At nine in the evening, Chithra Iyyer, is in front of her computer teaching her students who are in the US and UK. Chithra being an e-tutor, relishes the flexibility and bucks this job offers to her. Well, this is not something new today. e-tutoring has almost become an inseparable part in the domain of learning. What’s new in this is , it is stretching its boundaries, opening an array of new and varied opportunities.
Earlier e-tutoring was an option for home makers to earn extra bucks. But today people from many walks of life are e-tutoring either as fulltime or as part time by affiliating to tutoring agencies.
Mrs. Subhadra Krishnan has over 30 years of teaching experience and hase her own coaching centre. This 60-year-old has been teaching Maths to students from grade seven to nine on Tutor Vista since the last three months. "I love teaching and I wanted to spend my retirement life usefully. But at the same time I didn't want to do anything that would affect my family life," says Lalitha, who moved into Bangalore recently to take care of her grandchild. She works part-time.
Online teaching are available today from primary classes to intensive preparation for competitive examinations. It also includes mentoring, counselling etc.
If Maths and Science are the subject on demand for school goers, English is the all time demanded subject. English teaching opportunities vary from school level English grammer classes to preparation for IELTS, TOEFL.
There are two types of e-tutoring- Online Writing Lab and Live E-tutoring. In the first category, student submits drafts to tutors asking for specific feedbacks, and receives the tutor’s response within 24-48 hours. Live Tutoring is a fully interactive, virtual tutoring.
For teachers / retired teachers who are unable to work in specific time schedules, there are sites offering options for writing research papers and question papers. You can write your research papers / question papers and submit to the agencies who act as a meeting point between you and the students and pays you on basis the no. of projects.
The Virtual Class Room
The virtual online classroom (VOC) is a secure web interface where the students and tutors use instant messaging for all communication needs.
In the US, the rates of tutors range from $100-$150 per subject for one or two hours. But e-Tutors from India are available for $10 to $15 per hour or even lesser. E-tutoring today is the most sought after sourced job, due to the availability of English speaking teachers at lesser cost. “The opportunity pays well too”, says Maneesh, an e-tutor. Typically they pay between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20000 for full-time work or Rs. 150 to Rs. 500 per hour depending on your experience and proficiency. The billing hours also depend on the course. For professional courses, rates are higher”.
An e-tutor also has option to work as a freelancer and teach his / her students directly or through a service providing site. In this method the teacher gets paid directly from the student and also in some cases, the site offers some incentives when a teacher uploads his teaching materials on the site. For example, in www.tcyonline.com when any student attempts/downloads your test, you get paid an additional amount depending upon the rating given by the students.
Mr. Mahendra Waghela is an entrepreneurial teacher, teaching creative writing through his blog www.iamthetiger.blogspot.com and painting through- www.artclassinpune.blogspot.com. He says, “I learnt the basics of creative writing the old-fashioned way- by correspondence. I would eagerly wait for days for each lessons. Time is compressed now because of e-learning. Now I use the net technology for free demos and top-of-mind recall”.
If you work as a freelancer and can find opportunities on your own, you could earn more than working with an agency.
How Can I Become an E-Tutor ?
To become an e-tutor, all you need is a good command over the subject you wish to teach. The responsibility of familiarising the tutor with technology part will be taken care by the website that you decide to work for.
Your selection is based on online tests, interviews and sample teaching sessions which are meant to test skills. After the selection, a comprehensive training on online tutoring including technology, pedagogy and communication skills will be provided. To ensure competence and know-how of the subject, regular assessments will be carried out by the agencies.
Working from home means no travel costs or commuting time. Of course, the downside is that the teachers must be online with the U.S. and U.K. students' schedules —late nights and the wee hours. With a promise of flexibility and good pay packages, e-tutoring is a chance to make a career, just by sitting at home.