I Just Taught My 2,000th Class with Qkids!

Nick has taught with Qkids for almost 2 years and today is sharing with us how he makes a living teaching online, as well as some of the challenges he faces. 

Nick Nebelsky is an author, illustrator, and publisher of children’s books and games at Intense Media (www.intensemedia.com). He has spent most of his career in the media arts but in his early years was able to work with children in various capacities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Brockport in Brockport, NY. He’s married with three children, two dogs, and loves to travel. He is also learning to play the piano and the guitar and hopes to be able to write his own children’s songs.  

I want to tell you a little secret. For the past 21 months, I have taught more than 2,000 ESL classes for over 7,000 Chinese students in my own home. I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, you must have a big house!” Kidding aside, I work as an independent contractor for a wonderful company called Qkids and I LOVE my job. I never would have thought I could earn great money doing something that I loved while never leaving my house.

How It Works

This China-based company hires certified ESL teachers from the U.S. and Canada who speak authentic English. I've been with Qkids for two years and in the first year, I took a laid back approach and worked for around 25 classes a week. In 2018 - 2019, I stepped up my game and worked the maximum number of hours allowed. When it gets busy, in the summer months and around New Year's, I can teach be earning a full-time wage. Through Qkids I am earning a great amount per month which we have used to pay down our mortgage and car loans.

Do You Need to Know Chinese?

When people find out where I work, they often ask, "Do you have to know Chinese?" I always answer no, but I do need to know English. All teachers who work with Qkids and many other ESL companies are required to obtain an ESL teaching certificate. I currently have a TESOL certificate. If you don't have a certificate, teaching experience is required and preferred. That shouldn't be a deterrent though to teach. I received my certificate after I was hired by Qkids.

What Grades Do You Teach?

Qkids currently teaches children from pre-school grades all the way up to high school. They use the word levels instead of grades but it’s essentially the same thing. At first, I was teaching very young children in Levels 1 and 2. I then moved to L3-L5 and enjoyed it very much. It takes a little time to get into the groove and figure out where you fit in best. They’ll either assign you a grade based on your experience or your interest. Just recently there has been a demand for teachers to teach higher level classes and I’ll be teaching the older kids. I like the diversity and the opportunities that are afforded to teachers.

What’s the Difference between Online Teaching and Face-to-face?

I love getting a physical response when I'm teaching and in a sense, you'll get that online. I also like the control I have when I'm online. If a student is loud or goofing off, I can simply mute that child. There is never a time where I don't feel like I have control over a classroom whereas, in a face-to-face situation, you're often not afforded the same luxury. When I read their job posting, I said, "I can do this! I want to do this!"

Qkids Makes It Easy!

The computer platform couldn't be any easier and is quite intuitive which makes teaching a breeze. I really enjoy the small classroom size (1-4 students) and the ability to focus on one child in a 1v1 atmosphere. I think what makes the digital classroom better than real life is that there are fewer distractions. At least it feels that way. I also like that the curriculum is laid out for us in advance. Because our classes are scheduled ahead of time, we can easily see what will be taught and can get props that will help the teaching process.

Supportive Staff

One of the best benefits of teaching with Qkids is the staff. They're available practically all the time. Each teacher is assigned a trainer who guides you and helps you along your journey. There are also training classes that the teacher can participate online or occasionally we'll have separate training sessions with other teachers.

What are Some of the Challenges?

Sometimes parents will answer for their children in a class, especially in the lower grades. I sometimes wonder if the child is really understanding the material. It’s a slippery slope because they are paying for the classes, yet, as teachers, we also want the best for them too. Our teachers are all so dedicated and work really hard to make sure that the kids are getting the best English. Sometimes you just have to move along or mute them and encourage the students to answer for themselves. Some other challenges are background noise or lack of proper equipment. It's always best to have a child wear a headset with a dedicated microphone. Qkids does have a technical support staff at the ready and always try to alleviate any issues that may arise.

I never want to leave a classroom where I feel I haven't made an impact on a child's life. That's why the first five minutes of the class is reserved for student-teacher bonding. It's a place where I can get to know the students, sing a song, or just act a little silly to elicit some smiles. I really love incorporating my stuffed animals too as they have become a great ice breaker and can really make the classes more fun. We want the children to enjoy the classes while still providing a powerful learning experience.

The only other challenge in the beginning few months was getting used to the crazy hours and getting enough sleep. Since I live in Arizona, China is 15 hours ahead of me. Thus my day starts at 3:15 AM every morning, seven days a week. At first, it was very difficult. I was never a morning person, but now it’s just natural to get up early. Sleep is very important as is your professional appearance. You are the face of the company and your energy level should always be at the highest.

Final Thoughts

So if you feel like you have the qualifications, the desire, and the passion maybe Qkids is right for you too! The greatest impact you have is to make one child’s life better.  And with Qkids, you get to do that every day. I always think to myself, “Someday, that child will be a Teacher or a Doctor and I will have something to do with it." If you're interested in knowing more, please use my referral code and apply to this wonderful company.


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