The wonders of working freelance are clear for all to see. In recent years there has been a large rise in teaching online as a freelancer, especially in Europe. It is easy to see why too. A chance to manage your own time, organise your diary how you want and to have the freedom to take on or turn down jobs as you see fit. Due to these perks, freelance teaching seems set to stay.
However, this level of autonomy does have its pitfalls. The security of a regular paycheck being the first one. Also, the ability to call on the resources and lesson plans of others in education is not always there.
Teachers in schools, are a short conversation, or email click away from support. So what can the freelancer teacher do, to ensure they have regular, suitable content for their lessons?
Resources and Planning
Along with marking, lesson planning is often one of the most arduous tasks for any teacher across the globe. It is time consuming and tiring, which is why many websites have decided to cash in on the planning and resourcing business.
No matter what area of expertise you are in, there is a site to help you find the perfect lesson. In the first instance, Youtube has a great deal of free tutorial videos in a number of niches. Music, English, History and Art spring directly to mind. There are a number of different ways online videos and podcasts can enhance teaching.
In addition to this, there are free and paid sites, where teachers have uploaded their own successful resources. Some of these may be very well suited to your style of teaching and are a quick and easy way to get your lesson right.
One of the key attributes to being a successful teacher and tutor, is to be a good hoarder. Great teaching institutions are built upon the sharing of good practice. Ensure you keep all of the resources you have made over time. You never know when they may be useful again. If you have any links with other professionals in education, offer to share resources with them and theirs in return. Even if you teach a different subject, there may be some gems that you can use.
Managing your time
One of the key issues of the freelancer is to give yourself time to create, plan and organise. Often the focus can tend to be on making money, which is understandable. But to save yourself getting stressed and anxious about not having enough content, give yourself plenty of time.
Time to plan ahead (at least a couple of lessons ahead), so you know what topics or lessons are up next. The more prepared and on top of this you are, the more productive and happy your freelance teaching career will be.
The role of the freelance teacher can bring great rewards. It is a fine balancing act though, between getting the right resources at your fingertips and giving yourself the time to plan and prepare thoroughly. Get these two right, and your working life should become a great deal easier.
By Lucy Wyndham, Professional Freelance Writer
Photo Credit: Joris Louwes Teaching CC License