- On 29 November 2018
- Tags TEFL Florence
Being Your Own Boss: Teaching Private English Lessons
Teaching private students will inevitably become a part of your teaching repertoire. Private lessons are in demand across the world because they allow students the option to choose times and places for lessons that work best with their busy schedules. They also appeal to students who have specific objectives to reach, such as: passing tests, applying for jobs, or applying for university abroad.
What are the benefits for you?
Teaching private lessons is flexible and it often pays better. Whether you teach at a school or not, you can teach students on your own time. If you are offered private students through a school the pay might not be as high, but the school takes care of your overhead expenses: photocopies, printing, textbooks, and a fully-stocked classroom. Teaching on your own has the benefit of a more adjustable rate, but you will have to take care of your own overhead expenses. Some teachers solely teach privately and never work for a school which allows the time to organize small group classes, work with local businesses, and build a network of students. These individuals establish roots and stay in one place, while some teachers move around and offer lessons while they’re in town. What option sounds the most appealing to you?
Are private lessons better than group classes?
Yes and no. Private lessons offer plenty of benefits that group classes don’t. Working with students one-on-one eliminates classroom management and the feeling of needing to appeal to and reach every student in the class with the same lesson material. Some teachers feel more comfortable interacting with students on an individual basis, especially if the teacher is shyer. There is also a little more flexibility and ownership of your schedule than there is with classes that are set in the schedule every week, even at a school.
What should you consider?
It will initially be more work to build a network of students if you’re working on your own. Private students are more work at the very beginning of your lessons with them because you need to analyze their needs and wants in a detailed manner and decide on a curriculum. As you continue to work with these students, though, it becomes less work because you know their motivations and goals. Be diligent at the beginning of your work with each student and put in the groundwork. You will thank yourself and your student will appreciate your care and attention to their objectives. Being your own boss also comes with a lot of responsibility. You can create a schedule that works best for you, but only to an extent. Your students are seeking out lessons with you because they also need a schedule that works well for them. Additionally, you can set your own rate, but the rate should be reasonable within the community you’re teaching. Do your research and ask around to make sure you are offering reasonably priced lessons.
Believe it or not, there is a lot more to learn about this side of EFL. For this reason Via Lingua places a large emphasis on private teaching, including a course project that gives trainees practical one-on-one teaching experience. Just knowing the English language won’t take you very far. Come learn with us!