Sarah, a 27-year-old Kenyan woman, earns KSh65,000 per month tutoring Chinese students online in English.
Here is her story and how she built her tutoring business in Kenya:
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Sarah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and Education from Kenyatta University.
She had always been passionate about teaching and helping others learn. After university, Sarah worked for 2 years as an English teacher at a local high school in Nairobi.
Although Sarah enjoyed teaching, she was frustrated with the low pay.
As a high school teacher, she was only earning KSh30,000 per month. This was barely enough to cover her rent and basic necessities.
Sarah started looking for ways to supplement her income.
Discovering Online Tutoring
One day, Sarah came across an article about online tutoring.
The article explained how tutors can earn money by teaching English online to students from China.
Intrigued, Sarah decided to do more research.
She learned that there is a huge demand for native English speakers to tutor Chinese students online.
Many Chinese parents want their children to learn English from an early age to increase future career prospects.
However, there is a shortage of English teachers in China.
Online tutoring platforms like VIPKid connect tutors from America, Canada, UK and other countries with students in China for live video lessons.
Tutors can make upwards of $20 USD per hour.
Getting Started with VIPKid
After researching several platforms, Sarah decided to apply to VIPKid.
The application process was rigorous and involved multiple interviews, mock teaching demonstrations and submission of documents.
VIPKid looks for tutors who are native English speakers, have a bachelor’s degree and some teaching experience.
It took Sarah 3 weeks from her initial application to get fully approved.
Once approved, Sarah had to complete VIPKid’s training program to learn their curriculum and teaching techniques.
She also had to set up her virtual classroom by getting proper lighting, a headset, props and rewards.
Building Her Tutoring Business
In the beginning, Sarah started slowly with just a few hours per week while keeping her high school teaching job.
She took any time slots she could get and taught a couple of students.
As Sarah gained experience and received positive reviews from parents, she was able to increase her bookings. Sarah maximized her schedule by opening up availability on weekends and late nights.
Within a few months, Sarah was consistently tutoring over 20 hours a week for VIPKid. She was making around KSh65,000 per month.
This was more than double her teaching salary.
Sarah decided to quit her high school teaching job and focus entirely on online tutoring. She aimed to continue increasing her student count and income.
Tips from Sarah’s VIPKid Success
Here are some of Sarah’s top tips for those interested in online tutoring:
- Be professional – Students and parents expect professionalism. Dress appropriately, have neat background, be punctual.
- Engage the students – Make lessons interactive and fun by using props, games, rewards. Keep students focused.
- Communicate with parents – Build relationships with parents. Send progress reports. Ask for feedback.
- Set a schedule – Open consistent availability slots. Students prefer seeing regular teachers.
- Teach trial classes – Do free trial classes to get new students. Prepare demos targeted to different age groups.
- Get certified – Get rewards like certificates and badges. Parents favor more qualified teachers.
Why Online Tutoring Works in Kenya
There are several appealing factors about online tutoring that make it a viable work from home opportunity:
- Flexible – You set your own schedule and availability. No need to commute.
- Lucrative – Tutoring rates are very favorable especially compared to local incomes.
- Global demand – Large market of students worldwide seeking English learning.
- Low barriers – Mainly need internet connection, computer, headset.
- Rewarding – Teaching and assisting students’ progress is fulfilling.
Building a successful online tutoring business does come with some challenges as well:
- Inconsistent bookings – Student demand fluctuates. Months like summer see lower bookings.
- Technical issues – Dealing with connectivity problems or software glitches.
- Time difference – Peak times in China are early morning or late evenings in Kenya.
- Learning curve – Takes time to get used to teaching style and pacing required.
- Ratings – Need to maintain 5-apple parent ratings or risk account freeze.
However, overall Sarah found it was completely worth overcoming these challenges. The pros outweighed the cons for her situation.
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The extra income from online tutoring has been life-changing for Sarah. Here are some of the benefits she gained:
- Increased monthly income from KSh30k to KSh65k
- Able to move to a nicer neighborhood
- Built savings for the first time
- Less financial stress day-to-day
- Able to invest in further education
- More time flexibility
- Improved standard of living
Sarah hopes to continue growing her online tutoring business.
Her success shows that with the right guidance and effort, people anywhere can take advantage of digital income opportunities.
The future is very bright for online learning and remote work.
Leveraging online tutoring platforms can be tremendously empowering regardless of where you live.
Sarah’s story demonstrates that for motivated individuals, the internet can truly open doors to global opportunities.
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