Ideal for more experienced or qualified teachers, but open to all educators, Outschool offers you the opportunity to teach whatever you are passionate about to learners worldwide, all while earning an average of $50/ hour. This highly comprehensive guide, written by an experienced Outschool teacher, will introduce Outschool and work you through the whole application process.
Ready to get started straight away? You can apply directly here!
Outschool is an online education company based in America which started by targeting the US homeschooling market before expanding worldwide. Now, they have over 10,000 teachers and 900k learners from around the world, with classes in any subject area, hobby or skill.
- Teach what you are genuinely passionate about, including academic subjects, languages, hobbies, skills, crafts and discussion clubs
- Teach group classes (higher earning potential) via Zoom to learners aged 3-18 in all timezones
- Set your own prices, with average Outschool earnings of $50/ hour and the potential to earn significantly more
- Set your own schedule, with total flexibility, no minimum hours and no cancellation penalties
However, aspiring Outschool teachers should also be aware that this high level of autonomy brings more responsibilities – you will need to be confident planning your own lessons, making teaching resources and running your own Outschool teaching business. It can take a few months to build up to Outschool’s advertised $50/ hour average – although some top tips are shared below to boost your enrolments!
Note that, unlike many other companies, Outschool does not require a degree or formal teaching credentials. However, in our experience, they tend to favour more experienced or qualified educators, or those with particular niche skills such as teaching coding, theatre, dance, etc which are in higher demand.
Check out this in-depth review from Katie, experienced Outschool teacher and Abridge Academy education director.
Hiring Process Overview
- Register here and complete the application questions
- Complete your profile and intro video
- Create an example class listing
- Upload a short example teaching video
- Identify verification and background check
- Onboarding training
Outschool application tips
Outschool has a relatively straightforward initial application form asking for key information such as your name, data of birth, nationality, etc. as well as three key application questions. They have written a very detailed guide explaining what they are looking for in these questions, which I recommend you check out first.
My top tips:
- Be specific and detailed. For example, when describing your previous teaching experience, specify the ages of the students, the number of students, what subject you taught, how long you taught for, how many hours per week, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to mention non-teaching experiences which relate to working with children, mentoring, etc. Maybe you mentored new staff at work, babysat for your neighbour’s kids, worked at summer camp or helped out at a school reading club. These informal experiences still demonstrate great teaching skills, just be sure to emphasise that link to Outschool.
- Have a clear niche. Outschool gives you the opportunity to teach whatever passion you have expertise in – which could be anything from school subjects like algebra or phonics to hobbies such as minecraft, coding or dance. Have a browse of what existing teachers are offering, and think about what you would really love to teach. In your application, highlight relevant experiences to teaching this niche and use this as your theme for your example class listing and video (see below).
Outschool profile and intro video
All teachers on Outschool have a public-facing profile which provides a simple introduction, links to your classes and reviews. Your teacher profile should highlight your relevant skills, qualifications and experiences, describe your teaching style and come across as professionally as possible. You will also need to upload a profile picture (select one which clearly shows your face and looks relatively professional or appropriate for your niche), as well as an intro video.
The intro video is often the part many applicants struggle with, but Outschool has provided an in-depth guide and here are my top tips:
- Make sure you have a professional, uncluttered background as well as good lighting
- Use a phone or webcam in landscape mode, and place on a solid surface, use a tripod or ask a friend to hold it steady
- Be friendly! This video will be viewed by parents and learners. Don’t put on a fake “baby voice” but just be genuine and welcoming.
- Introduce yourself, your experience/ qualifications, teaching style, and niche topic. Explain why you are passionate about what you teach – inspire them to want to join your classes!
- Keep it short – 30-90 seconds is best.
- Optional: If you are more tech-savvy, use simple, free video editing software such as YouCut, Inshot, iMovie, etc to add in some relevant pictures, gifs, transitions, etc.
Example intro videos
Creating a class listing
You will also need to create an example class listing, which should showcase your lesson planning skills, creativity and use of interactive activities. Here are some top tips:
- Create a “one time” class – these are the easiest to describe and get approved
- Pick an exciting topic which would appeal to your target students (see video for some tips!)
- State very clearly your learning objectives and structure of class activities – use headings and bullet points
- Describe how you have an interactive teaching style and explain how you do this – for example: class discussions, on-screen games, kahoot quizzes, etc.
A great webinar from Outschool on how to create more unique and exciting classes
You should also review Outschool’s guide to class listings and example class listings for more detailed guidance, and can browse the classes available on Outschool to get a feel for how other teachers describe their classes. I’d recommend saving a copy of your example class listing so you can use it as a real class in future.
Demo class video
Outschool ask you to upload a short demo video which shows your teaching style. While this can be very daunting, just go for it! No class is ever perfect, and you do not need to spend ages editing your video.
Here are some top tips:
- Pick a small part of your example class listing to act out
- Make sure you are in a professional environment with good lighting and sound
- Record it within Zoom, so you can show off your use of the Zoom teaching tools (besides, this is the easiest way to include screensharing of slides)
- Pretend you have some real students there, ask them questions, respond positively, get them to draw on the screen, explain any misconceptions, etc
Once your initial application has been approved, you will be invited to complete a police background check (organised and paid for by Outschool) and upload your ID for verification. Finally, you will need to complete some simple training, and then you are ready to start listing classes!
Top Tips for Getting Started
Outschool is very much a platform for listing your classes – they are not directly employing you and do not guarantee enrolments. Therefore, you will need to be more business-savvy to build up your Outschool earnings. You can review their guide for attracting students here, and below are my own top tips for new Outschool teachers:
- Start by listing one-time classes at around $10/hour per student. These are low commitment for parents, a great way for kids to try out your teaching style, and also help you build up class completion stats and reviews more quickly. Even if you only have one student sign up, teach the class anyway – they may come back for future classes and leave you a lovely review!
- Schedule new classes at least 3 weeks in advance. This gives parents plenty of time to sign up – Outschool is very much not a last minute enrolment platform!
- Put your customer first. Sometimes that means offering a refund outside of the standard refund policy, biting your tongue when you get negative feedback, or adjusting your schedule to avoid cancelling a class. Always put yourselves in their shoes and consider how you can provide the best experience.
- Use one-time classes to funnel learners into ongoing classes. Ongoing classes provide more stable income as the same students keep coming back every week. List up a new ongoing section at least 6-8 weeks in advance, then every week in the meantime offer a related one-time class at the exact same time as the new ongoing class. Encourage parents to sign up for the ongoing class if they enjoyed the one-time class.
- Join Outschool facebook groups. Here, you can market your classes and offer special discounts – discounts off the first class are a great way to encourage sign-ups for ongoing classes or to fill spaces in a half-empty class.