10 Qualities of a Great Online Teacher

10 Qualities of a Great Online Teacher

Thanks to technological advances and the increased demand for skilled workers, online education has become increasingly accessible to students around the world. But as more schools start to offer their courses online, it can be difficult to determine which programs are reputable and which ones are just trying to make a quick buck from your tuition money. A few things you should look out for when choosing an online teacher include these ten key qualities.

1. Passionate

Passion is an important trait for teachers because it means they’re more likely to care about their subject and be excited about sharing that knowledge with students. As mentioned above, learning isn’t always easy. It takes hard work, and passion is what pushes people to put in that extra effort. So, whether you have a passion for coding or want to inspire kids about space travel—passion is key!

2. An Understanding of Their Subject

You may not realize it, but one of the most significant factors of being a good online teacher is to know your subject. After all, you can’t teach what you don’t know! When we were in school, it was easy to see who was an expert and who wasn’t—but these days there are many ways to learn online. For example, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are very popular at educational sites like MyCoolClass.

3. Enthusiastic

One of my favorite, most impactful teachers in college was an enthusiastic, high-energy bundle of nerves. She could fire us up with stories and knowledge like no other teacher before or since, and she truly had a gift for teaching. What makes her such an effective educator is her ability to communicate clearly and enthusiastically. Enthusiasm can be contagious. Students are more likely to take note when their teacher seems excited about their subject.

4. Energetic

A good online teacher puts energy into every lesson, regardless of age or experience level. You don’t have to be loud and outgoing all day, but you should be present, even in your written correspondence. As with anything you do for business (or in your personal life), it pays to be cheerful and attentive. Some teachers are nervous about writing back to students via email or on discussion boards, but don’t let that stop you from putting some energy into your messages.

5. Love Learning as Much as Teaching

It’s important to teach properly, but it is also important to want to learn. Additionally, ensure that you’re always learning about new teaching techniques and education trends. Technology is an ever-changing industry; it’s essential for educators to keep up to date on what’s working and what’s not. Attend conferences, read journals, watch lectures—there are plenty of great resources available.

6. Patient

Everyone learns at their own pace. A great teacher needs to be patient and calm, never rushing through the content or becoming frustrated with students who are struggling. Whether you’re talking in person or online, patience is paramount. As with anything in life, it’s crucial to be kind and patient when you’re teaching something new.

7. Excellent Communicator

Communication is key to good teaching. A great teacher will be able to explain concepts in different ways and at varying levels, depending on their audience.

8. Adaptable/Creative

It is indispensable to teach students in ways that can adapt to any situation and be creative. The way you go about teaching your subject should differ depending on who you are talking to. You must have an open mind and be willing to learn new things along with your students. Also, it’s good if teachers are creative with their methods, so they do not get stuck in any one style and stay up to date with what students like today.

9. Know How to Motivate Students

A great online teacher not only knows how to instruct but also knows how to motivate his students. A good teacher can get their students excited about learning, which ensures more engagement in class and a greater chance for their students to remember and apply what they’ve learned.

10. Is Focused on Learners

When teachers focus on learners, they can develop effective instructional strategies that motivate students to learn. Focusing on learners also helps teachers create lesson plans and activities that cater to different learning styles. To teach effectively, focus on your audience: Who are your learners? What do they want out of your class? How do you cater to their learning style? When creating lessons or teaching ideas, think about how each will impact your audience’s educational experience.

How Do We Teach About War?

How Do We Teach About War?

Wednesday, I suddenly awoke at 3:43 AM, and my first thought was “How do I teach about war?”.

In a previous post, I discussed what it is like to teach refugees and children of refugees; however, teaching about war is an entirely different concept, and it is certainly a struggle. Most teachers are thinking about this question too, so I would like to share my perspective.

