Many people who have embraced freelancing saw it as a viable way of escaping the uncertainties of a 9-5 job. There are many perks of working as a freelancer; these benefits make it difficult for many to slip it under the carpet and pretend as though it never existed.
What about teaching? If you are considering a career in education, you can get paid to work on your terms, arrange your classes, plan your lessons and fix your rates. These are just a few of them, and they are all enveloped in teaching as a freelancer or private tutor.
Teaching encompasses many languages. In Canada, as well as in many parts of the world, one of the few languages you will enjoy teaching as a freelancer is French. Chances are you are already a French teacher or a student studying French at the university looking for ways to dive into the world of freelancing and do what you know how to do best – teaching French.
This article is going to unveil everything you should know about teaching French as a freelance teacher. How you can get started and your career prospects if you plan to continue freelancing for many years to come.
Exploring the World of Freelancing as a French Teacher
Are you a native French speaker, studied French at the university or want to pursue career opportunities in teaching? Why not become a freelance teacher? There are many opportunities for career growth as a freelancer, and the perks that come with it are nothing but mouthwatering.
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Freelancing is a beautiful thing. It is even more attractive when you teach French as a foreign language. How can you decide if freelancing is the perfect option for you?
Generally, you will need to gauge your career vision and mission. Understand your strength and weakness, then; decide if you will be better off working as freelancing in your teaching career.
It would help if you also were mentally ready for the itineraries that come with freelancing. This includes: finding your students, paying taxes based on what you earn each month and working hard to ensure those paychecks keep coming every month.
It can be mentally derailing and stressful if you aren’t fully prepared before plunging yourself into it. You should know where to find students for private lessons, how to organise your lessons and keep your students motivated even when they feel like quitting.
How Do You Become a Private French Teacher?
The steps you need to take vary from one country to another. In Canada, you will need to register as self-employed and report your income accordingly. After that, you must pay your tax based on estimates. You can learn how to do this on your own or hire an accountant to do it for you.
You need to figure out how to find your students, organise classes online or at a specific location, then access the student’s rate of understanding periodically. Taking these steps is necessary if you want to succeed as a freelance French teacher.
It’s vital to know that if you work as a freelance teacher, your job security is not guaranteed. A student may decide to discontinue his lessons for reasons best known to him or her or even hire another private teacher almost immediately after informing you. That is not to say that you will always encounter such bumps in this career path, but learning to become your boss and filling your schedule with lessons will help you if you eventually decide to do it full time.
To kick-start this beautiful journey, there are a few things you will need aside from your degree, teaching license, and experience.
- A computer with internet access
- Knowledge of how and where to find students for regular freelance work
- How to file your tax as a freelancer or a sole trader
- You are ready! Jump right in and begin exploring the world of freelancing as a French teacher!!
How Do You Pay Tax as a Private Tutor?
Paying taxes as a freelancer depends on how much you make, and if you don’t earn, you won’t pay a cent. Since you are working for yourself, you may have to pay for national insurance in addition to income tax.
Ensure you declare your earnings at the appropriate time because they are penalties if you try to play smart. In Canada, the penalty for defaulting is stated on the government website.
You are to register as a self-employed or sole trader online. You will be given your login details which you can change anytime. You are also required to pay tax quarterly based on estimated income. Since freelancers’ income is not fixed, and most times, there may be out of work for some weeks.
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The Challenges of Teaching French as a Freelancer
Just like any other affairs of life, freelancing has its challenges even as a teacher. It’s important to know that some of these challenges are inevitable, especially when you are just starting with little or no experience working as a private tutor.
- Adjusting your teaching style
One of the things many teachers who decide to go the freelance route struggle to do daily is adjusting their lifestyles to suit the freelance terrain. You might be used to teaching in a classroom arrangement with dozens of students starring at you, working Mondays to Fridays each week and having the weekends to yourself.
As a freelance teacher, your schedule may not revolve around workdays alone. Most of the time, your workdays might be free while your weekends will be choked up with lessons. You have to plan how to adjust your schedule and lifestyle accordingly.
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- Not knowing how to organise lessons online
As a freelance French teacher, the majority of your lessons with your students will be online via Skype, Zoom or any other messaging platform you both feel is convenient. For many teachers, this is quite different from the norm they are used to already.
- Lack of motivation due to the inability to get work for a long time
When you quite the traditional classroom setting and decide to freelance, it means you have also decided to find your students yourself. Remember that you may not be the only freelance teacher in your location. And when they are a few students willing to hire a language teacher for private lessons, it means lesser work for you.
There may be days where you will search online for students to teach but gets none. You don’t have to keep your motivation low or attempt to quit the freelance terrain. However, if you persevere and work on getting high publicity, you may get overwhelmed with the number of students that contact you for a tutoring contract each month.
- Charging students below or above the norm
Have you ever wondered if your rates are too high or too low? It can happen to anyone, however, if you take some time to research on your field and understand the factors that determine how much a private tutor charges as well as the rate applicable for different study levels. It will give you a glimpse of what your charges should likely be, especially if you are teaching kids how to speak French.
Tips for Succeeding as a French Freelance Teacher
Remember that you are your own boss, working for yourself and not waking up early morning each day to prepare for classes. Therefore, you should be proactive. This doesn’t mean you should work too hard and exhaust all your energy.
As you teach French privately, remember to set goals and work toward them. Ensure you create time for your personal development, friends and family. Avoid the temptation of working all day and night because you think you can do it.
Don’t forget to take a break regularly. It would help if you had it more than your students. Mental fatigue can lead to low productivity. Do you want your students to look forward to the next lesson? Then, endeavor to strike a balance between work and leisure. It would help you to improve on your deliverables too.
If you are teaching French as a freelancer, don’t forget the language needs of your students and work with them every step of the way. Suppose you can help them feel motivated to continue learning French despite the odds against them. In that case, they will have reasons to hire you to continue to help them learn the language of love until they become fluent French speakers eventually.
Most importantly, keep your social life active. You may have missed having colleagues, teaching many students in a class or interacting with other pupils in your school. The life of a freelancer is mostly a lonely one unless you take a leap and discover many fun ways to teach and live.