I retired to Panama last year from Canada.
My career was in social services so I had always been in a ‘helping other’s’ position. I knew when I retired I would need/want something to do so I would not be bored.
For several years, I had thought about teaching English as a second language but did not want the expense or time required to take the courses.
So, when I arrived in Panama I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself.
I was searching the internet for ideas when I came across an ad for Boxfish. They were looking for people to teach conversational English to students in Beijing. It would all be done through a program developed by Boxfish for the internet.
I decided to apply and it was an arduous journey. They were just getting underway and there were quite a few clichés. I had to fill in an application telling them about myself and attach my CV. I also had to add a video talking about my favourite artist. This video needed to be about 3 minutes long and had to show my enthusiasm about the artist I had chosen. I chose Rod Stewart because I am such a big fan. You also had to have access to an Apple device, which I had to purchase.
After all that was submitted I waited to see if I would be notified to have an interview over Skype. If I passed the interview I would then be contacted to take the training. All this took about four months. I started teaching mid January 2017.
This application and interview process has now changed, as I describe below.
Fun Teaching Experience
I have enjoyed almost every minute of teaching. My youngest student is 6 years old. I now have a few adults in their 20’s and 30’s. There have been some complications. For instance, when the internet connection is not very good between where I am in Panama and China.
So, you probably want to know what Boxfish pays and how often I teach. This is how it works. You get paid $10.00 for 25 minutes of teaching. They will tell you it is $20.00 an hour but you very rarely get classes back to back, which would add up to the hour.
You have access to a calendar and you mark off the days you are available to teach. When students book a class, the computer will look for a matching time slot and give you a class.
You have no control over how many classes you are assigned or the student. I usually do about 20-25 classes a month. Because of the time difference it is difficult for me to get more classes. I am 13 hours behind Beijing. You also have the opportunity to go on standby for 2 hours everyday. Sometimes classes will be assigned to you from students who have not booked scheduled classes but want one right then.
Get More Info
So, if you are interested in teaching English you can find Boxfish on Youtube. There are plenty of videos about the company, including information on how to apply.
It has all changed since I applied last September. Now you just send them your name and contact information. You do not have to fill in the time-consuming application, or do a video and your device can be an android.
There are still wrinkles to be ironed out, and that does frustrate me sometimes, but I love tutoring the students and that makes up for all the unpredictability associated with Boxfish.
You may want to read Betsy’s article on teaching English online. It covers requirements, advice, and a list of possible companies to work for.
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