However, I want to also offer a disclaimer. I live in the United States, and most of my students are American this semester. I cannot truly appreciate how difficult it is to teach Ukrainian students right now, especially with the destruction surrounding them. My experience is not the experience of those living in war zones, and I am aware that, in many ways, my writing is from the perspective of an outsider. I sincerely feel for the teachers caught in this awful situation and am not trying to diminish their struggle in any way.

If you are a displaced Ukrainian teacher, consider applying to MyCoolClass through a simplified application process to stay connected to your students. MyCoolClass has instituted policies to help refugee students, including working with Ukrainian speaking volunteers and regional host families, and are creating a volunteer program to provide free supplemental education to displaced students. If you’re interested in more information, do not hesitate to contact [email protected].

All of that said, this was not an easy post for me to write, and I hope that it helps others.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Less than a month after I turned 18, I read All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. I was a college freshman, and I had a week until my roommate arrived. Alone in an empty dorm room, reading that book was an experience I will never forget.

In middle school, I had been fascinated by World War II, and I owned a collection of books about Anne Frank, the Holocaust, and the impact of the war. However, I knew almost nothing about World War I. Apparently, that was common in the US at that time, which is why my World History II professor assigned the book.

I read All Quiet on the Western Front in two days, sitting, and standing in various parts of my room, pacing with the paperback in one hand and my face partially covered by the other. I was speechless during most of it, and I’m still speechless now.

My favorite passage from the book, the one that has never left my head, is this: “Kropp, on the other hand, is more philosophical. He reckons that all declarations of war ought to be made into a kind of festival, with entrance tickets and music, like they have at bullfights. Then the ministers and generals of the two countries would have to come into the ring, wearing boxing shorts, and armed with rubber truncheons, and have a go at each other. Whoever is left on his feet, his country is declared the winner. That would be simpler and fairer than things are out here, where the wrong people are fighting each other.”

And I knew that if the leaders who ordered the wars had to fight the battles, there would be only peace.

My middle school and junior high school students have yet to read All Quiet on the Western Front, of course, but that’s the lesson I am attempting to teach right now. “It’s not the ordinary people,” I remind them. “You cannot blame an entire demographic for the bullying behavior of a handful of men.”

You cannot blame the victims.

Teaching American Students is a Unique Challenge

My generation watched the aftermath of 9/11 on every high school television. It is us who remember Thich Nhat Hanh pleading for restraint and our leaders having none. The actions of our government are ultimately what led to political disillusionment and apathy in this American generation. If the highest leaders in the world will act impulsively and lie, what faith should we have in any aspect of government? It damaged us in a way that is difficult to explain to other generations.

But my students are too young to know any of that. Most of them have not even learned about the Cold War yet, so their grandparents’ stories of hiding under desks make no sense to them. Stories are simply stories. Truthfully, American kids are lucky that they have not had to cope with an invasion or attack. Yet, they have their own terrible memory of chaos.

On January 6, 2021, I was teaching a 5th grade class when the news hit about the riot at the US Capitol. A student came to class and said, “Did you see what’s happening right now?” I hadn’t, so all I could do was assure them that adults would intervene and settle everything. I told them to have faith in the grown-ups.

That Capitol attack is the 9/11 of my American middle schoolers. More than 14 months later, they still bring it up with shudders, fear, and anger. It removed a sense of their security; if the Capitol isn’t safe, does safety exist at all?

So, I was not surprised when they started talking about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. In the first few days, it was easy to assure them that adults would handle adult problems. I told them it would be contained, and that people would find a way to peace.

After all, I reminded them, the Cold War stayed cold, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved, and sometimes good things come out of horrific situations.

But it is becoming harder to reassure them. They are neither dumb nor oblivious, and they are scared. I–and I think so many teachers–want to protect them from too much information. They are already living through a pandemic and climate catastrophe; why must we add a war to this information overload?

And yet, they are the ones who will ultimately pay for the actions taken today.

It is their generation who will have to clean up the tangled geopolitical mess left from this event, regardless of the outcome. They are the ones who are feeling their safety and innocence crushed without warning.

