June of 2021 I made the decision to take a break and stop teaching on Cambly. After connecting with almost 100 students and regularly teaching some of them for over a year it wasn't an easy decision to make. As most teachers would agree, saying goodbye to students is no easy task. However, there were several factors that ultimately led to the decision to leave this platform. But first, let's start at the beginning...
Why join Cambly in the first place?
Cambly is one of the few online English teaching platforms that operates 24/7. Unlike other companies that are Chinese-based and only offer early morning or evening classes, Cambly works with students from all over the world. This means a tutor can log on at any hour and potentially connect with a student. When I first joined Cambly the only other platform I taught with was Vipkid. This made the flexible hours on Cambly extremely attractive. I could work early mornings with Vipkid and then log onto Cambly in the afternoon.
Teaching on Cambly is also low-stress since the focus is on conversation practice. This means there is very minimal prep a teacher must do. For individuals teaching on the Kids platform, there is a set curriculum to follow and the platform does not require its tutors to submit feedback after class. This means that regardless of which platform you decide to teach on you do not have to do any outside prep unless you decide to plan specific lessons for your student.
Cambly is also attractive to many because they do not require a TEFL certificate, bachelor's degree, or any other type of certification or diploma. They hire native and fluent English speakers. This makes it a great option for individuals who have a passion for language, teaching, and connecting with people of different cultures that may not have a degree.
So, this begs the question, if Cambly is so great, why take a break from the platform?
As I mentioned above, leaving Cambly was no easy decision but it ultimately came down to economics. As I continued my online teaching journey I stumbled upon Outschool which gave me the opportunity to teach day-time hours and earn more than I could on Cambly. Cambly pays its teachers $10.20 an hour on the adult platform and $12 on the kid's platform. In countries where the cost of living is low, this is a good income. However, after traveling in the US for over a year I quickly realized I needed to focus on other companies where I could earn more. As much as I love my students, that passion does not pay my bills.
The second major reason for choosing to stop teaching on Cambly is the platform itself. While Cambly is making improvements and in recent months has made an effort to take teachers' concerns into consideration and make changes, the platform is not as developed as other companies and some of its policies I found frustrating. For example, the student cancellation policy is very lenient which means that students can cancel minutes before a lesson with no penalty and leave a teacher without pay. Students can also arrive late to a session and still get their full time, even though they may have wasted up to 10minutes of their teacher's time. Luckily, many of my regular students were respectful of my time but life happens and people do end up canceling lessons or arriving late. It would be nice if Cambly reimbursed teachers for the time they spend waiting for late students or sitting in a student no-show. As I said previously, Cambly has been making some changes recently so I hope they will eventually update their cancellation policy.
My third and final reason for taking a break from this platform is that after over a year of teaching with them I was ready to try something new. I'm sure many can relate to the sentiment of wanting to try something new after being in the same position for a certain length of time. Since Cambly doesn't have much mobility for teachers I felt it was time to find new challenges and opportunities that would allow me to continue growing as a teacher and professional. I encourage anyone who is feeling stuck or feeling the urge to look for a new position to follow that feeling and see where it takes them. It's in new ventures that we find opportunities to grow and learn new skills. There is no shame in wanting to switch things up!
Will I ever go back?
Although my relationship with Cambly is complicated and the platform itself has pros and cons I did enjoy my time teaching on the platform and am thankful for all of the relationships I formed with my students. I do plan to keep my contract open with Cambly as long as they will allow me to. As I talk about in my blog article "Why You Should Work for Multiple Teaching Platforms" I like the idea of keeping my options open and my contracts renewed so that if my situation ever changes I have multiple companies I can look to and work with. I also know there are several students I'd love to catch up with in the near future when I have a few hours free.
Cambly is a great platform that offers its teachers a lot of flexibility when it comes to the hours you are able to work and the variety of students you can teach. Although I made the decision to take a break from the platform that does not mean it isn't a great option for many English teachers.
Have questions or want to learn more? Check out my Cambly blogs or send me a message. I am always happy to answer questions and help you find the best teaching platform for you, your schedule, and your life!