teacher rules and tips

We understand that everybody has their own way of doing things and some teachers may already have years of experience teaching. However, we still want to list some general rules and tips for our teachers, because we want to make sure that our students get the best possible experience and some less-experienced teachers might be helped by some of these tips.

Lesson Contents

Always check with your students what they would like to do. They may have entered lesson wishes, in which case we will notify you. You can also send a message one or more days before the start of the lesson, asking if they want to practice anything in particular.

Some students will want you to decide the contents of the lessons and guide them, other students will want to take the lead. Always make sure you find out what type of student you have and either guide them or have them decide the contents of the lessons. Communication with your student is very important. A small question like What would you like to practice? can make the difference between a happy and a disappointed student.

Online Resources

We encourage you to check out any online resources that can help you create interesting lessons for your students. The internet is filled with exercises, games, videos and lots of other great resources. Do always check with your student if they are interested in something, before you present it. We cannot stress enough that communication is absolute key to keeping your students happy. What some students will find amazing, other students will not appreciate at all. Communicate with your students!

Let your Students Talk

Your student picked you as their teacher, because they want to practice a language. Make sure they talk at least 50% of the time and preferably even a lot more. Do everything you can to get them to talk. You can use lists of questions, to get the conversation going, but try to only use these as conversation starters. If you keep going from question to question, it can start to resemble an interview instead of a conversation. You can also use images and have your students describe them. This technique is especially helpful with beginners.

Ask Whether Your Student is Ready

When it is time to start the lesson always ask your student whether he or she is ready to start the lesson. It doesn't matter whether it's a new student or someone you've had 100 lessons with. With new students it can be a formal sentence like Are you ready to start our lesson?. With regular students it can be as short as Ready?. The reason we find this important, is that you can never know what your student is currently doing. They might quickly want to go to the bathroom, drink a sip of water, or finish a phone call with their grandmother. It's polite to make sure that they are ready and never just call them without a warning.

Ending the Lesson

Try to end the lesson in a gentle way Instead of saying something like Time's up. Bye!, you can maybe ask them What are your plans for the rest of the day?. You can do this maybe one or two minutes before it's time to stop. If they are very talkative, you can maybe ask this five minutes beforehand or even earlier. You can then say something like I hope to see you again soon, and say goodbye.

Dress Code

You can dress casually, but make sure that you are always dressed in a presentable way. T-shirts and jeans are fine, bathing attire, showing underwear or going shirtless are not fine.

Canceling or Declining Lesson Requests

You are free to decline lesson requests or cancel lessons after you've accepted them. However, we expect you to only do this if absolutely necessary and to please send a message to the student to apologize and explain the reason. It is your job to manage your time and to only make yourself available if you really are.

Instant Lessons

Only turn on your instant lessons if you are really available at that very moment to teach a 30 minute class. It is not nice for students to have their instant lesson request time out after 10 minutes, because you were not there to respond. If this does happen, you will receive notification that you had missed the request and we encourage you to please send a message to the student to apologize.

Try to always be ready within about 5 minutes after accepting your request. We explain in more detail how instant lessons work on this page.

Comments for the Student

Even though it's completely optional, you might want to spend some time writing a nice comment for your student after the lesson. Some students really like these comments. Read more about writing comments for students on this page.