Hey, side-hustlers!

Last time, we talked about 5 side hustles that actually pay. If you haven’t read that, be sure to check it out too! For this post, I’ll be talking about Teaching English as a side hustle and how you can do it too!

This photo is from my volunteer teaching experience in Greece. Honestly, because of my experience in teaching English online, it was easier for me to volunteer to teach abroad. If you’re looking for volunteer experiences, you should check out AIESEC! In the long run, teaching English as a side hustle really helps if you’re considering teaching abroad. I personally am.

Before I get on the tips on how to pass ALMOST ANY DEMO LESSON FOR ONLINE ENGLISH SCHOOLS, I just wanna share that this was one of the first things I wrote in my first blog. It was my first side-hustle as a broke 18-year-old and it was really a fun experience. I remember not even going out on weekends because I loved teaching that much!

Teaching isn’t for everyone though, I realized later on after coaching people to pass the DEMO LESSON years ago. So before you jump in teaching English online, you have to ask yourself some questions:

  1. Am I a patient person?
  2. Will I be more, or less likely to do this in the future?
  3. Am I at least qualified to teach others English?

When teaching online, you really have to be a patient person. Because you’ll be meeting all kinds of students, there will be slow learners and fast learners. There will be shy students and students are chatty to the point that you might just stray away from the lesson. It’s crazy but you have to be up for it and to do this requires being patient.

Teaching English is not easy. You’ll be reviewing materials through lesson plans and writing feedback for your students. So before you fully invest in this side hustle and I’m not even talking about making it full-time, you have to assess whether this is something you want to do more or less in the future. If not, then maybe you should try other side hustles! If so, then you’re gonna love teaching. Plus, your rate as a teacher can potentially increase over time.

The last question is very important. Like I said, not everyone can do it. It saves you time knowing whether you’re at least qualified to teach English. You don’t have to have a degree and for this, I only mean will you be able to teach ENGLISH CORRECTLY. If you can read, write and speak fluently, then it’s not going to be a problem. But if not, then you might want to brush up your English skills before teaching others and well, taking the demo lesson.

Once that’s over and you’re still reading, hey – here’s a few tips on how to pass the demo lesson! People have really been emailing me about it, so let me just write it all down here for you:

1. Establish rapport and avoid dead air

My friend and I tried applying for the same online English school at the same time, but we didn’t know it! He only told me after his demo lesson. Sadly, he did not make it. The main reason, according to his evaluator, was because there was dead air during the lesson. In this case, I would like to say be a little humorous (but appropriate) to avoid dead air. If the student cannot understand or follow, ask him/her or give him/her clues. Also, be prepared of what your student might say and be ready to catch his response and think ahead. This way, you can also establish rapport with the student. Have a short introduction before the start of the class and be friendly. I usually try to find common hobbies with my students to start conversations.

2. Answer questions with your best effort

The student will definitely ask questions. Sometimes, they do a lot. Be prepared and make sure to help him/her understand what he/she is asking. Use the chat box (there is sure to be one in any system) and don’t be afraid to use a dictionary or google when you do not know the answer. You can also try explaining in pictures and keywords to help the student. Students really appreciate it when you go your way to understand them so don’t just ignore their questions.

3. Stick to the class schedule

DEMO lessons will evaluate you on this, so take note – if the required time is 15 minutes, manage your time well without compromising any part of the lesson. Ending the class early is a big no-no. If you finish the lessons early, then why not have a chat with your students?

4. Remember to give feedback

It is very important that you acknowledge the good things the student has done during the lesson. If he or she has good pronunciation, then be sure to compliment on that. I personally don’t like just saying “very good” or “good job” – you have to let the student know what he or she is doing right. Also, don’t be afraid of correcting errors. The student is there to learn and he or she will really appreciate if you correct his or her mistakes, this way, the student knows you are really listening to him/her.

Feedback is very important so never end a lesson without one!

5. Smile, be cheerful and encourage the student during the lesson

Even as a university student, I myself wouldn’t want to be in a class with a terror professor so smile and be cheerful! You wouldn’t want the lesson to be too heavy or hard on the student. It will also make things easier for both you and the student.

BONUS: For those going on demo lessons, practice on someone else!

Before the demo lesson, I personally practiced with my siblings. This is very helpful as you can gain confidence in conducting the lesson.



Follow these 5 tips and you’re sure to pass your demo lesson! And when you do, it’s an amazing feeling.. now you’re ready to teach English as a side hustle! Of course, after finishing requirements with the company and all that.

I personally love teaching English online because of its convenience. I can teach at home and I don’t have to spend so much going out of the house. I can also choose my own schedule and how long I want to teach.

It used to be about making extra money on the side and while that’s good too, it’s become more of a personal thing. It became about helping people learn the language. My students are mostly Japanese students and they’ve been really kind to me. So I hope, you know, when you do start teaching English as a side hustle, you enjoy it too!

Got any more tips or want me to coach you to pass the demo lesson? Because I 100% would love to! Leave a comment below with your email address or email me directly at melissaungco@gmail.com and let’s take it from there! 🙂

Lots of luck and love,


2 replies on “Teaching English as a side hustle

  1. I started teaching with VIPKID one year ago. I still can’t believe how much I enjoy it. I, too, sometimes skip out on weekend activities because I look forward to seeing my students. I still can’t believe I am getting paid to do this! I enjoyed your post.


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