And my heart aches for them.

All this leads me back to my 4 AM question: How do I teach war?

There’s a Reason We Teach the Past

In 6th grade, I asked my social studies teacher why we had to learn history. After all, it’s in the past. How does learning about Byzantine, Rome, or the World Wars have anything to do with my life?

He gave me the answer we should always give our kids: “Learning about the past helps us not repeat those mistakes in the future.”

There’s a reason that Rome fell, and the French Revolution (largely) succeeded. There’s a reason that the most common Independence Day holiday is secession from Britain. There’s a reason that so many countries fight civil wars. Every action cause reactions and understanding those reasons and reactions could theoretically prevent us from starting new wars.

Compassion begets compassion; hate begets hate. Perhaps knowledge begets peace.

My 6th graders are learning about ancient civilizations, and they complain often. They do not understand how Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt are relevant to their lives. Over the last few weeks, I have thought that if their teachers would connect the invasions of those civilizations to the Invasion of Ukraine, students would likely be more interested and appreciative of the curriculum.

Nevertheless, I don’t judge the history teachers, American or otherwise, because I suspect they are also waking up and thinking about how (or if) to teach war.

Designing Curriculum Based on Truth

I almost exclusively teach English, although that can take many forms. I certainly do teach a wide range of topics through the books I assign, but if I teach history, it’s a very selective version. Yes, we learn about Middle Eastern conflicts, marine life, immigration, mining, and a wide array of other subjects, but it is in the context of books and (mostly) planned lessons.

To be forced to teach history through current events is not something I ever expected, and I think that’s true for most teachers.

One of the most enjoyable and difficult aspects of being a self-employed teacher is planning. I literally spend hundreds of hours each year thinking, researching, and sculpting curriculum. I try to teach what I know students will need later. For example, kids are more likely to need to know about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict than they are to understand a (arguably racist) story about a fictional journey down the Mississippi River.

Thanks to joining MyCoolClass, and soon leaving my current teaching platform, I am once again redesigning curriculum. For example, my previous platform dissuaded me from teaching Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl and Eli Wiesel’s Night; MyCoolClass would never censor books that are so essential.

And with the new freedom to teach what I want, my brain constantly thinks about how to teach a culturally balanced, inclusive, globally relevant curriculum based on truth, facts, and reality. How much do I shelter students? How much do I focus on American conflicts in a global sense? How much do I teach history versus current events? What will my students need to know most?

Honestly, my primary goal in teaching is to create empathetic, compassionate, healthy adults. Their career and academic paths do not matter to me. All that matters is that they can see different perspectives and feel for both their neighbors and strangers.

If that seems like a ridiculously high expectation, you should know that this is the kind of thought that goes into being a self-employed teacher.

Teaching the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict to 8th Graders

Last year, I taught Sandy Tolan’s The Lemon Tree: Young Readers’ Edition to 8th grade students. It is a true story about the complicated friendship between an Israeli woman and Palestinian man between the 1960s and early-2000s. It is an emotionally laborious book to read and perhaps a more arduous book to teach. It will stay with me forever, and I suspect my students feel the same way.

Some of the students knew nothing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but most of them knew fragments of information. They all left with a very different perspective of hate. Tolan shows the Six Day War and other aspects of the conflict from both sides, and he does not hold back the truth. The book discusses bombings, torture, exile, and bigotry in open language.

Teaching it was a constant balance. I had to ensure that students understood that the actions of a country’s government did not represent the actions or opinions of its citizens. Additionally, the terrible choices by one person does not represent the beliefs of an entire demographic.

I never could have predicted that I would be teaching that lesson again only a few months later.

At 5 AM, I Was Looking at Books

Unable to go back to sleep, I began to scribble notes on a legal pad in the dark. I refused to turn on any lights, convinced that I could return to sleep as soon as I jotted down my thoughts.

