My journey to independent online English teacher

My journey to independent online English teacher

Paul Knab retrained in TESOL through Global English TESOL and now has his own independent online English teaching business and an almost full teaching timetable. Attracting students via the learning platform Preply and his own website,  here he describes his journey and tips for online teaching success.

"My background was in Sales, Account Management, Customer Service, Administration and IT Training.  After two years’ in a childcare business I started with my wife, I decided to get back to working with adults in a more commercial business-related environment. However, it wasn’t easy to find work at the same level I had left in the IT industry and decided to retrain.

I am very much a “people person” and love to meet and interact with people. English was always my best subject at school so TESOL seemed a quite natural step.

Why Global English TESOL?
I chose the Global English TESOL 300 hour course (with a teaching English online component) to gain a teaching qualification based on the great reviews and the flexible way the course works.

I am so glad that I took my TESOL qualification with Global English. Both William and Louisa are top professionals in their field. The encouragement and support they gave spurred me on to achieve beyond what I originally expected to achieve, especially as I had not studied for many years.

The course teaches you to build your own lesson plans, gives practical video examples and occasional insights from previous students. The feedback from the tutor is always encouraging, providing constructive criticism but always finding the positives to encourage you too.

Getting noticed on the learning platform Preply
After my TESOL qualification, I searched for a good learning platform where I could attract students as an independent.  As I don’t have a BA degree, my choices were more limited. Preply is one of the platforms that do not require a BA. Once my profile was approved on Preply, it took several weeks until I gained my first few students.  

To get noticed, make sure your profile video is clear, that you are friendly and engaging and ask questions about your potential students’ reasons for learning English. Be responsive. The commission paid to Preply is quite high but lowers in increments by the number of hours taught.  Once you have more experience you can raise your tuition rate and soon be earning a fair income. 

My 1-1 teaching tips
Be ready to adapt to meet the needs of each student.  No two lessons are ever the same.  Find what you are good at.  I like to focus on conversation skills and basic Business English.  I am teaching some well-qualified and professional people who are senior managers in their companies.

And the results?
When you start out, it is quite daunting, so considering the different teaching options available to you is important. The Global English Teaching English Online course, (part of their 300 hour TESOL course) really helped me prepare for this and I am doing quite well on Preply.  I have also gained around ten students who come directly to me through my own business, Your Pace English. My website is live, but still in its infancy.  Six months in, I am very pleased with the progress I’ve made and I’m teaching almost full-time hours now.’’

Thanks for sharing your journey, Paul. And here's to your teaching success!


See Paul’s website Your Pace English
View Paul’s Preply profile and video 

Want to follow in Paul’s footsteps? Check out the 300 hour online Global English TESOL course Paul took to launch his TESOL career.

View our 20 hour Teaching English online course for those already TESOL qualified.

  • Author: Louisa Walsh
  • Date: 10/03/2021

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My journey to independent online English teacher