Teacher Diane is someone who I have been following online for the last year or so.
So, it was a nice surprise when she reached out to me to connect. I soon realized that I wanted to give her the platform here at Teaching ESL Online to share her story and the valuable advice she has for other online teachers.
In our interview, Diane shares with us her experience of being a location independent online English teacher, and how she has managed to build up a large student base.
As you’ll see, she has some creative ways (and tools) to teach her lessons and make videos for her followers.
Here is the interview (watch in HD):
If you would like to teach English online, click here.
What We Discussed
Diane started teaching English five years ago, firstly in Brazil and then in Chicago. After two years of teaching in the language school in Chicago, she got the travel bug and decided to start her own website so that she could teach and travel at the same time.
Making the Transition
Diane was a little hesitant at first, but started with an old student and realized that she could do more online than in the classroom – screen sharing, links etc. – and she found that is was more comfortable to teach at home.
Diane uses a Wacom Tablet for her teaching, writing and drawing on this tablet. Her learners can see this on their screens along with her webcam.
She also uses the tablet to make her very unique videos for Youtube; here is an example:
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Bringing Learners onto Her Website and Into Her Lessons
Youtube has been one the best sources of students for Diane, and she places a link at the start of each video and also in the description box under the video to bring people onto her site.
We then talked about putting ourselves out there on video, and how it can be strange to hear your own voice at first. I know this can be a concern for teachers when starting out, but this does become easier the more you do it.
Diane now schedules her posts on Facebook and batches this work every Sunday. She has three types of posts: a question post, something humorous, and then a post with a link back to her website.
She uses Facebook to build her brand and also to give more exposure to her videos and other materials.
Planning Lessons and Hiring Other Teachers
Diane has a tailored approach to her lessons where she is specific to each student, although she does have certain students who fall into a similar category. She has build up many resources over the years.
Diane has contracted other teachers to help with her workload, hiring teachers who she has met on her travels.
Plans for the Future
Diane’s plans are to focus on marketing her website and learn more about SEO and social media marketing.
She plans to create other sites for specific types of learners (English for doctors, for example). And in the long-term, she wants to write a grammar book and open a language school in the US.
Summary and Over to You
It’s great to see how successful Diane has been with her online teaching and her site does a great job at converting learners into paying students.
One thing that I took away from our interview is this: if you put quality stuff out there, work hard at it, and stay consistent, you are going to get rewarded.
At first, it might seem like you’re doing a lot for small reward; but as you build up momentum, you’ll start seeing some really good results, and have opportunities to hire others and expand just like Diane has done.
Please comment below to let me know your thoughts on this interview. I’m really interested to read what you have to say about this.
Diane is an English teacher from New York with over five years of experience teaching English to students from all over the world. She is the Founder of teacherdiane.com, a website that provides personalized English lessons on Skype. You can watch her English grammar tutorials or follow her Facebook group, Learn English on Skype.