Originally from Liverpool—and armed with a BSC in Psychology—Victoria Bennett has been traveling the world, eating all-the-foods (she’s a self-proclaimed “food enthusiast”), and sustaining her epic lifestyle by teaching English online. Sound like a path YOU want to pursue? Read on to learn more about her journey to becoming an online ESL teacher!
Tell us about your path to teaching abroad—Did you always know you’d end up working as a teacher?
Short answer, no. I had no idea I would become a teacher, but I always had a passion for traveling, so I decided to seek out a job that would allow me to combine the two. It was the best decision I’ve made, it allows me to be anywhere in the world (plus steady wifi connection) and earn an income whilst doing it. It’s a no-brainer, plus it’s really quite fun!
You originally wanted to go to Thailand to teach abroad. Tell us what drew you to the Kingdom and how/why it didn’t quite work out.
Yes, originally the plan was to teach in Thailand. I had never visited the country before so I guess you could say I was a little apprehensive… the previous year I had embarked on a volunteering placement in Bali, Indonesia and I absolutely fell in love with this place. So I made the decision that once I had completed the TEFL and before my Thailand experience I would visit Bali once again.
To my surprise, I met my now boyfriend, so as you can imagine my plans suddenly changed when the unexpected opportunity to join him over in Australia popped up. That’s when I made the decision to teach online instead of in a school at this point in time, to allow me to be mobile and travel beautiful Australia with my partner.
Now you’re teaching English online—awesome! What are your favorite three things about this set-up?
✈️ Firstly, the flexibility, to be able to travel and work at the same time what more could you ask for.
Secondly, being in control of your own work life, I like this responsibility of keeping to a schedule and having a steady income.
Third, meeting other like minded individuals who are on the same traveling/teaching path as you are.
What were your most important takeaways/lessons from your TEFL certificate course experience? How does it help you in your current role?
I would recommend the TEFL course experience to anyone who is traveling abroad and/or even just looking for a new challenge. I actually recommended the same course to my boyfriend and now he is TEFL certified and on his way to a successful online teaching career.
The TEFL experience helps massively in my current role as I can apply all the content provided from my course to my online teachings. The great thing about Premier TEFL is I now have lifetime access to my course, so I can hop back online and review all my old content, just in case I need a little refresher. Plus, I totally forgot to mention all the other modules that were offered to me, right now I am currently finishing on my Teaching Business Online course, so I shall keep you posted on where that takes me!
Share with us a few tips and tricks about how to be a successful online ESL teacher.
- Always be prompt and ready to teach at any time!
- Read and prepare your content ahead of time, the more prepared you are, the easier the teaching experience.
- Be patient with your students and remember English isn’t their first language so don’t be too critical when you take your first class.
- SMILE, a friendly face goes a long way and builds a nice rapport with your students.
What has been your most rewarding experience as an online English teacher?
The ongoing progress of the students is probably the most rewarding aspect of the job. The relationship you build with the students over a period of time is great, and being a witness to their English language flourish and seeing their confidence increase as a result of this. Having said that, I would say teaching online has increased my confidence a lot too and I would feel confident to teach a class in a real life setting as a result of my online teaching experience.