If there’s anything we know as online ESL teachers, finding high-quality content for teaching can be challenging.
We want to find lesson material to complement the students’ level without much preparation. Is that too hard to ask?
Off2Class claims to provide just that. In this Off2Class review, we will discuss the Off2Class interactive courseware, placement tests, and annotation tools that are available to teachers who wish to move into private online teaching.
What You Can Find at Off2Class
- Curriculum for beginner to advanced speakers
- IELTS prep– listening, speaking, writing, reading
- TOEFL prep– listening, speaking writing, reading
- Business English
- Letters and Sounds
- Activities designed for speaking, writing, reading
- Specialized Grammar, such as relative clauses, reported speech, verbs
- The list goes on…
I caught up with the teacher trainer from Off2Class, Chris Rush, so he could let my fellow readers know more about the platform.
What is Off2Class?
Off2Class is a tool that allows online teachers to spend more time focused on their online business by managing lesson planning, student activities, and progress all in one place.
Our lesson library contains more than 1,000 ESL lessons designed to be delivered online, and they cover every level.
The lesson slides are synced between teacher and student, so there’s no need to share screens for online lessons.
We’ve also built homework assignments and progress tests into the lessons so your students have activities to do on their own which allows you to make sure they’re reaching their goals.
Our comprehensive placement test not only tells you the level of the student but also connects every mistake they make to the lesson in the library that will fix it, so every student gets a customized learning plan just by taking the test.
Off2Class takes care of the most time-consuming part of an online ESL business — planning lessons and managing students — so that you can focus on getting more students.
Tell me about your experience as a teacher. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been teaching non-stop since 2013. I started working for a European online ESL company and was very happy with my job until the currency exchange rate suddenly changed. It was like getting a 20% pay cut overnight!
That led me to explore going out on my own, where I faced two main challenges: finding students and developing my own teaching materials and student infrastructure.
I solved the student problem when I discovered the teaching marketplaces. I solved the lesson materials problem when I discovered Off2Class, and I became a customer in 2015.
Being on my own, I realized that the most valuable skill for an online teacher is learning how to market yourself. Just being a good teacher isn’t enough.
I started to learn marketing because it was helping me get more students, and I actually found that I was enjoying the marketing aspects of my job just as much as the teaching.
In 2017, I joined the growing Off2Class team as a marketer and a “teacherpreneur-in-residence.”
My job now is to help create content for Off2Class and make sure that teachers know how to get the most out of the platform.
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How Can Teachers and Students Benefit From using The Platform?
Starting an online ESL business isn’t easy — it takes time and effort. The biggest benefit of using Off2Class is that it allows teachers to manage the “teaching” part of the business so that you can focus on the “marketing” part of the business: actually getting students!
It’s great for students because they have a digital “home” where they can access their lessons, their homework assignments, and their progress tests.
The lesson library is large and diverse enough that there’s always something interesting for them to learn, from grammar to conversation to phrasal verbs, idioms, and more.
Students love the consistent quality of the lessons, and the self-study activities keep them engaged between lessons, which is great for student retention.
The Burning Question that Teachers Struggle With: How Can Teachers Find Students?
I usually recommend that teachers who want to go out on their own start off with the marketplace websites– websites that have students actively looking for ESL teachers to take lessons with. It’s a lot easier than starting a business from scratch.
Even if having a fully independent business is what you want, the marketplace websites can help you earn income and get experience while you build your business at the same time.
The biggest obstacle teachers face when building a business is that in order to be successful they need to learn new skills like sales and copywriting, along with the technical challenges to set up the necessary tools of an online business, like building a website.
It’s easy to underestimate these challenges at the beginning of the journey, which can lead to discouragement later.
Even surmounting these obstacles won’t lead to students in the short term. Attracting students requires consistent content creation, which ideally takes place both on your own website as well as social media.
The potential of having a successful online business is virtually unlimited, so overcoming the obstacles is well worth it.
However, because it’s a long game, I usually recommend getting started with the marketplaces!
You may also be interested in: The Best English Teaching Companies in 2022.
What do you envision for the future of Off2Class?
That’s a tough question, but our vision for the future is essential to make it easier for teachers to have success with their students no matter what their circumstances are.
We continue to add new lesson content and student management features so that we can meet as many needs as possible for teachers.
Right now we’re working on an index to make it easy to find lesson topics within our step-by-step curriculum, and next year we’ll release a new version of the placement test to make it even better.
We’re very excited about continuing to improve the product.
What best advice would you give to teachers?
Learn the basics of sales and marketing!
A lot of teachers are uncomfortable with the idea of sales because it conjures images of the snake oil salesman, which is understandable.
However, there are some important broad concepts– like talking about your students instead of yourself, for example– that can make a big difference.
Effective communication with potential students is very different from effective communication in the classroom. That’s a critical lesson to learn.
The potential of having a successful online business is virtually unlimited, so overcoming the obstacles is well worth it.Chris Rush
Off2Class offers a free account for teachers who might like to try out the platform. You can have many students but there are a limited number of lessons available.
Off2Class also has packages that cater to everyone, from regular teachers to schools. There are monthly and yearly plans available.
The benefits of using this system mean you get chat support, access to a large library of high-quality lessons, and your very own virtual classroom where you can meet students, take notes and learn lots of English!
Off2Class Review: Summary
Off2Class is a great stepping stone in helping teachers build their own virtual online teaching business.
Off2Class cuts the workload in half by providing teachers and schools with placement tests, games, and curriculums, which can be managed inside the platform.
It’s a good idea for teachers to learn some basic marketing skills to attract students, build a solid schedule and deliver great quality lessons using Off2Class.
You can find out more information about Off2Class here.
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.