The Complete Guide to Teaching Online with BlingABC
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BlingABC is a company that, according to their website, is changing the way that online English is taught. They claim to be one of the highest paying companies in the industry due to their refined hiring practices and class structure that attracts high-quality talent. On the surface, BlingABC seems like the ideal option for online English teachers, but how does it compare to industry heavyweights like VIPKID and QKids?
Our online guide breaks down the requirements you must meet in order to teach English with BlingABC, their interview process, what their pay is like and how teaching with them could fit in with your own life schedule.
Through a unique interactive teaching platform, BlingABC hires qualified and experienced ESL teachers to teach English online to groups of local Chinese children. Fixed scheduling across 4 semesters means teaching with BlingABC offers the advanced knowledge of when and how much you’re teaching, so you can fit your work around your lifestyle.
BlingABC has high standards when it comes to the minimum requirements needed to apply. However, the good news is that if you do meet these standards, the reward comes in a pretty decent pay packet. BlingABC offers competitive pay rates which sway towards the higher end of the online teaching pay scale.
What are the Requirements to Teach for BlingABC?
As far as BlingABC requirements for teaching English online, these are some of the strictist. To be considered for a teaching position, they ask that you meet the following minimum requirements:
- Be a native English speaker (with a neutral accent)
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or above (in any subject)
- Have a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate or recognized teaching credentials
- Have ESL teaching experience
- Experience teaching children is a plus
If you don’t meet these minimum requirements, check out some of the other online English teaching platforms that are more relaxed on your credentials.
On top of their teaching requirements, BlingABC is also pretty strict with their technical requirements. They ask that you can meet the following:
- Fast and stable internet connection – they will test this, so make sure your connection is at least 20 Mbps or above (use speedtest to help you check)
- HD webcam (either built-in or external)
- Headset with a microphone
- Windows or Mac OS operating system
- HD resolution
- Minimum of 4GB of RAM
- Intel i5 or above, AMD ATHLON X4 600 or above
How Much Does BlingABC Pay?
BlingABC offers a competitive salary for their teachers, which is in line with their high standards of application requirements. When compared to other online teaching companies, this pay does tip towards the higher end of the scale.
According to BlingABC, they pay a rate of $21 USD – $27 USD per hour, based on your qualifications. Teachers with ‘exceptional backgrounds and teaching performance’ can earn up to $51 USD an hour! But most likely, expect to be offered around $24 USD per hour.
It’s important to note that the hourly rate is prorated, and classes actually last for 40 minutes. This means that pay works out at between $14 USD and $18 USD for each lesson. Still not bad for online English teaching pay!
BlingABC does offer bonuses for their special programs, which can see teachers earning between $31 and $36 USD an hour. This includes teaching at weekends, as well as bonuses for perfect attendance, substitution under short notice and other promotional periods.
You’re paid in full for classes that have been canceled within 48 hours of the start time.
Once you’ve completed a 6-month contract, you may be eligible for a pay rise at the time of your contract renewal. BlingABC will consider certain things like feedback from your students and evaluations from trainers when making this decision. It’s not a given, so you will have to impress.
How and When does BlingABC Pay their Teachers?
BlingABC pays their teachers through direct bank transfers. This is great as it cuts out the middleman which can sometimes eat into your earnings through fees. These payments are made on the 10th of each month to cover the previous month worked.
Teaching with BlingABC is no different from other online platforms when it comes to paying your taxes. You’re an independent contractor, therefore you’re responsible for filing and paying your taxes, according to your own local laws.
No need to panic here, it’s pretty straightforward to do this, and there are plenty of helpful guides out there to make the process as simple as possible. Check out the IRS website if you’re an American independent contractor and HMRC website if you’re from the UK.
What is the application process for BlingABC?
Applying to teach English with BlingABC is a relatively straightforward process:
- Sign up to BlingABC
- Fill out their application form
- Upload your resume/CV
- If you pass their initial screening, you’ll be invited to schedule a Skype interview and mock lesson
The interview covers the typical generic questions like why you’re applying, what you enjoy about teaching, your previous experience, etc. It’s worth noting that they are also checking out your personality, how easily you make yourself understood, and how you come across.
This involves teaching a demo lesson to a BlingABC interviewer, who you pretend is a child, using materials they have given you – they give you these materials before the mock lesson so you have time to prepare. The following is the advice BlingABC offer on their website about the demo class:
LaShundra breaks down the mock lesson for you with her lively Youtube video. Well worth a watch as it’s an A-B-C guide on how to knock it out of the park!
