Teaching as a hobby.
Okay, so you're an unemployed liberal arts graduate who also enjoys correcting English grammar in the comments section or a factory worker who got replaced by a robot or a professional who got supplanted by a piece of software.
Do you have something you're good at such as kungfu, piano, or tennis? You can teach it and will probably really enjoy it.
Finding what you're good at.
First you need to figure out what you're good at and people are willing to pay for. I bet you're thinking, well I don't have any special skills or nutin'. Well, let me tell you this -- don't count yourself out of being special. You might not have any special skills or no nothin' but if there's one thing you're good at it's communicating in that one and only language you've known your whole life. English. They say 10,000 hours is what you need to be good at something. And you've probably had 10k hours of English schooling and practice. (It's 4 years.)
Sure it doesn't seem special to you. Heck, even homeless people ask you for money in English, right? Unless, it's those special ops ones that go around handing out cards to everyone and then comes back and collects those cards. They're the best. But in any case my point is, it doesn't seem that special but in places like China or Japan speaking English is actually considered a coveted "skill". Top Shop might not seem that special on Oxford Street but it is in NYC.
So maybe it's time you to take that one thing you're good at besides walking, eating (sure you drop food and bite your inner-cheek sometimes but come on, even Kobe can't hit every free throw), drinking (non alcoholic drinks), and sleeping -- I wonder if you can get paid for those -- and be that English teacher!
Woah. Is it that easy to teach English?
No. There are some minimum qualifications you must have. Here is a list of things you need to have if you want to make some money while feeling superior to foreigners.
A face. You need a face. I have heard people teaching English with a ridiculously good hand puppet before but those are rare. Steve Jobs rare. My recommendation is get a face, definitely worth the investment. I've found it an extremely valuable to have one for user profiles and Skyping.
Access to the internet. Do you have an internet connection on your phone? At home? A library or Starbucks? Congrats, you have internet access!
A certification. Do you have something to back up the fact you're good at English? Do you have a law degree? A Ph.D in anything involving words? I don't know if a GED or high school diploma will suffice but I guess if you lower your rate, you still can find some students. I once rented out some floor on airbnb for cheap, real cheap. If you're a perfectionist, you may want to get certified. TESOL lists some common certification such as the TEFL Certificate.
Getting your pupils.
So how do you find your first pupils? Here's a list of top language websites to get on, hard.
Colingo - airbnb for English teaching
Based in San Francisco, Colingo is a language learning and teaching marketplace. It offers students classes and 1-on-1 sessions over live online video chat. As a teacher, you'll work from home to teach English to small groups over videochat online. Commitment can be as little as 1 or 2 hours a day. Earn $14 for each hour-long class.
Languages you can teach on Colingo: English
Livemocha (Rosetta Stone) - online language learning community leader
Livemocha is an online language teaching veteran having been around since 2007. It provides instructional materials in 38 languages and a community for language learning with 12 million registered members. Acquired by Rosetta Stone in 2013, it seeks language experts to review and critique student works, language coach, content creators for classes, and translators. Language coaches work from home position but need to attend semi-annual meetings in Hub Cities: Chicago, Harrisonburg, VA, Miami, New York City, Seattle, or Washington DC. Instructors need to go through a 30-40 hour training process and are expected to work 8-15 hours per week based on learner demand. Work includes leading Studio sessions, working in Rosetta World, and reviewing language-specific Rosetta Stone content.
Languages you can teach on Livemocha: In demand languages include Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, Dutch, English UK, English US, Farsi, French, German, Greek Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish Latin America, Spanish Spain, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
italki - get paid to help people learn a language
italki has its own internal currency which can be used for learning or exchanged for cash. Set your own prices but italki takes a 15% commission. You can work as a certified language teacher, tutor for language practice, or volunteer as a language exchange partner.
Languages you can teach on italki: English, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Hindi, Italian, Russian, etc.
Myngle - language lessons that come to you
Founded in 2007 and based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, it offers one-on-one and group lessons online in addition to providing language learning material for 45 languages. Myngle teachers go through a special training and selection process.
Languages you can teach on Myngle: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic. 45 Languages offered.
OpenEnglish - fluency guaranteed
Founded in 2006, Open English is an international online ESL school based in Panama and focused on Latin America markets. Teachers lead online live classes and provide help to students trying to master English. Teachers will be provided with lesson plans and host hour-long classes with usually four students. During class, they help students improve pronunciation, grammar, and develop fluency through conversation.
Languages you can teach on Open English: English
eduFire - a social learning community
Founded in 2007 and based in California, EduFire provides language distance education and social network for live tutoring using text and video chat. Teachers work from home and set their own rates with a 15% fee to eduFire. Classes can be one-on-one or one-to-many.
Languages you can teach on eduFire: Japanese, Mandarin, English, Spanish, and Arabic.
Other ways to get students
Make a post on craigslist Get in touch or make a posting at a language school Teach at an English language school Go to a language exchange party (in India they have a saying, "the big fish eats the small fish") Make a poster and stick it on things Create a facebook page or website promoting your services Tell your social network you're teaching English and let the referrals come to you
Teaching skills and more.
You need to stay organised as a teacher. You need to start a spreadsheet of all your students so you can remember their progress and make notes on each lesson you guys have. It can be really short but you want to deliver value and good service to your pupils so always keep a record.
It also helps if you make another spreadsheet for your own learnings. What teaching tricks or epiphanies did you have during your lesson? Write it down so you can use it with your next student.
Lastly, enjoy your referrals. There's nothing quite like the feeling of someone climbing a really, really high mountain or travelling extremely far to learn from you. The day you meet a complete stranger who comes up to you and says "I've heard many a great things about you. I've come to learn English from you, master" will be a great day. It will be a glorious day.