Setting Up the Ideal Home Office to Teach ESL Online

I’ve lived and traveled in 5 cities in the last 12 months — and I still managed to teach ESL online. I average 18 hours of Skype lessons per week and 3 hours of teacher training. Since I’ve been in temporary housing for all this time, I’ve had to get creative about how I maintain a professional presence on camera. Watch my video for tips on the main concerns to take care of common concerns.

These things are easy to fix and make a huge difference in how professionally students perceive you. This absolutely affects how much you can charge for your lessons.

Concern #1: Your Voice

  • The wise low-end investment for this is a high-quality microphone like the Blue Yeti.

Concern #2: Your Lighting

  • The wise low-end investment that will make you shine when you teach ESL online is (1) an HD webcam, like the Logitech Carl Zeiss C920 and (2) multiple lighting sources. Your standard light bulbs and lamps will do. Just make sure one is IN FRONT OF your face.

Concern #3: Your Composition

  • The wise low-end investments to look amazing are (1) a cardboard box that raises your laptop until the camera is closer to eye level; (2) a wall or screen if you need to hide untidy or “too-personal” views. To be taken seriously when you teach ESL online, students should never ever ever be able to see your bed.

Concern #4: Your Internet Connection

  • The wise low-end investments to fix this are (1) an ethernet cable and (2) the strongest internet package your provider will offer. This is not the place to save money!

Write your questions about how to teach ESL online in the comments below!