But at 5 AM, I was sitting on the floor, flipping through pages of all the middle grade and young adult books I have about wars, conflicts, invasions, and revolutions.

Over the winter break, I bought nearly three dozen books, convinced that I would have time to read them. Yet, they remain stacked on the TV stand in my living room. Marc Aronson–my favorite middle grade nonfiction author–and Steve Sheikin are both well-represented in that stack, along with a handful of others.

I have multiple books about specific American conflicts and heroes, which are unlikely to be helpful to international students, and a nonfiction book about the marines who planted the flag on Iwo Jima. I have Aronson’s books about Sir Walter Raleigh and a global perspective about the American Revolution.

My American kids could absolutely benefit from seeing their history through a global lens, helping them appreciate the actions of their country in a broader sense. Teaching about Raleigh could give me the opportunity to show multiple sides. Despite being beloved by some, he was still invading land that was already inhabited, and that is certainly aside to the story that students should know. Lesson plans began to develop in my head.

An hour later, while I was forcing myself back to sleep, I was still thinking of Raleigh. Yes, there is a benefit to teaching him, but is that really enough? Is that the social studies book I should choose for my students who honestly could use a better education about wars and Eastern European history?

So, no, I decided. As much as I love Aronson, Raleigh is not relevant enough for me to designate a month to teach him. I’ll need to find something else.

With that decision, I began to think of Sheikin’s Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. Perhaps obviously, it is an adolescent nonfiction book about the creation of the nuclear bomb. I have not read it yet, but many of my kids have, and they give mostly positive reviews.

“If chemistry teachers are teaching about sarin gas and napalm, you should be teaching about the deadliest weapon, right?” I asked myself at 6 AM. Despite America being the only country to use the bomb, it is certainly globally relevant, and it is perhaps more pertinent now than it was when the book was published in 2012.

Yet, a few months ago, two of my students were heartbroken when they found out about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They knew that World War II had many casualties, and they knew about the concentration camps. Still, somehow, the idea that a country could drop two bombs that it knew would create catastrophic damage was too much for them. It seemed like a behavior that was detached from reality, an action more savage and unjust than could ever be described.

However, that was their reaction before the Russian Invasion. The shock my students experienced last year is gone. Now, they have a twisted appreciation for the atrocities in the world in which they live.

So, do I teach the horrors of the past, the horrors of the present, or no horrors at all? Do I have an even greater responsibility to teach hope, comfort, and optimism? How do I find balance? For that matter, is balance even possible?

To My Fellow Teachers: How Do We Teach about War?

I would like to say that there is no answer to this question; that would allow me to walk away from it and sleep through the night. However, not only do I know that is not true, I know that (at least for me) not to think about these things would feel selfish. If it truly is my responsibility to equip the next generation with the tools to survive in a world full of trepidation, this is a question that deserves a legitimate answer.

Right now, my answer is “honestly”. When kids ask questions, they deserve answers. I can teach them to fact-check and to think critically. To that end, current news, historical propaganda, and text analysis will all feature in the upcoming curriculum. I can help kids analyze the truths and lies around them and draw their own conclusions.

In fact, language teachers are at an advantage in this scenario. We teach students how to read what others publish and how to use writing to express themselves.

Teaching them to fight hate with words and independent thoughts? That’s a good start.

To Concerned Families: Find a Teacher to Help

Although I believe that a solid education begins at home, teachers can help families answer tough questions. In addition to history teachers, MyCoolClass has educators who specialize in cultural studies, political science, economics, and geography. Additionally, members teach more than a dozen languages, including Ukrainian and Russian.

If your learner is wanting to better understand this geopolitical crisis, consider connecting with a teacher or registering for a demo lesson. Just like me, that teacher is likely to have spent considerable time debating how to properly teach these struggles. They can help.


I was writing about the students’ reactions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki when I had to pause for a few hours to teach classes. It was a strange transition to set aside the feelings brought on by this post and display the exuberance necessary to keep my sixth and eighth graders engaged. I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach thinking about how difficult it would be to keep up this energy and positivity if I were teaching in a war zone.

