Self-Care for Online Teachers

The online teachers I know are proud of the fact that they can make a living with a laptop and internet connection — and they should be! Online teachers have a lot of freedom and it’s great to take advantage of it.

Given the interest and growth in online learning, more and more teachers are trading the classroom for the webcam (or sometimes just adding the webcam), but it usually adds up to more time looking at a screen and more time sitting.


There is a body of research that has found a correlation between long periods of sitting and an elevated risk of illness or injury.  It is important for online teachers to use self-care strategies to stay healthy.

Self Care Strategies

Strategies for self-care are critical for our health and well-being. Self-care is not a luxury or indulgence but a necessity in the work that we do. Also, challenges such as precarious work, multiple workloads or administrative responsibilities can add to the pressures of this demanding...

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Julia Atkinson - Online English Instructor and Owner of Virtually101

Julia Atkinson balances her time teaching English online and is in the process of launching a company called Virtually101.  Julia's experience in customer service plus online teaching gave her the confidence to start a company.  



1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

I reside in Jamaica and I have been teaching English for a company called Bibo Global Opportunity for over 3 years. They have 2 websites, DMM Eikaiwa (for Japanese students) and Engoo (for other students). I also teach on italki and have been teaching there for more than 2 years.  

2. Can you describe a typical day?

I work with Bibo 5 days a week, sometimes 7 days, if there are bonuses on the weekend. I usually work for 5 hours in the morning, 7 a.m. - 12 noon (GMT-5). Those hours are called cores hours, which means a lot of students usually book around that...

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What does Project Jaguar have to do with ELT?

Teachers – do you have an idea for an online course but you aren’t sure how to proceed? 

Do you have valuable content that would help students but you just don't know how to get your content out there? 

If you answered yes, then Project Jaguar has the perfect solution for you!


When I was at the Caribbean TESOL Expo in Jamaica last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Trevaun Solomon, the young but very impressive “brain” behind Project Jaguar. Trevaun is barely 20 but he is making a huge impact in the online platform marketplace!  He really impressed me when he demonstrated how easy it is for teachers to set up a course(s) and start earning income.  What I like about Project Jaguar is that their platform is only for teachers so they are working hard to learn what teachers need and how we can get the most from their product.

What is Project Jaguar exactly? 

It’s an all-in-one course management system. 


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Jennifer Helfand - Online Teacher, Writer and Illustrator

Jennifer Helfand is a creative online teacher, writer, and illustrator. Find out how stopping the vicious inner critic propelled her into the teacherpreneur world and hear her advice for "putting yourself out there". 

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

Currently, I teach online. This is my 15th year of teaching.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

At the moment, my days aren’t really typical. When I started teaching online three years ago, I had a regular schedule. I’d teach all day and work on my writing and drawings at night.  Now, aside from teaching, writing, and marketing, I’m setting up an educational/travel program in Spain.

3. Teacher self-care is so important. How do you relax?  

I start my day by reading Rumi poetry and end it with meditation. I try to go for a walk every day. Drawing almost always relaxes me.


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Adam Gootnick - Founder of Journey to Teach Abroad

Adam Gootnick's experience teaching in Thailand was the inspiration behind the formation of his company Journey to Teach Abroad.  His advice for teacherpreneurs?  If you feel passionate about your venture, go for it. Once you’ve made that decision, your fears turn into excitement.  

1. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day for this interview Adam.  Can you tell us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

I'm a Los Angeles, California native. After living and teaching in Thailand for over a year, I grew so passionate about helping others discover what I experienced that I started Journey to Teach Abroad. The whole experience was transformative - traveling a beautiful country, bonding with international explorers, and teaching children who want to learn.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

While in Thailand, the morning started with a glass of water, a cold shower, and 20 minutes of stretching and meditation. I drove my scooter to...

