By: Isabelle Marie Gerundo
August 15, 2019
1. Make sure that you have your own teaching area.
We encourage our home-based teachers to set-up a formal teaching area in a private space. Teachers can teach in their bedrooms and study rooms or home offices but not in communal areas like the living room and the dining room. This is to prevent other members of the household from disrupting the class.
2. Make sure your internet is fast enough.
The required download speed is 0.5 mbps while the upload speed is 1 mbps. We also check if the ping reaches 100 ms. To check your internet speed, conduct a speed test via speedtest.net and try to connect to the Makati and Tokyo servers. Here, you can check how fast your internet is able to connect to Makati or Tokyo.
If your internet speed falls short, we would encourage you to connect to the internet via a LAN cable instead of WiFi. If it still does not improve after that, we would encourage you to contact your internet service provider on what you can do to improve your internet speed or consider getting a higher subscription plan.
Fiber internet plans are best. DSL internet plans are often sufficient. We do not allow our teachers to rely on pocket wifi or mobile tethering.
3. Make sure that your equipment is ready and working.
Here are some of the required equipment for home-based tutors:
- Computer – You can use either a laptop or a desktop but not a tablet or your phone. Your computer should be fast enough to run multiple applications at a time. If you are planning on investing in a computer, we recommend getting one with at least an i3 processor. We don’t recommend using Macs or Apple computers as there are some software or apps that you will need to download that are not available for Apple’s OS for free. If you wish to use your Mac for teaching, you might have to buy the apps required for teaching.
- Webcam – It could be the built-in one or an external clip-on webcam. We discourage our teachers from using standing webcams as they could easily be knocked over during class. If you are planning to buy a new one, we recommend getting a webcam that has at least 3 megapixels.
- Headsets – We require our teachers to use headsets with stick-type microphones. Headsets with dangling microphones tend to make rustling noises when it rubs against clothes or hair, and this annoys students.
If you are planning to invest in a headset, take note of the available ports on your computer. If your computer has only one audio jack port, we would recommend that you buy a headset that connects via a USB port or if you already have a headset that connects via two separate jacks for the mic and the audio, we would recommend that you buy an adapter that would allow both to be connected through the sole headset port on your computer.
4. Make sure that your area is well lit.
When setting up your teaching area, make sure that the area is well lit. Try calling a friend via Skype. Through the video call, you will be able to see if you will need extra lighting. LED light strips or even just a desk lamp usually does the trick.
5. Make sure that the background plain.
Remember that your room is a reflection of yourself. If your student sees that your room is untidy or that there are items in the background that are unsightly or too private (i.e. your underwear, towels, and other personal items), you could come across as unprofessional to the student.
If you are not so confident about your background, we recommend that you get a mobile laundry rack and a white curtain.