It is impossible for me to express the respect and admiration I feel for Eastern European teachers and students right now. There is a special bond between teachers, and my heart is with you all.

In Marc Aronson’s book Trapped, which my 6th graders read, Aronson gives a thought about hope: “Hope–it is such a frail word. Hope offers nothing concrete, no plan, no schedule, just a wish, a prayer, a belief–it flickers on and then flickers off. And when it goes, the blank darkness, the icy silence is easily filled with rage…”. My students spend half an hour dissecting this quote, and their observations are always inspiring.

Hope conquers darkness, silence, and rage. Critical analysis conquers deception. Empathy conquers hate. Honesty conquers fear.

So, how will I teach war? Critically, Empathetically and honestly.

Online Education Benefits Tweens in Unexpected Ways

Online Education Benefits Tweens in Unexpected Ways

Parents often question if online learning is right for their middle school students. After all, they are in front of a screen (again), and it does not have the same feel as a traditional classroom. I can sympathize with those concerns, but online education provides immense benefits that we often overlook.

Here are benefits to consider when deciding if online education is right for your student.

The Exposure to Diversity is Unparalleled

In 2020, when I began teaching online, I taught students in 13 countries. Most of my students live in the US, but I have taught students from Sudan, Brazil, Taiwan, South Korea, South Africa, Mozambique, Germany, Greece, and New Zealand (among others). Typically, 45% of my students identify as people of color.

Additionally, students have a variety of learning differences. I have likely taught as many students with a label of “gifted” as I have kids diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. I’ve taught students who could read the assigned book in one evening and kids struggling with severe dyslexia. Although this may seem like a difficult balancing act in a classroom, this diversity actually helps all students. They learn that everyone is different, and we all have struggles.

In my experience, learners are unlikely to find such significant diversity in their other educational settings, and this leads students to share their experiences in a larger context. Conversations have included everything from sports traditions to refugee situations. Yes, they learn English and social studies, but they also learn about one another and gain new perspectives.

Ultimately, online education builds empathy. I would argue that those lessons are more important than any academic content.

Teachers are Passionate Experts

Self-employed teachers typically teach because they love it. Being a self-employed educator requires a leap of faith and optimism that one can make money and change lives simultaneously. There is no safety net, so teachers must believe in what they are teaching. Nevertheless, the freedom to create an individualized curriculum is incredible, and I know that my chosen book and writing assignments have taught my students much more than they would have learned in a traditional classroom with standardized curriculum.

Students Receive Individualized Learning

Although there are exceptions, many educators teach smaller classes online than is required in US public schools. Public school classrooms often contain 15-32 students; my classes typically have 4-7. The level of attention and feedback I can provide students allows them to improve their understanding, and I have very few classroom management issues. Families do not worry that their students will be distracted or distracting; when there are only a few students, they tend to pay attention and appreciate the attention paid to them.

Less Bullying; More Accepting

My students occasionally write persuasive essays on the pros and cons of instituting a dress code at in-person schools. Most of us know the two sides: self-expression versus ridicule. However, that question is moot in an online education environment. Students barely see each other’s sleeves, let alone the brands of their clothes, and the small classes allow students to know one another as whole people, rather than simply by their looks.

Students have discussed their gender identities, medical diagnoses, and previous learning challenges with me alone and with students in the class. I have even had students change their names or pronouns during a semester, and the only reactions I experienced were those of empathy. Questions are respectful, especially when a student tells their peers that they rarely share personal information. (In a particularly memorable class, a 12-year-old cancer survivor related her story to an emotionally difficult book.)

Additionally, although students sometimes disagree during discussions (especially my 8th graders), I have never had a student bully another student. There has never been name calling, insults, or even rude jokes. By spending significant time with the same students, and under the watchful eye of a respected teacher, bullying is not even considered as an option.

