For around two decades now, the large number of non-English speaking foreigners visiting the Philippine shores has prompted new job opportunities for the local residents. This “mass exodus,” especially of Koreans, saw the sudden rise of the need for English language teachers, or specifically English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. English schools cropped up, some run by locals, and some by Koreans themselves.
This upped the Pinoys’ profile in the world as skilled speakers and teachers of English, making even those overseas want to enroll in English courses taught by Filipinos, this time in an online setting. The good news is, you don’t have to be part of a corporation to try your hand out in online teaching, as long as you are qualified, and you have a reliable internet connection.
Housewife and teacher
April Atienza, mom to kids aged 11, 5, and 2, teaches English to Korean students five days out of seven. Her clockwork precision with her schedule enables her to spend time with her family, as well as teach.
At 4:30am, she wakes up her eldest daughter to get ready for school. By 5:00am, she sits down, goes online and teaches her first five students of the day. Afterwards she spends an hour prepping her 5-year-old daughter for school. The better part of the day is allotted to house chores, until it’s time to teach again, seven students this time. Come 8:00 to 10:30pm, she teaches her last five students for the day.
Health reasons prompted Atienza to try teaching online . “I used to teach Koreans at an English academy then held several online teaching jobs and editing IELTS part-time until I had to stop,” she explains.
One day while browsing online, she encountered an old student of hers, a Korean English teacher, who suggested that Atienza try her hand at teaching online. “That’s how it started. Since 2007, she’s referring students to me, and I also get students through referrals from my past students.”
Atienza started with six students which eventually grew to 20. “[It is] very difficult for a mother of three...but I have to keep going because (considering our) country’s (economy), if only one parent is working, the income is not enough (for the family’s needs). Now I have 17 students,” she says. Atienza charges P2,200 per head for 20- minute classes, P2,800 for 25-minute classes, and P3,300 for a half-hour class. This brings her an approximate of P40,000 a month in extra income for their household.