About Being a Palfish Teacher- Online Teaching Job
Would you like to know how to become a successful Palfish online teacher?
Finding an online teacher job as a full or part time job is a very popular way of earning an income for travellers and teachers right the way around the world.
How did I find out about it?
Well one day I just kind of stumbled over it. I was also looking for remote jobs that can be done from anywhere in the world and I landed myself in a Facebook group of travelling women and BAM! Two months later I am now an English teacher. Pretty crazy how the world works for you sometimes.
Inside this Facebook there were lots of people commenting about teaching English as a second language (TESL) so I thought I would investigate.
At this point I wasn’t convinced. I thought there has to be a catch or that I was going to be led on some wild goose chase watching annoying sales videos inviting me to ‘work’ for their company. You know the type the **cough **cough multi level marketers (MLM). Those companies I was NOT interested in and am still not. No disrespect to anyone’s hard work though!
But before I continue first let me just clear something up. As always I like and will be completely transparent in my blog post.
In no way am I working for the company other than purely teaching. I do not work in the sales department either. My ENTIRE paycheck is from purely teaching and teaching alone. Which means no referral sales, no bonuses, no affiliate marketing or any other hidden income you can possibly think of…
PURELY TEACHING HOURS.
So let’s get started…….
Table of Contents
Questions About Teaching English Online With Palfish
The company I teach with is called Palfish. This is an overseas Chinese company who hire English native speakers to teach English to adults and children in China and Hong Kong.
In China having English as a second language is very important within families and the children practice English everyday. So native English speaking teachers are highly sought after.
The teaching is all done via an app that you download onto your phone. I have recently upgraded and purchased an Ipad mini to increase the size of the screen. But teaching from the phone worked for me for eight plus months.
Inside the app there are two options for teaching. The first is ‘freetalk’ this is when a Chinese person (usually adult, sometimes children) rings you to chat. They just want to practice their English.
Sometimes they might have a topic to chat about or sometimes you will just chat about everyday stuff. This is something I do not take part in. I have done freetalk before but I am not really a fan of the freetalk option. Some teachers make a lucrative income from this. I am not one of those.
The second option is to be a Qualified Official Kids Teacher. This I love and have lots of fun with. These classes are 25 minutes long. The content for teaching is in front of you on your phone screen for both you and the student can see. You are shown what to teach and it is all in cartoon form. I have so much fun with this. The teachers that teach on this platform are mainly teachers from brick and mortar international schools.
Who Can Apply?
Palfish accept candidates who are native English speakers to the following countries- Australia, UK, America, Canada and Ireland. Unfortunately if your passport says a different country of birth then you will not be accepted for the Official Kids Course.
If you are applying for ONLY freetalk the company opens it applications to more native English speakers from other countries.
What Qualifications Do I need?
Do you need any qualifications? Yes and no. You do NOT need a teaching degree which was great for me because I have never taught English before. Although you do need a TEFL or TESOL certificate. This is an online certificate which can be purchased from Groupon for as little as $25 online. Keep an eye out though and check if the company is a registered TEFL/TESOL provider as some are not.
The minimum requirement is a 120 hour certificate. I completed this in about 4 weeks doing about 3-4 hours every few days online. It can be completed much sooner. I know some teachers that completed there’s within 24 hours!!!
This is the only required certificate that you MUST HAVE!
The Company I used was through TEFL Fullcircle
What Does It Pay to be an online teacher?
Great question. The minimum pay is $16USD per hour ($26AUD per hour) This is the starting pay rate. This then works on a month to month pay rise bonus offer which I think is brilliant. Every class you teach you get 4 points and at the end of month these all get added up and will determine your pay rate for the next month.
Edit as of February 2021-
As a Palfish online teacher I currently teach over 300 classes per month which then brings me into the highest pay rate of $36AUD per hour. I do nothing else to achieve this but teach classes. I do not have to invite teachers, I do not have to sign anyone up. This is purely me just teaching. I was very impressed at this and was the reason why I give 110 percent in every one of my classes.
If for example I only taught 230 classes in the month then my next month will drop to $33AUD per hour and it will continue to slide on a downwards sliding scale to the minimum pay rate of $26AUD.
I have since updated this post and I have now chosen to drop down to only working a 20 hour week. After being flat out busy during the COVID year of 2020 I decided it was time I put my hard work into my online Personal Training business.
Yes I still travel full-time but I really didn’t want the hours anymore.
Inviting teachings is a bonus in itself. Some teachers do this full time to make more money. I don’t do this, hence why I have not shared my code with you.
Instead you I have chosen to write this blog post to hopefully answer your questions and show you a great opportunity that is available.
