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There are more and more online teaching opportunities becoming available each day. I did thorough research on most, and I ended up applying for Palfish and I completely love it!
It is an English language learning app that you can download on your phone or tablet. There are 2 programs when it comes to "teaching". There is the Freetalk option, which has no requirements, allows you to set your own rates, there's no curriculum, has students of all ages and is open to non-native English speakers. You open your schedule when you're available and you chose the video call or phone call option, and the student calls you and you just talk. They want to practice their English, so either they will already have topics they would like to talk about, or you just ask questions about their hobbies, country, life, etc.
The other program is the Official Kids Course (which is the one I'm teaching with). This program already has set rates, you can make your own schedule, teach children only, a teaching certificate is required and is only opened to Native English speakers; Canada, US, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Although I have years of experience working with kids, I didn't have any teaching certificates. Luckily, I found an online inexpensive accredited TEFL option that I completed and it allowed me to apply to Palfish. If you don't have a certificate, you can get yours here
Once you have the certificate, you can click here to download the application. You complete the necessary steps to apply, which includes a text intro, audio intro, uploading your certificate and verification.
The text into is your introduction. You want to let everyone know where you're from, what are your hobbies, what are your qualifications, how long you have been teaching and anything interesting you would like to add. It's advised to add as many emojis as you can to your sentences, as the kids love emojis. Here's an example:
The audio intro is pretty much the same as what you wrote in your introduction, but through audio, as the parents like to hear your accent. Make sure when recording there are no background sounds, and that you are not speaking too fast and you are loud and clear. Uploading your certificate is easy, as you just have to post the photo of it along with the number on the certificate. Verifying your nationality means you have to upload a passport or ID to prove you are from one of the Native English speaking countries.
You want to make your "class" look as kid-friendly as possible. For your interview, what they look for is a good background, great energy and PROPS! You even get a $ bonus if you have props. Your background could be a map, a sign with your name, numbers, the alphabet or anything fun and creative! Your props could include hand puppets, finger puppets, flashcards, stuffed animals or anything that is relevant to the different lessons. The interview lesson will be shown ahead of time so you will be able to prepare for that specifically.
After you complete the necessary steps, you will have to pick a time slot you wish you have your interview. The interview is a mock lesson. You will teach one of the lessons that is prepared, but with no student. You have to teach as if there was someone in the classroom with you. It felt a little awkward, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. The classes are 25 minutes, and you are to complete the full lesson. You're able to enter the classroom before the interview, so you can go over the slides and practice beforehand. A person from the office watches your demo, and within a couple of days you will receive a message welcoming you to Palfish!
Once you're hired (cause I know you'll do amazing on your interview) you can start working within the same day. For the Official Kids Course, on your background, it is necessary to have a print out (or painted) photo of the palfish logo. It is also mandatory to wear a blue shirt while teaching. You then open your schedule to your availability and be ready to teach! The first few days you will receive trial students. These are parents who are testing the app and haven't bought a package yet. You should teach your heart out here (and always), because if they purchase a package after a lesson with you, you will receive a bonus! Like I said before, the lessons are 25 minutes, and you are able to go over, but never go under! Also, make sure you are not late for your next class as you will be deducted points and could lose money. You are paid for 30 minutes, so if you do go over 30 minutes, you're not paid for that time.
Palfish will pay you through the platform Payoneer. You can easily sign up for an account by clicking here
You get paid once a month. This is how Palfish's payment and points system works:
The base rate is 55¥ per class and depending on how many points you collect during the month will determine your ability to climb the pay scale. The points refresh each month.
Level 1 = 0 Points = 55¥
Level 2 = 300 Points = 60¥
Level 3 = 700 Points = 65¥
Level 4 = 1100 Points = 70¥
Level 5 = 1500 Points = 75¥
You receive a props bonus when you first start = 100¥
If you're not late for a class = 5¥
If a student signs up for a package after trial = 200¥
If you have perfect attendance (no lateness or abscenses) for the month = 200¥
If you refer a teacher who passes the interview = 300¥
Now the points are given through different things such as:
Completing a class = 5 points
No lateness last month = 20
No absence last month = 20
Teach a lesson at 8pm Bejing time = 5
Sell a package to a student = 20
Refer a teacher = 10
Student cancels a class within 3 hours before = 10
You can lose points for:
Receiving a complaint = -50
Not showing up without letting somebody know = -20
Cancel a class over 24hrs in advance = -1
Cancel a class within 24hrs = -5
Being late for a class = -3
Leaving early from a lesson = -3
Overall, I think Palfish is a fun, great experience that gives me the freedom to make my own schedule and work when I'd like to. The kids are super adorable. Like any other job, you get what you put in. The more times you open, the more consistant your availability is, the more energy and ethuasim you have, the more you will succeed. After a few days, the company won't send you as many trials, so then it's up to you to promote yourself with lives, updating moments, a great and attractive profile and a wicked intro video. It's kind of like Instagram for teachers!
If you ever have any questions at all; feel free to reach out to me!