Debunking the Myths about Teaching Online: What You Need to Know

Online teaching has become one of the most popular careers that many people are pursuing nowadays. For example, in 51Talk, the country’s fastest growing online English Language Teaching (ELT) platform, there are currently about 4,000 online teachers and counting. As many may want to consider teaching online because of the convenience that the job brings, one must know the facts versus myths about online teaching in order to make an informed decision. Here are the most common myths.  

Myth #1: Teaching online takes less time and effort.

Fact: Teaching online requires just as much hard work, commitment, and effort as other regular jobs, if not more. You need to commit time not just for the teaching session itself, but also for the preparation beforehand and your own personal study. Your work does not begin and end with the online lesson or class. You need to allocate time to prepare your materials, and you need to read further so that you can increase the quality of your input. With all this hard work, effort and perseverance are a must. 

Myth #2: Teaching online does not require a lot of skill nor training.

Fact: While it is true that experience is not required for you to be an online teacher, it is crucial that you develop the skills for it and receive substantial training to teach. A person may have a gift for speaking well and confidently, but he or she may not necessarily have the capacity or demeanor to teach and listen patiently to students. Hence, you need proper training for you to have the right mindset and develop the appropriate skill sets. In 51Talk, all the online teachers get thorough training—and it is not just a matter of knowing what and how to teach. The teachers are also taught how to motivate and display patience and encouragement.

Myth #3: You can teach any way you want and do anything you want while teaching online.

Fact: The skill level, learning pace, and learning style of the student need to come into consideration first. You can apply your own teaching style as long as it agrees with the applicable teaching method. Moreover, you may not be physically with the student, but your full attention must be given to him or her. The student must never feel neglected.

Myth #4: Online teaching is not as in-depth as a personal or face-to-face tutorial.

Fact: Online teaching does not make the lessons or your interaction with the student any less real or substantial. Provided that you use the appropriate tools and materials and the right teaching style, and display the right attitude, your online teaching can be just as in-depth and significantly productive as a face-to-face tutorial.

Myth #5: Online teaching becomes a drag eventually, because you end up doing the same thing over and over again.

Fact: Online teaching is far from being a drag because as the students evolve and improve their skill, your own style and skills do so as well. Moreover, teaching materials need to be regularly reviewed and revised to make them new and relevant. Lastly, there is also the deep satisfaction that you get whenever you see a student improve—that will never get old and boring.

Teaching online requires commitment, discipline, and effort, but it also promises personal development and immense satisfaction. You can see for yourself how fulfilling it can be to teach online by joining 51Talk as a home-based or office-based teacher. For more details, visit

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