I was recruited in August 2018 by the late Tom Armbruster, and what I assumed would be a bog-standard interview was actually him setting me up in the system - getting me to download the schedule, sorting out passwords, and generally explaining how Rype works, and how to deal with students. Tom was very down-to-earth and professional, which was why I was happy to go along with getting started.
Previously I'd had a lot of experience with one-to-one and small groups, mainly with adult professionals who needed help with work-related English. Compared to European-based language teaching companies, Rype actually pays very little, so I spend as little time as possible on preparation, but do keep a record of what we cover in the chat on Skype - these also serve as notes for the students. That said, I've found some very useful materials online that are essentially the likes of National Geographic magazine articles that are modified to the needs of the average ESOL learner - and the internet provides fantastic opportunities for self-study, which I encourage.
The one-to-one format works very well for students of lower intermediate levels who wish to improve their speaking skills in particular, as they have subjects that interest them that they wish to discuss (frequently work-related) and initially I listen for repeated mistakes and tackle those first by doing the 'time out' sign, and present the correct form, and give them plenty of chances to practice getting it right. I have one Spanish student who has worked with me for a considerable time and right now I am encouraging him to bring his family on a little holiday to one of the English-speaking countries, he has improved so much but needs to test himself a bit.
A couple of things that could be addressed, however: First of all, you could raise the rate teachers are paid. Perhaps a little more for every year worked? Second: I have no problem at all getting into the OnSchedule portal, but I cannot otherwise access my profile on Rype. For some reason, the system does not recognize me. I would love to see my portal because I believe I've had a review and I'd love to see what the student said. Finally, I think that it would be worth telling the students that a laptop or PC or other large screen is the best way to make the most of the Skype program, rather than a tablet or phone, but you might already have something like that on there.
It might also be helpful, particularly for teachers new to the profession, to have a kind of informal online get-together to discuss any issues that they might encounter - certainly pertaining to cultural issues. Could be in the form of a Facebook Live session perhaps? Or Facebook could be used to advertise it? Being a solo operator working remotely does have its downsides, after all...and sometimes this is the lack of immediate feedback.
All in all, I like the autonomy, and the flexibility to set my own hours, it allows me to work around my text-related work and my art. I have worked on my own for almost 20 years and got back into TESOL teaching online because it is nice to talk to people during the day! And I enjoy teaching English, I always have. I'm so glad the technology is available.
At the time on writing this review, I am in the middle of a two-week holiday and am using my phone to make little videos of the places I visit in Ireland to send to my regular students (Spain, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Mexico). I so love the Internet...
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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