If you’ve found your way to this article, you’re probably searching high and low for side jobs for stay at home Moms; like yourself!
Spoiler alert: It’s a blast!
My name is Connie, and I’m a stay-at-home mom from New York City.
I’ve got three kids under the age of 13. I’m an extrovert who doesn’t like crowds. I’m also loud and quite chatty, but I’m also a great listener.
In 2018, I was homeschooling one of my kids, and I thought, “Wow, I’m pretty smart. I should go back to school to learn a new skill.” And so, I began my English teaching journey in 2018 at a fancy college taking evening and weekend classes.
Phew! Raising three kids in a big city and trying to go to school part-time was not easy. But I did it! I finished my last class, which was a teaching practicum, in November 2019.
Well, nothing ever goes as planned, right?
I looked for a few in-person positions, and nothing was available at that time. I looked for volunteer positions, and the libraries had all the volunteer jobs filled. So I started looking into online companies and searching for side jobs for stay at home moms.
Wow! It’s a whole new world that I wasn’t expecting.
There are so many online English learning companies; it was exciting! I applied to a few companies and very quickly got rejected.
I took some online courses to fill the time and learned about the IELTS test. I applied and got rejected a few more times. But, I wouldn’t let it discourage me.
I kept searching and one day learned about Cambly. They had a global student base of kids and adults, no minimum hours, and flexible hours. I applied, and whaddya know, I got accepted!
Let’s just say that this stay-at-home Mom isn’t so tech-savvy
I thought I knew how to use my computer.
I used it for writing emails, social media, surfing the web, and of course, youtube. The internet was perfect. There was an internal camera and microphone.
I was all set to tutor, right?!
Well, here’s a funny story for you. I hope it makes you chuckle.
Unbeknownst to me, my husband added safety filters to the computer to prevent my kids from accessing inappropriate websites. Well, the filter was all-encompassing. I couldn’t pass the Cambly sign-in test. I had no idea what was going wrong, but I discovered how to disable the filters after a few unspeakable words and much frustration later.
Finally, I was able to do the video and audio tests! Onwards and upwards! I can sign up for a priority hour!
The students make my day
February 2020 was my official first month teaching online. My very first call on Cambly was a student from Turkey, and it was my first time ever speaking to someone from Turkey.
Then I spoke to a film student from China. Then I met a flight attendant from Japan. I met engineers, dentists, doctoral students, and moms. I started to learn more about foreign cultures, and my students learned about American culture.
I’m so humbled to meet students who are significantly more intelligent than I am. My confidence doesn’t falter because I know that I can still offer something to them that would add value to their lives.
The best part is that I can teach on Cambly while the kids are in school, and I have the home to myself! It really is the perfect side job for any stay at home Mom.
And then March 2020 happened…
Schools shut down, and everyone in my family was at home on a device and taking up all the bandwidth.
Working on Cambly became a struggle with my children on zoom calls for school and my husband for work. Plus, it was near impossible to teach with three kids demanding attention all day.
I thought about how I could change my schedule to optimize for work and caring for my children.
So, I tried teaching at 5 am for one week, and what a difference it made!
I could focus on my students without my kids trying to get my attention, and I could focus better during the quiet city mornings.
Plus, I had more time to spend with the three kiddos when I finished work early in the day.
You’re probably wondering by now what a typical day looks like as a stay-at-home Mom who tutors English online, so let me show you a glimpse of my days!
My typical schedule for my side job as a stay at home Mom with Cambly
4:00 am: Wake up, lots of coffee, couch potato time
4:35 am: Log into Cambly, video and audio test, scan news headlines (the US and other countries), review reservations
5:00 am: First class of the day
7:15 am: Done for the day 🎉
7:15 am – 8:30 pm: Housework, help my kids with remote learning, grocery shopping, the occasional catnap
8:30 pm: Bedtime
I work 2 hours and 15 minutes every day.
Yes, every single day! I’m addicted to Cambly, and I need my daily dose.
