to familiarize myself with the various English accents. Thanks.)

  9. I just watched your video and thanks for this information. I am just starting up to look for opportunities to teach English online and it's been tough for me because I am a non- native speaker . I am starting to connect with other ESL teachers and hopefully, I will land a job soon.

  10. Self-direction is one of the key attributes of an adult learner. How can you encourage it in your online course?
    Overbearing pedagogy is a recurring problem for many adult learners. As children, we’re usually taught in a way that emphasizes a “follow the teacher” mentality. The instructor lays out the lesson, delivers a lecture, sets homework, and marks grades. Children seldom take part in determining the course of their educational curriculum, and are mostly trained to follow the plan laid out for them.
    But for adults, the situation is the reverse. We’re used to setting our own priorities, and we’re far beyond the point where we’re willing to sit through lessons that don’t have an immediate bearing on our objectives. We already know what we want, and we’re looking for a course that delivers.
    https://medium.com/@adagilbert10/online-courses-with-self-directed-learning-approaches-for-better-user-engagement-b6b050cf83f9

  11. Thanks for your video. By the way, could you please recommend some networks that helps connect online teachers?

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