You Could Make up to $20/Hour Teaching ESL Online — No Experience Needed

Angela Brumbaugh of Fort Worth, TX tutors online in her home for QKids.
Photo courtesy of Angela Brumbaugh
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Angela Brumbaugh is a professional songwriter, lyricist, content creator and children’s author.

She’s also a wife. And a mom — to Ryan, her college-aged son; to Barkley, her Australian shepherd; and to Bunny and Clyde, her two rescue rabbits.

On top of that, she’s also a teacher.

How does she manage all of that?

She works as an ESL teacher through an online community called QKids. There, she’s able to set her own hours — and gets paid up to $20 an hour.

Teach ESL Online: What’s QKids?

Formerly called Funbulous, QKids is an online-learning platform that’s been around since 2015. It’s focused on teaching English as a second language to students between ages 5 and 12.

And QKids needs more teachers.

How to Qualify

QKids’ virtual teachers have a variety of professional backgrounds. So no, you don’t have to already be a teacher.

Here are the basic qualifications:

  • You must be a native English speaker based in the U.S. or Canada.
  • You should have a bachelor’s degree — or be currently enrolled in a university program.
  • You need to be available to teach a minimum of six hours a week. That’s 12 half-hour classes.
  • You must consider yourself digitally literate, have an outgoing personality and show passion in the classroom.
  • Prior teaching experience is preferred, but not required.

How To Start Teaching Online

Brumbaugh outlined the steps she took to sign up as a QKids teacher.

Here’s how it worked:

  1. She filled out a five-minute online application. Details included her education and work availability, as well as a copy of her résumé (though that wasn’t required). This also included linking to a YouTube video demo and uploading a screenshot of your computer specifications.
  2. Within two days, she heard back via email with everything she needed to download and know before participating in a demo class. Pro tip from Brumbaugh: Take your time walking through the training. If you do, you’ll be plenty prepared for the demo class.
  3. She participated in the demo class.
  4. Because her demo class went well, she taught two more demo classes — this time with actual students. After each class, a mentor gave her feedback. Also note: You get paid for this training.
  5. Upon passing both classes, she received a welcome email. Then she specified when she wanted to work. (She’s required to teach 10 half-hour lessons a week but no more than 36.)

Whenever she had any questions throughout the approximately two-week process, Brumbaugh reached out to the QKids team.

“They were always happy to answer any questions I had and made me feel like a valued team member, not just another candidate,” she says.

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Brumbaugh’s Experience Teaching ESL Online Through QKids

As a QKids teacher, Brumbaugh teaches 36 half-hour sessions a week.

She opts for early-morning classes, starting at 6:40 a.m. her time in Fort Worth, Texas, and late-night classes, until 11:50 p.m.

Pro Tip

It’s important to keep in mind you’re often teaching kids across the world, so you should be willing to maintain flexible hours. Still, you get to choose your shifts.

In each session, Brumbaugh works through her computer screen with a group of kids. In a recent lesson, she had a class of five students who ranged from 6 to 11 years old.

She’s not left entirely on her own to teach the classes. QKids sets up the curriculum for each class beforehand, so you won’t be doing any lesson planning.

“The curriculum is set for you before class, and your job is to simply guide the children through the lesson, offering guidance, smiles and tons of encouragement,” she says.

Brumbaugh says the software QKids provided is easy to use. Even better, it has cute animations and games that help keep the kids engaged.

Plus, because QKids teachers guide a group of kids, the students often help each other out, showing each other the correct answers, much like in a classroom.

“This is one of the main reasons I went with QKids,” Brumbaugh says. She had researched a number of places to teach ESL online. “Having an actual [virtual] classroom creates a more productive learning session and such positive energy that is hard to create on your own.”

QKids teachers get paid at the end of each month. Depending on your teacher rating (you’re rated by parents and students), you earn between $16 and $20 an hour.

Thus far, Brumbaugh says she has had nothing but a positive experience through QKids.

“The students are hard-working, curious and light up the classroom with their smiles,” she says. “Class time actually goes by fast, and the only con I can see is sometimes I wish I had more time to spend with them!”

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She briefly studied early childhood education in college, but the classroom proved stressful. Teaching through a screen sounds a lot more appealing.