Teachers and Students Form Lasting Bonds

This is my fourth semester teaching some of my students. One specific group I met at the beginning of fifth grade, and they will soon enter seventh. It would be nearly impossible for me to nurture that type of relationship with students in a conventional setting.

Students I’ve tutored for two years have had nearly 300 sessions with me, and I am able to watch their progress–and tweak my curriculum to help them most. There are families with whom I have developed close working relationships. I have even had some families ask me to stay with them the next time I travel! Although I certainly had bonds with my public school teachers–and was even able to have some for multiple semesters–there are few opportunities in modern US classrooms for students, teachers, and families to create the types of connections I have with my online learners.

The Ethical Environment Makes Teachers Happy

Sure, there are plenty of online teachers who are miserable and cranky, and wonderful in-person teachers who are lively and engaging. However, if you are considering MyCoolClass specifically, you’re likely to find happy, relaxed educators because of the platform on which they have chosen to teach. Speaking as someone who has taught for an online education company valued at over $1 billion USD, coming to MyCoolClass was a breath of fresh air. I didn’t even realize how suffocated I had felt until I became a teacher on the platform.

MyCoolClass takes a lower commission than any platform I’ve found, and certainly lower than my previous platform. It allows teachers to use their judgment in creating the best classes, rather than following rigid regulations, which are often only imposed to reduce liability for the corporation. Teachers are given the flexibility and autonomy of independent contractors, whilst still being respected as members of the cooperative.

Families can feel good knowing that the majority of the fee they pay goes directly to the teacher, and that they are supporting a company that strives to give back to the global community. There is an opportunity to teach kids that helping a small business, entrepreneurs, and those collaborating harmoniously is likely to make a greater impact than using services managed by large corporations.

Personally, I believe that cooperative teaching is the future of online education, and that it will ultimately result in a better experience for students, regardless of age.


Online education isn’t right for everyone, and I would never pressure a parent to choose an online class over in-person. However, online classes do provide unique opportunities for learners and the chance to form long-lasting relationships with the educators. Students can feel accepted, respected, and appreciated. Furthermore, taking classes on MCC specifically may help families feel they are supporting a greater good.

Consider browsing teacher profiles, registering for a demo, or contacting MCC administrators with additional questions. We’ll be happy to have you, and your students, as part of the community.

Five Types of Reward Systems for Your Online Classes

Five Types of Reward Systems for Your Online Classes

In addition to curricula and interesting lesson materials, many teachers like to plan effective reward systems for our online classes. Rewards can improve motivation and enjoyment, which can make a significant difference over a course of lessons. A reward system also helps us to establish our teaching style. Preschool teachers might like to give their students’ an apple on an apple tree several times in one class, while teachers who specialise in a grammar concept might prefer to give their students a certificate for each concept they master. Here are five types of reward systems to consider using in your online classes.

Picture based reward systems in online classes

This could be as simple as a sticker chart, or it could be more complex. Maybe your picture consists of a fruit bowl, and your student gets a different piece of fruit every time they do something well. Or you could have a picture with a pathway that a princess or knight needs to move along to reach a castle. You can do this digitally by creating a picture on a website like Canva or you can draw or print out a picture and use blue-tac or a magnetic whiteboard to add and move additions as your student earns a reward. 

The good thing about these reward systems is that getting one reward encourages the student to try for another. Getting a banana for your fruit bowl is wonderful but it will make you want to add the pear and grapes, at least. For younger or less motivated students, you could also say what they need to do to get their next reward. This is a good system for students who find the lesson a little long and need it to be divided into short term sections with clear goals. 

Use Stickers in online classes

This classic reward system can be replicated online with digital stickers. There is less choice available with digital stickers, but it is a simple system that doesn’t require much planning or structure. If the student does well, they get a sticker, making this a great system for teachers who don’t have time to plan a more complex reward system and for students who might struggle to understand a more complicated system.