Unfortunately, with one to all three of my kids doing remote learning daily, and it’s just impossible for me to be on Cambly more than I currently am.
On Saturdays and Sundays, I can tutor for an extra half hour. But, once more than one kid is awake, I lose my quiet environment with no distractions.
My schedule works perfectly for me & now I’m a SuperTutor!
Woohoo! I’m a SuperTutor!
And the funny part is that I didn’t even realize it! One of my students told me about the trophy next to my name one day in class, and I was thrilled.
I’m unsure of how I achieved SuperTutor status, but I think I know three things that helped me get there:
1) I didn’t stress about my rating because I knew deep down that I was doing my best. I continuously reviewed grammar, idioms, and phrasal verbs and consistently showed up to class with articles or lessons to discuss.
2) My students became my friends; on Cambly, developing a friendly rapport with your students is crucial for maintaining motivation. Creating genuine connections also helps elicit a more in-depth conversation from your student.
3) I have daily reservations because I honestly love tutoring so much, and it shows in my classes. I have a great time in each class, and happiness is contagious.
Happy tutor = happy students.
Tutoring on Cambly Kids has been the best experience
A few months ago, I started teaching on Cambly Kids. It’s a separate application, and it’s for kids only! I’ve been using it to fill some open spots that my adult regulars don’t snatch up.
I’m so happy that I applied and got accepted into CK. I have met the most remarkable children.
The kids range from beginners to advanced English speakers. Their personalities and attitudes also vary from nearly comatose to jumping off the walls.
Some CK tutors have awesome backgrounds and lots of props. For my students that I’ve connected with, I don’t use any of those. They get my full attention, and for them, that’s all they need. If you are looking for some cuteness, apply to be a CK tutor!
I Have 4 Tips for Cambly Tutors Who Are Just Getting Started
I’m a Mom, so naturally, I love giving people advice!
Tip #1. Regularly Assess Your Students English Level & Areas For Improvement
Get in the habit of asking your students questions such as:
How long have you been learning English?
What do YOU want to work on?
What are your long-term goals?
If your student is intermediate or higher, give them a written needs analysis. And not just once; revisit goals periodically so you can adjust your lessons.
The repetition will help your students achieve their language goals and leave them feeling proud of how much they’ve improved.
Tip #2. Use The Resources Available to You
This advice is for tutors who don’t feel like they have enough formal training or are not entirely comfortable with grammar or lesson planning.
The Cambly library is full of resources to pick a lesson to work on with your student quickly.
The ultimate goal is to get your student to speak and read and think in English. You can work on tongue twisters, learn about service animals, and even work on interviewing skills.
Don’t forget to celebrate the little achievements like reading more fluently or answering with the correct intonation to build confidence!
Tip #3. Read The Tutor Guide
Much of the Tutor Guide is common sense. However, it includes a lot of policies that are unique to Cambly and deserve your attention.
Plus, reading the Tutor Guide helped my confidence as a tutor immensely.
Tip #4. Have Compassion
Not every student is going to have perfect internet or have a perfectly dedicated studying space.
Some students will call from their car, others will have kids screaming in the background, and some will be shy at first.
I urge you as tutors to put yourselves in their shoes. Have some empathy and understand that they are doing their best (and despite their less than ideal environments), showing dedication to self-improvement, which is admirable.
And that’s my story about being a stay-at-home Mom on Cambly, folks! I would love to hear from all of you in the comments (especially my fellow stay-at-home Moms!)
For those of you who have not joined the Cambly family yet, I encourage you to click here to apply and join in on the online tutoring fun. I promise you won’t regret it!
About the Writer
Connie is a SuperTutor on Cambly who was born and raised in New York City. She loves tutoring so much that she tutors seven days a week. Connie loves meeting new people and discovering what makes us the same and how we are different. She loves laughing with her students and believes that one of the reasons students keep coming back to her is the strong rapport she builds with each student.