Palfish pays theirs teachers monthly. You will be asked to set up an account with Payoneer and link it to your Palfish account. When Palfish pays you it will get transferred to your Payoneer account and from there you will transfer it to your nominated bank account. This process takes about 4 days and I live in Australia.
What Is The Application Process for an online teacher job.
The application process is a little time consuming but well worth it if you are accepted. You will first-
– Download the Palfish teachers app.
– Fill in all the details that you can
– If you are wanting to be an Official Kids Teacher (highly recommended) then you will need to fill in an ‘audio’ section and make a video. These are optional but again increase your chances of being hired by families.
– The ‘mock’ class is the interview. You choose a time that suits you and you can enter your virtual classroom BEFORE your test and practice the slides. This way you will be confident when actually doing this during your interview.
This process took me a few days to complete. I made sure all my information was spot on and within one day of my application being verified I was then having scheduled classes being booked.
How Do I get Classes/Students?
This is a common question that is brought up a lot. Most people have the impression that they sign up and the company will give you students to teach. This IS NOT usually the case. You are self contracting yourself to Palfish and you drum up your own business using the tools provided. There are 2.1 billion people in China and Hong Kong combined. There are plenty of students to teach. It is finding them that sometimes can be the issue that teachers come across.
To get students you must market yourself. To be a successful Palfish online teacher you will have to be camera confident and willing to take some good selfies. Inside the app there are plenty of different features that can help you to get noticed by Chinese families and by the Palfish sales team. The families are already signed up to Palfish, they are looking for teachers to teach their students. You just need to show them that you are worth hiring.
Do I Pay ANY Fees?
Yes and No. There are no joining fees, no subscription fees nothing of the sort. If you are going to do freetalk then Palfish will take a 20% cut of each conversation. You set your own talk rate though, so when you set your rate you will add that 20% on so there will be loss.
The official kids course don’t take any cuts. You simply get paid for the amount of hours you work. If you don’t teach any classes then you don’t get paid. Simples!
Do you get paid for any extra curriculum activities like marketing or the interview. No you do not. Palfish will repay you $15 USD for the props you purchased when doing your mock interview. As soon as you are hired you will have money in your Palfish bank.
Pro's and Con's Teaching With Palfish
With any job there are pro’s and con’s and I want to share my view on the company. I am writing from my own personal experience. Some teachers comment about how they never have anyone book classes with them, yet I have bookings come in everyday. Some days I have 10+ bookings. I always have at least 100 bookings in my schedule which is opened two weeks in advance.
– The support to get started from the company is very so-so. Once you are approved to teach you are left to fend for yourself. You must research yourself and ask lots of questions. Watch Youtube videos and read EVERYTHING inside your allocated chat group. I found this a tad daunting.
– If there is a problem you can not usually get hold of anyone. You are allocated a mentor but this one mentor has thousands of other teachers that they also look after.
– If you are teaching Official Kids Classes, there are no workbooks to learn from. You have the slides to look at before class starts but if you don’t understand the question (and sometimes this will happen), ou might not get an answer from anyone in the chat about your problem. This sucks! Good initiative will get through these tough moments. The questions are not that hard to work out, we are teaching kids remember.
– If you are willing to learn and put in the effort then this will be a very lucrative job. My first 10 days with Palfish I was earning $110 a day.
– I particularly love this job because it can be done from anywhere in the world with good internet and my phone. One time I went to a friends house and stuck my classroom up on the wall and taught a class.
– The students are very kind. I have built some regular students so now I speak to the parents, Aunts and sometimes Grandmothers. This job has opened my eyes up about the Chinese culture and how interesting it is.
– It pays well. There are not a lot of jobs out there that pay $36AUD an hour that all you have to do is open your phone and teach English.
Myth Bunkers with online teaching jobs with Palfish
– This is easy and anyone can do it. FALSE. If you are boring and lifeless then no you can’t do it.You must have high energy, you must have a big smile and are well presented.
– No extra jobs required FALSE. To get a steady stream of students coming your way you must market yourself. This isn’t hard and sometimes it’s as easy as liking the students books but it takes time out of your day and you are not paid for it. I often do this just lying in the bed. Not hard at all. I usually do about 2 hours per week unpaid.
– All teachers are successful right from the start- FALSE. There are many rumours as to why some teachers are successful and some teachers are not. But these are only rumours. Chinese parents chose me to be their students teacher for a number of factors. Some teachers are simply not cut out to be online teachers. If you are not what the parents are looking for then that could be very well out of your control. What I can tell you is that there is a lot that you CAN control.
If you are searching for an online teaching job then make sure you do your research and find the best company that suits you and your lifestyle. I chose Palfish because it worked best for me in my time zone and my qualifications or lack of. There are plenty of online teaching jobs on the internet, finding one is the easy part. Getting students is the hard part. Make sure you do your research on how to get the best start before applying.