There are 2 groups of ESL teachers who would like to go independent:
1. traditional ESL teachers who have tons of teaching experience
2. nontraditional ESL teachers who have little to no teaching experience
Both groups would like to know how much teaching experience is needed for them to go independent and successfully get their own students at a higher rate.
Since this is such a vague question, to help you better understand the answer, I’d like to explain the answers to 3 more questions.
1. What type of teaching experience do you need to go independent?
It is not quite accurate when teachers ask about how much teaching experience they need to go independent because there are 2 types of teaching experience: general teaching experience and niche teaching experience.
General teaching focuses on teaching English as a language and helping students with a wide range of needs from conversational English to business English, accent reduction, exam preparation, etc., etc.
Niche teaching focuses on helping a specific group of students with the same problems when it comes to English and providing solutions to these problems.
Niche teaching is the only effective way to get your own students online. (If you don’t know why, please request a free copy of my ebook here and give it a read. It has only 54 pages, and you can finish it in 2 hours).
So, niche teaching experience is what you need to start an online teaching business that enables you to get your own students and charge the rate that you’re worth.
2. How to gain niche teaching experience?
Obviously, you can only gain niche teaching experience by teaching your niche so you can understand their problems and needs and improve your teaching program.
Teaching general English won’t get you niche teaching experience but can help you improve your teaching skills especially if you are not a traditional ESL teacher.
However, teaching general English is not the only way to improve your teaching. You can always improve by teaching your niche or taking relevant training to bridge the gaps in your teaching.
That being said, the time and energy you spend on teaching students who are not from your niche will not help you very much with your niche business when you go independent.
3. When should you consider gaining niche teaching experience?
If you agree with me and would like to start a niche teaching business, you should start to gain niche teaching experience as soon as you decide to go independent.
And the first thing you do is define your niche and follow the rest of the steps I explain in my free ebook.
As you can see, it really doesn’t make sense to wait to get more general teaching experience first before starting your niche teaching business because you don’t want to be a general teacher!
I hope I’ve provided some clarity on the answer to the question that inspired this article: How much teaching experience do you need to go independent and get your own students at a higher rate?
For both traditional teachers and nontraditional teachers,
You don’t need any general teaching experience to go independent, and you can’t get any niche teaching experience until you start your niche teaching business.
In other words, don’t worry about getting general teaching experience now, and instead start your niche teaching business today!