Could You Become a Freelance Teacher?
Could you become a freelance teacher? We live in the information age and most of you have a lot of information in your heads. This could be knowledge about subjects of interest to you, hobbies and spare-time interests, it could be a skill related to work, or it might be how to make something or how to speak a language or write an essay or report.
And there are a lot of people out there who want to learn what you already know.
But what if you don’t have a teaching qualification? I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve actually got 2 teaching qualifications, one a PGCE from what is allegedly the best training college in the land and yet I am not actually qualified to teach anything 🙁 This is because of changes in the system and because I trained to teach adults.
However, it’s not a problem if you want to teach outside the system, and there are plenty of ways you can do this. In addition to tutoring as a freelance teacher, you can teach as a consultant, coach or expert in your niche, rather than marketing yourself as a teacher.
And with all the stresses of modern day teaching, you probably aren’t really tempted to jump in to an inner city classroom.
What Can a Freelance Teacher Teach?
You can teach just about anything – anything you are really good at or know a lot about, as long as there are enough people who want or need to learn it. But you do need to have the right personality. I can remember being taught at school by teachers who were experts in their subjects, but unfortunately not experts at teaching those subjects to young people. And I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences – as well as the opposite – great teachers who really inspired you.
So it would be a good idea to get some informal teaching practice before launching yourself as a freelance teacher or as a consultant.
Find a friend who wants to learn something you feel you can teach, or offer a few free lessons in your local community, perhaps as part of an exchange or barter system. This will let you try it out to see if you enjoy teaching and you will be able to get some feedback from your students, both of which will help you decide if teaching is right for you.
Getting Ideas for Freelance Teaching
The first thing to do is take a look at what you could teach – is there any area in which you are an expert? This could be in something you have been doing for years either at work, in the classroom as a student, in the home or in one of your spare time activities.
Becoming a Freelance Teacher for Traditional Subjects
If you want to teach more traditional subjects, such as those taught at school, musice etc, the most usual way is to offer private lessons, either in your own home or the students’ homes, This will depend on the subject and also the age of the students and the usual method in which the subject is taught. Price can be a factor too, for example, if you are a piano teacher, parents are probably used to taking their kids to music lesson, but if you work for wealthier clients, you can charge more to teach in their homes.
Teaching English as a Freelance Teacher
One very popular teaching career for people who want a change and want to travel is TEFL, or teaching English as a foreign language. It’s usually a good idea to do a standard 4 week course or a part time course over a year, as this will help you to get work in language schools abroad. However, many people just want to practise their English conversation and the main qualiification is being a native English speaker.
You can also advertise in local colleges if there are a lot of foreign students in your neighbourhood.
You don’t have to travel
One of the great things about the internet is that it has opened up a huge number of possibilities for people who want to work at home. So if you want to teach English, any other language you can do this via Skype and email for example. You can use this method for any subject which doesn’t require being in the same room as the student.
There are sites which specialize in language teaching and you can join and get some students there. You can join forums and local meetup groups to find people interested in learning. – this is probably easier if you want to teach a foreign language. People who go to language meetups are really keen and may prefer conversation or individual lessons than going to a structured evening class.
Teaching Students How to Study
A lot of students are not good at getting their work done on time or to a high enough standard and so if you have skills in this area, you could find some buyers. However, you’d have to target the right sort of student – typically, students don’t have a lot of money and so you need to look out for those who can afford to pay for your services.
You might want to consider targeting their parents. This might involve a bit more work and some crativity, but it could be worth the effort. Think about parents desperate to get their kids into the best schools or universities. In the UK, people move house so that they live in the catchment area of the best schools. So if they are concerned about their kids passing exams, do you think they will pay for a tutor?
Teaching Work Related Skills
If you have strong work-related skills which are in demand, one option is to teach them to people who are just starting up. You can do this as a consultant on a one to one basis or you can
When sole traders start up, they have to do everything themselves, but for the most part, they want to stop doing all the paperwork as soon as possible. Often, they want to employ people they know, sucha s family members, but they need to learn how to do them properly. So you could devise your own systems and training courses so that they can teach their own staff or family to do these effectively. If you can find innovatvie ways to doing things, which will save time and money, you could also train staff in companies which are already established.
If you have skills in project management, time management, business start-up and so on, you can look at developing your business further. Depending on the situation, you c an do this in person, via webinar or by creating videos and pdfs. If the information is generic or specific to a certain industry rather than to a specific company, you can then sell the recording or videos and pdfs to other companies who could also benefit from the information.
So if you are interested in setting up as a freelance teacher, there are many opportunities available.