The Benefits To Teaching Online

Teaching online is a new and upcoming form of teaching which allows teachers to teach from a virtual classroom from anywhere in Asia or other parts of the world. We caught up with DeShawn to hear about his experiences teaching online in Shanghai.

KeyboardWhen I finished my TEFL online course, I was bombarded with a rare situation, there were too many jobs opportunities available. Between forums, job boards, Facebook groups, and recruiters, there are so many ESL jobs available. 

My first official job was with the Online Center with EF. Online teaching is a new trend because it’s easy, flexible and can reach those learners who are too busy to go to a brick & mortar class.

I heavily recommend teaching online if this is your first ESL job. It’ll get your feet wet and teach you a lot new skills that’ll make you a better teacher. Below I listed the Benefits of teaching online.

Flexibility with teaching online

This was by far the best perk within this form of teaching. I taught people from all over China but I also had the flexibility to be able to travel all over the country. I work sometimes through the night or 1st shift. The schedule changes so I could plan trips and other activities. Also, I was able to attend school full time while teaching, it was a lot of work but well worth it.


The pay was pretty good, I was able to pay for my loans, daily & monthly expenses, travel every few months, and treat myself every once in awhile. Not a bad lifestyle considering what I was paying in Chicago 18 months ago.

The People

I’ve met some great people and made some lasting relationship. Most are like you, in transition looking to do something different and excited about life. Most people will eventually move away to teach somewhere else but it doesn’t take away the interaction.

The Students

I really enjoy meeting new people, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time, I feel everyone has something to teach you and something they can learn from you. Teaching online, you’ll meet a ton of learners, from teenagers to retirees, doctors and ‘I just quit my job so I want to learn English’ people, it’s fun to teach to people from all walks of life.


As great as online teaching sounds, there are always negatives to go with the positives. Sometimes, I thought the work was too repetitive and wasn’t motivating. Sometimes the Internet wasn’t my friend and caused some technical issues, but nothing that ruined my experience.

Overall, I really enjoyed teaching online and it was a huge contribution to my first ESL experience. Yes, there are pros and cons to everything but the pros really outweighed everything else. Now I’m moving on to private tutoring with adults. I’m hope this helps with deciding your first ESL job.

Have you ever taught online? What are your thoughts on your experience with this field of teaching? let us know in the comments section below. 

10888603_10203195828117675_5627395347632550697_nDeshawn is an ESL teacher in Shanghai. Before moving abroad he spent time tutoring Vietnamese learners in Chicago. In his spare time, he’s taking university Mandarin courses at a local university and traveling throughout the Mainland. Follow his adventures on his Instagram: @deshawnpeterson, twitter: @deshawnwashere, site:

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