• Jocelyn Hellested

Things to Consider When Working for and Scheduling Multiple Teaching Platforms


Working for multiple online teaching platforms was something that happened gradually for me. This allowed me to become comfortable with each particular platform and the number of bookings I was getting, before taking time to reevaluate my schedule so that I either could earn more, sleep more, or tweak my schedule so it fit better with my desired lifestyle.


Interested in how I juggle scheduling three online teaching platforms? Read on to see the important things I consider when opening my availability and planning my work week!



Things to consider:

When working for multiple companies you certainly do not have to split your hours evenly between each platform. You should consider which one you enjoy teaching the most, which one offers you stable bookings (stable bookings=stable income), and fits best with your lifestyle.


**For more specifics on my journey & teaching schedule check out the "scheduling" highlight on my Instagram!


1) Earning Potential & Growth

One of the most important factors I take into consideration when deciding how much time to dedicate to any one platform is the earning potential on the platform and growth within the company. If I can earn more and work fewer hours with a particular company and I find the work engaging and creative then that's where I want to spend my time!


I also look at the potential for growth within the company whether it's leadership positions, training, mentorship programs, or the ability to expand my class offerings. I want to make sure the companies I am investing in are also serious about investing in me.


2) Available Hours

I currently work for two US-based teaching platforms and one Chinese based company. The hours that I can work for each of these companies varies slightly, but this ends up working in my favor!


**Specifics with Vipkid, Cambly, and Outschool:


VIPKID is a Chinese-based company which means that my hours are restricted to peak times in Bejing. If I am located in North/South America this means that I am working early mornings or late nights. This makes the decision to work the early morning hours with this company a no-brainer.


Cambly has extremely flexible hours because their student base is not restricted to one geographic location. This has allowed me the opportunity to play around with my hours and ultimately decide what fits best for my schedule. Once I choose the hours that work well for me, then comes the moment of truth. Will they book? I have found luck with EST afternoon hours and booking students from South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. As I said earlier though, Cambly has students from all over the world so most hours you can find students from a particular geographic location that are searching for a tutor.


The bulk of Outschool students are homeschooled from the United States, however, there are also students from other parts of the world. Similar to Cambly the diverse student body results in flexible hours. Things to consider when creating your schedule is the age range of the students you desire to teach. Are they school-age children that may favor classes after the regular school day or are they pre-K and may have availability during the day? As a result of the COVID pandemic, there has been an increase in students on the site who are looking for classes during the school day. You may have to play around with your hours a bit before you find slots that students will consistently book.


*My advice when beginning to create your schedule is to play around with the hours. Some companies may have less available hours for teachers but for others (like Cambly and Outschool) you have the flexibility to open a wide range of slots. This allows you to see which hours have a higher booking percentage for your time zone.


3) Time Spent Outside of Class (Billable Hours)

Keep in mind that teachers who work as independent contractors often only get paid for the time they are physically in the classroom. This does not mean that teachers are not putting in extra hours to lesson plan, prep for a class, or do feedback. If you are teaching 4-6 hours a day, you may in fact be working a total of 8 hours once you add up the additional time you are dedicating to lesson prep and marketing outside of class. Keep this in mind when creating your schedule and plan hours during the day when you can get your planning and prep done. If you decide you need to prep before class this will determine whether or not you can teach back to back classes or need to take time in between classes to prepare.


**Specifics with Vipkid, Cambly, and Outschool:


One of the things that I love about working for VIPKid is that they have their own curriculum. The teacher's job is to facilitate this curriculum. As a result, I do not have to spend any time planning lessons. I simply preview new lesson slides the day before and I am ready to go. This means that I spend very minimal time outside of class working and can easily teach back to back lessons!


Cambly is similar to VIPKid and in most cases, I am doing very minimal prep outside of class. However, your situation can vary depending on the type of students you attract. The majority of adult learners join Cambly to practice their conversational skills so you may need to prepare some topics of conversation but other than that you do not have to spend much time outside of class preparing for lessons. Some students may like you to teach specific lessons, but you can decide if this is something you would like to do. If not you can inform the student that they are free to find another tutor. If you work on the Cambly Kids platform the curriculum is prepared for you.


Outschool is the one platform where I do create my own curriculum. In general, it takes me 1-2 hours to develop a class. Once it is created though I can teach the course multiple times, making it worth the extra effort. I can also determine the price per enrolled student so the more effort I put into planning a course the higher the rate I can charge, making it well worth the time and effort I put into each course.


4) Bookings

When you start a new platform and bookings are not guaranteed, it may take some time to build up a following of students and attract consistent students you can rely on week to week. Do not let this discourage you. Offer yourself some grace and allow yourself the time to build relationships with students that will result in re-enrollments.


5) Know Yourself and Remember...You Control Your Schedule!

Take note of how many hours you can realistically teach in a row without a break. Some people do well pumping out back to back lessons during one portion of the day and others like their lessons more spread out. Some people are night owls and others are early birds. The beauty of being an online teacher is that you have control over your schedule. You get to decide how many hours you work and the time of day. Don't take this for granted and feel free to try out a new schedule and see how it feels. If it isn't working or you are feeling burnt out then it's a sign you need to mix things up and try something new. Keep tweaking things until you find a schedule that fits best with your lifestyle!


**For more specifics on my journey & teaching schedule check out the "scheduling" highlight on my Instagram!


Interested in teaching with one or all of these platforms? Check out my blogs to read what it's like to work with each of these companies and how to apply! Have questions? Send me a message or connect with me on Instagram.


Teach online with Outschool

Teach online with VIPKID

Teach online with Cambly

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