The good thing about stickers is that most children are familiar with the system. Your student is likely to get stickers at school or at home for good work and behaviour, so this method will be consistent with what they know. This can encourage good behaviour and hard work in online classes because it shows that the same rules apply in an online classroom as in a physical classroom. 

Fun time

Extra time at the end of class for games, drawing or reading can be a good way of motivating students to stay focused. This is a very adaptable reward system, and you can adjust it to how your student is feeling today as well as their general interests. It also doesn’t require much planning from the teacher. You can simply allot five minutes of each class to a fun activity.

The best thing about this method is that it is often additional English practice. If your student gets to draw a picture or do a dance as a reward, you can discuss it with them. If they prefer to play games, then you can practice the lesson’s vocabulary or something you have already covered. 


Certificates are a more long-term reward that can be given to students who have mastered a concept or skill, completed a course, or maintained good behaviour over several weeks. You can download certificate templates or make certificates yourself.

The good thing about certificates is that recognise achievements that take longer than a lesson to achieve. They can also be a useful way for teachers to keep track of the skills that each student has mastered and what they still need to learn. Teachers who like this reward could create a certificate for each skill they teach to help keep themselves and their students on track during their months or even years of time with a particular student. 


Offering students prizes for good work and behaviour can be a great way of motivating them. Prizes can be anything from a “no homework” card the student can use whenever they want to a free ebook. You could give your students a prize after they’ve achieved a specific thing, won a certain number of points or shown themselves to be the best in a group class at something. If you teach one-to-one online classes and think competition can be beneficial for students, you could offer a prize to the student who is the best at something or achieves the most points. An alternative would be to give raffle tickets as prizes to get a chance of winning a free class or an ebook. 

A good thing about prizes is that they can double as end of course gifts, seasonal gifts, and additional help with your students’ learning. Many teachers with long term students like to give gifts at the end of several months or years of instructing a student, whether that’s an ebook or an exam guide. It can help improve a student’s confidence if they can see that this gift was given to them because of their hard work. 

Here are some useful websites that might help you plan your reward systems:

An Honest Day’s Work for an Honest Day’s Pay

An Honest Day’s Work for an Honest Day’s Pay

I had my first job when I was 16 years old. I worked as a cashier in a petrol station in Stoke-on-Trent in England. My boss was very keen to sell motor oil and he told me that I had to try and sell it to the customers who came in to pay for their petrol. This is when I discovered something about marketing.

 “Good morning. Pump 4, right?”

“Yes, that’s right”

“Have you thought about buying some oil for your car?”

“Not really.”

“Okay. Here’s your change. Have a nice day.”

What did I discover about marketing? That I was hopelessly incompetent at it. And nothing has changed.


Nowadays I want people to buy English classes and I still feel uncomfortable banging the drum.  Something inside me says that if people want my classes they’ll come and find me. Utter nonsense, of course. But it is a self-limiting belief that lingers.

With MyCoolClass, I can forget that. They will believe for me. I don’t need to become a marketing expert. They have people for that. People who understand algorithms and SEO. People who know how to monitor clicks and engagement, website ninjas and graphic design gurus. It is a weight off my shoulders.


But it’s not just their sales expertise that appeals to me. It is their ethics. Many other education platforms set things up so that the teachers are in a race to the bottom. They saturate their platforms with teachers so that prices come tumbling down. They foster a dog-eat-dog environment.  There is nothing good about selling your courses for 7 euros an hour if you cannot make a living. It is the unacceptable face of competition. It is dishonest and most online platforms couldn’t care less.

MyCoolClass emphatically does care. There is a cut off point for teacher recruitment and pricing is not a free-for-all. It is a sustainable business model created and managed by teachers.


MyCoolClass is a cooperative.  That means everybody who is a member of MyCoolClass owns MyCoolClass. There are rules which any member can consult, and in line with those rules, there are democratic elections to elect the board of directors. Any member can stand in those elections. I wonder how that compares with other online teaching platforms. Actually, I don’t. There is no comparison. The teachers have zero say and zero rights.

