The eTEFL Online Self-Study Mentorship Course
Hello and welcome back to part 6 of my blog series! My name is Thapelo Ntlhabo and I am from South Africa. I am in the process of building my TEFL career and I have been offered a temporary TEFL-related gig by www.eteflonline.com which I would like to share with you. My assignment is to test drive their self-study Mentorship Program and then write (or report back) about it here in this space.
You can read Part 5 of my series here https://eteflonline.com/working-through-the-etefl-online-self-study-mentorship-course-part-5/
SESSION 4 – Freelance Platforms
Session 4 is made up of 3 videos.
The first video of Session 4 introduces us to freelance platforms.
These are spaces where students who want to improve their English go to find a potential teacher. There are literally thousands of teachers advertising their teaching services on these spaces/platforms. And not unexpectedly, competition for students is fierce on these platforms.
This is why, once again, your Intro Video has to be really good, in order to easily and quickly catch an eye of a potential student. Freelance platforms are where TEFL teachers should all aim to be nevertheless, according to our course instructor’s advice. Because in such spaces you are basically self-employed. Nobody can fire you like it can happen when working for an online school.
The first video in this session made me aware more than before of the kind of competition there is out there. Competition in terms of attracting potential students as a TEFL teacher. Be it on an online school or freelance platform. And the main attracting tool is one’s Introduction Video. That realisation (of how stiff the competition is) made me go back and reassess my first Intro Video. And I found it wanting – 😁.
More so after my good friend Palesa gave me some fantastic feedback on it and tips on how I can make it better. So I decided to temporarily halt my job applications and re-do my Intro Video instead. You can see a snippet of the re-done Intro Video HERE. It is a big improvement on my first Intro Video. There is still room for improvement of course, but this one will do for now. With this second Intro video, I feel more confident about making a good impression. So the job applications mission shall continue.
The second video in Session 4 gives us an example of how a typical freelance platform works.
In this case, we looked at the Preply platform, which our instructor calls the Rolls Royce of freelance platforms. Besides the huge amount of teachers signed up on the platform, one notable was the stats and more stats about each teacher. For example, a student will know things like how many lessons a teacher has conducted so far, the average rating for the teacher (by students), the number of active students, the teacher’s fee per hour, and so on and so forth. What I found revealing about Video 2 was how long it may take to get going after signing up on a freelance platform. We were implored to be very patient, therefore. For example, it took our instructor almost two months to get his first student. After which his bookings got better and better. That is Video 2 in a nutshell.
The 3rd video of Session 4 is entitled ‘Trial Lesson and Student Retention’.
It is a longish video – almost 40 minutes long. I will review it in stages. Today I will look at the Trial Lesson part, which is the first part of the video. A trial lesson is a way a teacher tries to impress a potential student. You basically demonstrate how you would conduct a typical lesson. On the Preply platform trial lessons are free. So the main takeaway from our instruction today is to not give a proper free lesson if you can. Instead, try and make that (first) trial lesson more about getting to know the student better. For example, one can ask and get the student to answer a few questions:
a) How do you pronounce your name?
b) Tell me more about yourself?
c) Have had any previous experience with an English teacher?
The main point is not only to get to know the student better but to chart the way forward should the student decide to take lessons with you. Our instructor says that this trial lesson about the trial lesson, so to speak, has worked well for him. He has managed to convert most of the students that he presented this trial lesson to.
The Self-Study Mentorship Program is included in all Standard Programs including the Standard Online Teacher Training Program for people who are just starting out and the Standard Mentorship Bundle for people who already have a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certificate but need help in launching their online teaching careers.
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