Online Tutoring: A Great Job for Wheelchair Users??


What is the best job for a wheelchair user? We plan to interview several different wheelchair users to find out about different options. In today's post, we conducted an interview with a wheelchair user who works as an online language tutor.

Q: First can you say a few words about your disability. Why you use a wheelchair and what challenges it presents as far as employment goes.

A: I don't have a diagnosis but I do have brain lesions and a disability very similar to multiple sclerosis. I use a wheelchair because my lower half does not function very well and the wheelchair reduces falling and just makes it so much easier for me to do things around the house and makes it possible for me to leave the house independently. The challenges that It presents aremostly getting to the job itself (transportation) but my disability also makes me extremely fatigued so it's very difficult to work more than a couple hours at a time.

Q: How long have you been tutoring English?

A: I actually started tutoring English during the pandemic in December of 2020. So about 6 months.

Q: How did you get started?

A: I wanted something to do that would fulfill my day besides just sitting around and watching TV. I contacted my colleges career service advisor and she was able to find a variety of different work from home jobs that met my needs. She found the listing and I contacted them to get more details about the job.

Q: Have you always tutored from home, or did you teach elsewhere? 

A: I used to teach in traditional schools before I became disabled. Around 2015 2016 I started noticing more physical symptoms of my disability and had to quit my job in 2017 because it was too physically demanding. I had gone without working for about 3 years, living off of social security disability, but really wanted to get back into working so I had something more fulfilling in my life and something to keep me busy during the day.

Q: What is your background (education and work experience)?

A: I have a bachelor's degree in English, English education, a teaching license, and a master's degree in educational technology. I have been teaching in classrooms grade 6 through 12 for about 8 years before I became disabled. (Note: While the person being interviewed has a teaching education, it is not always necessary to do online tutoring. Some tutoring jobs are available for native language speakers or for people who have a teaching certificate such as TESOL, TEFL or CELTA).

Q: What are the things you like about your job?

A: I love being able to do it from home and only working 2 hours a day. But I really love getting to know the cultural experiences of all my learners from around the world. I really enjoy teaching adults because they're a lot more serious about learning than children, and I can also learn about their various lives and work. Another great thing about Rosetta Stone is that you don't have to do a lot of fast typing you can do a lot of one finger. Due to my disability typing is difficult for me so this is a big advantage. This could be a good job for anyone with hand limitations, such as a quadriplegic

Q: What are the things you don't like?

A: There really isn't anything I don't like about having the job. It's basically the most ideal job I could have, physically, and I really enjoy doing it. I do wish tutors got paid more, but because I am on social security payments it helps supplement my income a lot. A lot of the other tutors also use this as a supplemental job because it's so flexible when it comes to hours and teaching at home.

Q: What is the earning potential for tutoring from home?

A: Because all tutors with Rosetta Stone are part-time, working about 30 hours a week would bring in around $1,300 a month. But because the schedule is so flexible you could definitely have another job along with tutoring. There are also opportunities to move up and become a full-time mentor tutor, or other full-time positions within the company.

Q: How do you prepare for your lessons? Does it take a long time?

A: Rosetta Stone offers everything you need to prepare for your lessons. You are able to view all of the lessons in advance and practice looking at the different slides and coming up with the questions you want to ask. They provide all of the curriculum you just need to study it in advance. It takes about an hour to study or prepare one unit.

Q: What advice do you have for other wheelchair users who are considering tutoring as a job option?

A: I say do it. If you are interested in teaching and you enjoy children and or adults online tutoring is really great. It's really fulfilling mentally and it is very accommodating physically.

Editors Note: Read 10 Awesome work at home ideas for wheelchair users

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