Other platforms exist to make a profit for some venture capitalists whose last experience of education was probably getting their driving license.  MyCoolClass exists to make money for teachers.

Paid Time Off

Any freelancer knows the feeling of dragging yourself from a sick bed to go to work. This is the biggest drawback to working for yourself – your boss is very demanding!  But there has never been an alternative. You don’t work, you don’t get paid. It’s not like working for a company where you get paid holidays and sick days.  But what if there was a way to be a freelance teacher and also have that safety net? I didn’t think it was possible until I looked into MyCoolClass. Part of what you pay to use the MyCoolClass is stored away so that you are covered financially when you need it, when you’re ill or when you simply fancy some time off. A best-of-both-world model that no other online learning platform offers.

Teaching is a noble profession and, more often than not, a true vocation. The proliferation of Mickey Mouse teaching platforms has damaged the dignity of teachers and students alike. It has become harder and harder to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. MyCoolClass with its ethical marketing, transparency and teacher centric organization is fighting back. A battle I fully expect us all to win.

Online Learning Platform – Invested in the Future

Online Learning Platform – Invested in the Future


The online learning industry has grown by 900% since 2000. No other industry could ever dream of such expansion. If there were any doubts about the future of online education, they have been blown away by reality. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed education forever.  By 2022 the eLearning industry will be generating 240 billion dollars a year. This is, of course, why the eLearning industry attracts so many unscrupulous businesses which are only interested in a quick profit. It’s a latter-day Gold Rush. MyCoolClass, however, is a different proposition. It is a co-operative run by qualified teachers. They were all educators before online education became a pandemic poster boy. MyCoolClass is in it for the long term.

What is so good about the online learning platform? Well, we have done away with the tyranny of bricks and mortar. We don’t need physical places to come together.  All the time spent moving from one place to another is saved. So, if you work in an office, you can attend an online course before work or at lunchtime and be back at work instantly the moment it ends. This makes education and training available to more people.  By the same token, the business models of online teachers contemplate much lower overheads which will be reflected in the type and costs of educational offerings.

What are the drawbacks of the online learning platform? They used to say that online education missed the social element. It’s true that you can’t grab a coffee with a classmate after an online class. But it is also true that, nowadays, that social media makes the planet a village and you are as likely to find common ground with somebody from Australia as with somebody from Scotland. As the world gets smaller our circle of contacts gets bigger. This is deeply enriching.

For the right person online education as a profession or a business opportunity is practically unmatched. By ‘business’ I mean the business of education. All businesses strive to keep their clients happy. That is Business 101. How does a knowledge industry keep clients happy? By helping them achieve their objectives efficiently and enjoyably. That way you will get repeat business by clients staying on and by word-of-mouth recommendations. To help clients achieve their objectives you need qualified teachers; people who know what they are doing. I could write a list of online ‘education’ businesses who will not be here in 5 years’ time because they ignore this basic business premise. Online education is not about the technology. It’s about the teaching.

The future will see the industry settle down and bid farewell to the cowboys, the chancers, and the half-hearted. Serious online educators will battle it out for market share. But how will the public decide between, for example, one English course and another?  I believe that if the product you sell is the same as the competition, you distinguish yourself in client satisfaction. Empathetic technical support and a sense of community are two essential after-sales features. MyCoolClass is committed not to mere client satisfaction but client ecstasy. It is that, along with the quality of the teaching, which will make MyCoolClass a major player in the exciting and lucrative online education industry.

In early 2022, MyCoolClass will launch a community share offer to raise the capital needed to grow into the future.  This opportunity will allow anyone in the world to invest and share ownership in the company. Community shares are a way for the community to collectively run a business, not the wealthy who run Wall Street.

In the world in which we find ourselves, online education is now the right time and the right place to be invested in the future. To learn more about MyCoolClass Co-operative, please visit the website here.

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