How not to be an online Spanish teacher

22nd June 2022

By Trevor H.

Do you see the woman in the picture above? Well, that’s my wife Pilar from Colombia. I would like to tell you a quick two minute story on her attempt to teach Spanish online. 

It was two years in the city of Medellin, Colombia. We had been in a relationship for a few months and we decided to move in together. At the time I was teaching English online as my native language is English. 

My wife was working at the time as a teacher and she noticed that I was making money more easily than she was. She was stuck in traffic everyday driving to and from work. The traffic in Medellin was some of the worst I have ever seen. I was teaching online from the kitchen table, smiling and drinking coffee. She wouldn’t admit it, but I believe she started to get jealous. 

One day I asked her, “Pilar, why don’t you try teaching Spanish online?” Afterall, she could speak English as well. So she decided to try the platform Preply, the same platform that I was working on. 

She made her profile and a super lame video explaining her teaching style. I told her to keep her prices low until you get some good reviews, as that was the strategy that worked for me, so she did just that. People were beginning to book appointments for her online Spanish classes. 

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At the time, you had to give people a trial lesson for which you did not get paid. It should be illegal in my opinion to work for free, but the platform got away with it. Moving forward, she gave some trial lessons and a percentage of the students wanted regular weekly classes. Great, right?

Well, for my wife, Pilar the princess, not so much. She quickly began complaining that the classes were too long and some people didn’t know any Spanish. In her defense, it is a tough job, but most are tough, right?

And then came the men. Men would constantly ask her inappropriate questions that she did not have any patience for. But to be honest, the questions that men were asking were not too bad. “Tell me about yourself. What do you do in your free time?” Afterall, men are men, and they were not being rude, they were simply being inconsiderate. I mean my wife is super hot. I get it. 

She could have played the game. She could have told the guys that she is just there to teach Spanish online and not to date. That dating opportunities are on a different application. 

As her boyfriend at the time, I supported Pilar for whatever she wanted. But to look at the situation after the fact, she had a good opportunity to be an online teacher, she simply was not patient enough. 

When I first started teaching online, it was terrible. I kept my prices super low to get reviews. But after some months I was making 1000$ a month USD. 

My wife was smart, but lacked patience. To her credit she was already working some terrible day job so it was very challenging. 

I tried explaining to her that most jobs suck. You need to take the good with the bad. If you give it three months, you can make a solid monthly income. We see where this story is going. It did not happen. She quit.

Look, the platform was giving her students. She had the chance to execute but did not. Nobody likes to work for free or give cheap lessons, but just like any business, there is an investment period where people take losses, whether it be money or time. 

The advice I give to people is that just because it’s a work from home job, it doesn’t mean that the job is terrific. It simply means that there are some advantages like you don’t have to drive anywhere or physically meet with people. 

If you are given an opportunity to work from home as an online language tutor, dedicate yourself to it, try to enjoy it. Learn how to handle difficult students. Play the game. 

If you are a beautiful woman, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to use that to your advantage, if it means to make money online. 

I don’t expect people to have the same opinions as me. But I work from home and I love it. Do I have terrible days with regards to work, absolutely. However, I’d rather have a hundred terrible days a year working from home compared to being stuck in traffic everyday going to some job that I hate, and that the boss is a huge jerk. 

Thanks for reading. Give the blog a share if you care.

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