7 Reasons why Teaching English Online is a Bad Job – Should You Quit?

Teaching english online isn’t always as great as it’s made out to be. It can feel like the worst job you can possibly do online, and sometimes due to burnout or how culturally different the business operations are, you may find it challenging to adapt, resulting in you quitting, or the teaching platform terminating your contract.

When teaching online, you can feel like just a number, nothing more – nothing less. Disposable at the blink of the eyes. However..

With a reliable internet connection, perseverance and effective timekeeping, you can make some serious money. It’s also a fantastic gateway job into something else. Teaching English online can help pay the bills while you explore starting your own business. Here are some reasons why you should quit your job and work for yourself.

With technology advancements, the teaching industry has reached a pivotal point. You no longer have to travel abroad to teach English as a second language, you can teach ESL online from your sofa or bed, you don’t even have to get out of your PJ’s! Although it’s advised. On second thought, you may have to wear one of their required polo shirts. When teaching English online with DaDa, you wear blue. When teaching English online with iTutor you wear red.. Just don’t get them confused!

Here are 7 Reasons why Teaching English Online is a Bad Job

1. You are stuck at home, staring at your computer screen.

As Covid lockdowns are ceasing, Many of us want to swap screen time with going outside time. This is just one reason why you may be sick of teaching online. With so many of us having been refined to our homes and glued to our screens, it’s no surprise you may feel this way. A great way to overcome this is to book off some time away, and enjoy what life has to offer. Visit the seaside!


2. You’ve been given three minutes notice to enter a new class…

This is the most annoying thing about teaching online. With some platforms, if you miss a class due to the system scheduling you into a lesson last minute, you could face a $15 penalty. DaDa are notorious for adding you into classes last minute and charging fees. In-fact most of the big Chinese teaching platforms do this.

Teaching English Online is a Bad Job

If you have booked classes, but have no students, DaDa expect you to wait by your computer unpaid, incase a class pops up. You are expected to refresh your browser regularly even if you have hours of empty slots.

It’s strongly advised to cancel all open slots to prevent penalties, while you are not by your computer. Occurring penalties can happen multiple times in a day and can result in you losing money… Fast. From experience, it’s very hard to get these penalties removed, but here are some tips on shaking that penalty off.

3. Why do I speak to adults like children?

Speaking to adults in a condescending tone and repeating words unnecessary, can happen without you realising. You may not intend to be rude, but it can comes across like that. When you are surrounded by kids all day, you get into the habit of talking differently. I think of it as a type of ‘muscle memory’ that kicks in.

Physically working the same movement, or speaking the same way for a period of time, creates a permanent memory of that movement so you don’t realising you are doing it.

It’s super important to have a good work life balance. Mindfulness can help with this, it’s a type of meditation which allows you to focus on the present moment and increase self awareness.

4. Why do students like Minecraft?

Minecraft is an excellent game, and extremely popular with kids. Surprisingly it’s non-violent and educational. But it’s extremely addictive and as Minecraft and online teaching are opened on the same device, it’s extremely easy for the addicted gamer student to play while you are trying to educate them.

It can be frustrating to teach students while their attention is divided. You can report this to the platform you are teaching on, or try and base your lesson around what the student likes, whether it’s Minecraft or something else. You know they are distracted when students start to answer in only ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

One way to recover the student to your class is to own a collection of interesting props, that can steal back the students attention.

5. Why has iTutor suspended my account?

If you have been absent 6 times in 6 months, iTutor awards you a permeant suspension. Apparently no one at iTutor Group can remove this suspension, as it’s locked into the system. If you are very near to 6 absents, book off a few months in holiday so your record refreshes. 😊 This way you can start working again after your break.

Compared to some other teaching platforms, the penalty for missing just 1 class with iTutor is very low.

6. Do I have to teach English online at the weekend?

Yes, teaching english online at the weekend is very likely. Many teaching platforms require weekend work. You could teach for up to 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday! The peak time for the weekend runs from 9am–9pm. If you don’t want to work many hours at the weekend, book it off in advance. On most online teaching platforms, holidays are unpaid.

7. Is my home too noisy to be teaching English online?

One of the downsides of teaching English online is that the teaching environment needs to be quiet and professional. This can be challenging, especially as teaching English online is a great job for stay at home dads and mums. If there is a lot of background noise, the students will likely complain, and you are likely to get headaches, resulting in losing students and seeing warning letters in your inbox.

posh kids playing Teaching English Online is a Bad Job

So now you know why some people may think Teaching English Online is a Bad Job, but there are also also many joys, and I believe that the positives still outweigh the negatives.

Not everybody is able to teach online, it takes a creative yet structured personality as well as being very adaptable to spontaneous situations. If you liked this article check out how you can Teach English Online With No Experience.