Keys to the Castillo

Why Teaching English is the Best Job Ever

Table of Contents

If you’re struggling to figure out what to do after graduating from university, then I’ve got an article for you.

This isn’t a secret at all – you can hop on the internet and search all about this.

If you have a passport from an English-speaking country, namely Canada, the United States, great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa, you can easily get a job teaching English abroad.

‘But I heard it doesn’t pay well’

It depends on where you go… and how much you earn ‘on the side’.

It is not uncommon for people teaching English in China to make MORE than their monthly salary from private tutoring.

I met teachers who were earning about $4,000 a month from their job… who were earning almost double that by teaching classes privately.

The best part, is that you don’t need to speak fluent Chinese in order to arrange these private classes, although it can massively improve your earning potential.

Actually, you don’t even need to know Chinese at all…

China isn’t the only country in which these opportunities are available, however, it does have the biggest market by far, and it’s GROWING. Rich Chinese people are popping up everywhere. And they’re having kids. Usually, more than one. So, they want their kids to have opportunities and learning experiences that they themselves may have been deprived of in their youth.

Here’s how you do it:

I strongly urge you to learn Chinese first. The more, the better. 

  1. Get a GOOD teaching job

You’re going to have to hunt around. DO NOT teach at training centers or kindergartens. They are shitholes, and they’re usually operating in a legal grey area.

DO: find international or bilingual schools. Universities are okay, but the money here is in the connections you’ll have through international and bilingual schools.

Tuition for these places usually starts at $20,000 USD a year per child, so the parents need to have money just to get in.

  1. Even if housing is provided, don’t do it

Find your own. The reason being is that you don’t want other nosy teachers poking around your business and threatening to blackmail you

speak to parents one on one. You might have to be patient for this to happen, because schools know that some teachers are aware of the potential earnings to be gained from doing private classes. Don’t worry, your in-person interaction can be kept to a minimum if you use Wechat and just arrange to meet away from the school.

  1. start small. What you want to do is get in really good with a handful of parents (it’ll almost always be the moms). They’ll be your ‘VIPs’. I recommend you treat them like gods. You want to make sure they are beyond satisfied with how their kid is progressing. At that point, make it known that you’d like to expand your business. Better yet, ask them what they would recommend you do. Since you’ve done so well with helping their kid, they probably have some friends, who ideally don’t even attend the same school, that they can introduce to you and you can form classes instead of teaching one on one.
  2. By this point, you’ll have at least one mom who might even be in love with you and do anything to help you. Ideally, you want to find a location that’s not too far away from where you live to host your classes. You want it to be clean, modern, well-lit, have tables and chairs available, and most importantly, low-key.

Private tutoring, or any other form of work that isn’t defined by the contract your work visa is issued under, is illegal. Now, in practice, you will most likely NEVER have an issue with the law, especially with the help of your VIPs. The thing is, you will probably be required to pay a hongbao (a red envelope with a cash donation) to the moms and to whoever is in charge of the location you’re teaching at, including the security guards. Usually a block of cigarettes will suffice.


Resources for Teaching English


You’ll also need to offer top-notch educational materials. Textbooks, storybooks, lesson plans, and also, since you’re working with kids, some fun stuff. Toys.

I recommend:

Nerf guns

Funny hats

A fun calendar for the very low level students

Balloons (these are a massive hit)

Occasionally ordering food or candy or pizza

Seasonal activities for Halloween, Christmas, thanksgiving

Play do/ clay

A small bowling kit

Musical chairs – if you play guitar, this is awesome

A large whiteboard/blackboard

Youll also need a solid curriculum for the kids. Tests, planned homework, and so on

A spinning wheel

Candy prizes

Videos to kill time on your computer

And last but not least, an after-class briefing with the parents to inform them individually on how their kid did in class, where they need to work, what the homework is, and reassure them that they can contact you afterwards on Wechat.

Thing is, it might be overkill, but you can gauge it. Some parents will be hands-off, and only need a briefing every now and then. Others want 24/7 updates and answers to homework concerns. I suggest you handle these issues before they begin, and make it clear that you’re busy and cannot get back to people right away sometimes.


My old mentor would constantly be swamped in messages all the time about dumb stuff, like how a certain word is pronounced, and he would complain to me about it.


Your time is limited.


Let them know that if they want you to bring your best to class and teach their kids as well as you possibly can, you need time for yourself. That doesn’t mean you’ll ignore their concerns, but that you set aside a time every day to address them all in one go, instead of responding to every single message as they come in.

Literally just being able to concentrate on doing something for 30 minutes is something most people cannot do, thanks to being distracted by their phones.

The fact of the matter is

If you can fuck someone and gain something, and get away with it, you should do it. Winning at all costs is GOOD. Thick face, black heart.

My mentor was never too proud to ask for help. People enjoyed helping him. I enjoyed helping him. Most people enjoy being useful and especially if they are being asked to provide something that they’re good at.

Almost all the best business opportunities will come through your network.

Read: your friends and the people you know.

If you’re struggling to figure out what kind of business you should start, perhaps you shouldn’t be trying to start a business at the moment. Perhaps you should tune into what markets are kicking and screaming to be serviced, and see if your abilities and interests match up with that market.

In China, the clients made the business. The demand drove me to fulfill their needs. I had so many offers to teach, I had to turn clients down, because I just didn’t have time to service them all. I didn’t have to sit around thinking about what business to start. The answer was obvious. The money was practically free. Not only that, but parents were always so grateful. Some would go on to become friends and we would frequently go out for dinner to fancy restaurants, which they would pay for without batting an eye. It’s an amazing business.


Sky-high margins for teaching English


The cost of supplies is just a one-time payment of.. let’s see

Storybooks – $30?

Textbooks – $40

Toys – $20?

SO in total, my upfront capital was $90.

Then we factor in the recurring expense of transportation, which could go anywhere between $25 – $80 a week.

A one hour class would net me $70.

Just over two hours of classes could pay for both the original capital and transportation.

Everything else was pure profit.

It is a phenomenal business…


You just need to be willing to pack up and leave everything behind for a while!


And that’s one of the main reasons why it can pay so well. Most people aren’t willing to leave their country, let alone live abroad.


Plus, a lot of people are under the impression that you need to be some sort of ‘teaching genius’ to get a job like this, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.


In reality, just about any native English speaker can become a teacher.


Now, I didn’t say they could be a good teacher. That takes practice, as well as a certain understanding of how to work with children. 


At first, I was against raising my voice or being aggressive in any way with students. 


But, later on, I learned that sometimes, you really need to put your foot down, and shoe them who’s boss. You are the expert. You are the authority. You are giving your time to these kids so that you can help them learn an invaluable skill. They have no right to treat you with any less than the utmost respect.

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