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Chris Rush - Online Instructor & Off2Class Account Manager

off2class online teacher Feb 28, 2019

Chris Rush is well-known in the online teaching field.  He balances his time between online teaching and managing Off2Class - an innovative platform that designs high-quality lessons for online instructors.  Chris has had to learn new skills like amateur marketer, copywriter, web developer and sales rep!


1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

Hi, it’s great to participate in this project!  I’ve been teaching ESL online since 2012 when I got certified, and I joined the Off2Class team in October of 2017.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

I only teach once or twice a week – the rest of my time is spent on Off2Class!  I work on lots of projects to help teachers get the most out of the platform, including writing blog posts, managing social media, and responding to customer support requests.

3. Teacher self-care is so...

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Kim Carroll - ESL Teacher, TESOL Trainer, Online Course Designer & Coach

Kim Carroll is a perfect example of a multi-tasking teacherpreneur. Find out how she juggles teaching, training and managing two businesses and why she is writing a workbook for teachers moving overseas that focuses on intercultural transition. 

1. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day for this interview.  Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I currently run an ESL teacher training company called English for Life Academy and an intercultural training company called Catalyst Intercultural in the U.S.

Among many other jobs, my teaching load includes:

  • TESOL Certificate program (hybrid and f2f)
  • tutoring of adult English language learners
  • training for companies in intercultural communication

2. How long have you been teaching?

I began teaching ESL in 1999.

3. Can you describe a typical teaching day?

Not really, there are no typical days, it seems! :-)  I own English for...

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Andrew Woodbury - ESL Instructor & Managing Director of Learn YOUR English

Andrew Woodbury divides his time between the ESL classroom and managing an educational start-up called Learn YOUR English with the goal to create a community of like-minded teachers where everyone can learn and improve together. He believes that he has excelled as a teacherpreneur because he has been inspired by his students who took a leap of faith coming to a new country. 

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview. Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?

Thank you for having me! I currently teach in Toronto, Canada as part of Ryerson University’s ESL Foundation Program. This is in addition to being one of the managing directors of the educational startup two colleagues and I have started called Learn YOUR English. 2019 marks one decade for me as a teacher.

2. Can you describe a typical day?

It really depends on the day. When the university year is running, I have classes from about 9 until...

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Cara Leopold - Online Teacher, Owner of Leo Listening

france online teacher Feb 18, 2019

Cara Leopold's niche is helping English language learners get their listening conversation ready.  Find out why Cara thinks that teacherpreneurs should invest in themselves by paying for paid programmes, books or courses by people who’ve been there and know what they’re talking about.

1. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day for this interview.  Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

From my office, which is a room in my apartment. I live in the French city of Besançon virtually unheard of both inside and outside of France. For those in the know, it’s a city of 100,000 people, about an hour from the Swiss border.

2. How long have you been teaching?

I started back in 2007 when I finished university, so I’ve been teaching (on and off, because I have studied full-time as well and worked outside of teaching) for almost ten years. I used that opportunity to come and live and work in France.

3. Can you describe a typical teaching...

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Nancy Callan - ESL Teacher, Writer (ESL Jigsaws)

canada writer Feb 01, 2019

Nancy Callan turned her love of jigsaw readings into a series of successful books.  Read Nancy`s views on the importance of testing your materials before publishing, and how criticism of one's materials is an opportunity for improvement.  

1. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview.  Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

In Vancouver, BC, Canada, but no longer full time as I have another job. Contrary to popular belief, I have not retired off the profit from my books!

2. How long have you been teaching?

Since 1992.

3. Teacher self-care is so important.  How do you relax?  

I run a dining group, I garden and study languages.

4.  You took on the tremendous challenge of writing several books: Callan’s Thematic Jigsaws 1 and 2, Callan’s Contemporary Jigsaws 1 &2, Callan’s New Canada Jigsaws, Callan’s Beginner Canada Jigsaws, Callan’s Holiday Jigsaws 1 & 2, Callan’s...

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