If you’re successful with the interview and mock lesson, BlingABC will offer you a job and a 6-month contract. If you’re not successful, you can reapply 3 months later.
After you’ve signed the service agreement, you’ll need to complete orientation and training sessions. Then, you’ll be ready to schedule your classes!
What is the Work Schedule for BlingABC?
BlingABC works on a fixed schedule across 4 semesters. This means that you will have the same schedule every week for an entire semester. This is great news for those of you who want to know when you’re teaching in advance so you can plan your work around your own life. It also means you aren’t hustling for students and you have the consistency of teaching the same children.
How Does Bling ABC’s Fixed Scheduling Work?
BlingABC breaks down the year into four semesters, which are roughly:
- Winter Term: January – February
- Spring Term: March – June
- Summer Term: July – August
- Fall Term: September – December
The scheduling works by teachers giving BlingABC their availability before the start of each semester. BlingABC then uses this information to come up with a schedule for each teacher. This schedule will stay the same for every week of that specific semester, so you will teach the same students each week. You teach each set of students twice a week at a fixed time, typically on every other day. This schedule may change if you’re given a larger class size.
BlingABC doesn’t specify the exact number of hours you are required to teach, and the number you teach will likely vary from semester to semester. As they schedule their classes before semesters begin, only teachers who have completed all the required training in time for the semester to start will be prioritized for that scheduling.
If you apply to BlingABC mid-semester, you may find that you are put on standby until the next semester. In some cases, you may be given the opportunity to work as a substitute teacher during that current semester. In both scenarios, BlingABC hours offer quite a bit of flexibility and a healthy work-life balance.
Understanding the BlingABC Platform
Teaching with BlingABC consists of teaching group classes to local Chinese children. These group classes can involve teaching anywhere from 3 or 6 students to 24 students.
In order to be able to teach the larger group classes, teachers need to meet certain requirements and pass additional training sessions. Teaching large classes does come with added benefits, like extra pay ($6 USD more per lesson) and there isn’t a need to write follow up comments for the students you have taught.
There are also phonics classes and test-prep classes available to teach, but again, you will need to meet certain requirements to be eligible to teach these.
BlingABC provides all their teachers with teaching materials, therefore you won’t be expected to source or prepare these yourself.
BlingABC’s Interactive Platform
BlingABC uses its own unique interactive teaching platform to deliver lessons, and as part of your orientation and training, you’ll learn how to master and use this platform. As we mentioned before, you’ll need to meet certain technical requirements to enable the platform to run effectively, so make sure you meet these before applying.
If you scroll down to the bottom of BlingABC’s homepage, you will come across some videos showcasing what their platform looks like:
In general, BlingABC gets a pretty decent write-up. According to online BlingABC reviews, aspects such as their interactive teaching platform get praised, along with the prepared materials given to teachers.
In terms of pay, BlingABC is one of the higher paid online teaching gigs, mostly down to the rigorous requirements they demand of their teachers. You do have to take their ‘hourly pay’ with a pinch of salt though, as lessons are only 40 minutes in length and you are only paid for these 40 minutes. Extra pay for things like working on the weekend is a bonus, and something you won’t always find with other companies.
BlingABC’s fixed schedule is something you’ll either love or hate. It’s perfect for those of you who want advanced warning of when and how much you’ll be working for a period of time and don’t want the hassle of having to ‘work’ for your students. It also means you have the consistency of teaching the same children.
However, for some online English teachers, having a flexible schedule rather than a fixed one is preferable for their lifestyles. They like to vary their hours from week to week, whether that be increasing or decreasing them, depending on what else is going on in their life. If this is you, it may be worth checking out other online English teaching platforms that do offer more flexibility when it comes to scheduling.
Another thing that is a bit hit and miss is the number of hours themselves. It’s not uncommon for BlingABC to start their teachers off slow, with some teachers claiming that they haven’t been given as many hours as they hoped, even though they have open and available slots. It’s said that if you stick it out and give it time, the hours may start coming in larger quantities, so for those of you after a stable or full-time income, you might just have to be patient. However, if you want quick money, you may want to look elsewhere.
For those of you who want to have the option for contract renewal, a fixed schedule and are interested in making a career out of teaching English online, BlingABC may be right up your street. If so, then why not sign up to BlingABC and start your next ESL adventure today!
If BlingABC doesn’t sound like the right company for you, don’t stop your journey here. There are plenty of other online teaching companies out there who may be just what you’re looking for.