Honest iBestTeacher Review – The Truth about Teaching There (2021)

iBestTeacher Review

iBestTeacher Review Summary

iBestTeacher demands few requirements from both Native and Non-Native Speakers, whilst providing multiple schools to teach Chinese children. Schedules are fixed for 6 months and pay varies widely, however, iBestTeacher is a good option for many who lack qualifications, experience or have been rejected elsewhere.

Pay (per hour):$3-26
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Both
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?No
Degree / diploma required?No
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1-4
Minimum hours (per week):4

iBestTeacher Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Virtually no barriers to entry
  • Both Native and Non-Native Speakers can apply
  • It’s not mandatory to have a Bachelor’s degree or teaching experience
  • You can acquire a TESOL certificate for free if you work there for 1 year
  • Alternative options if you’re not accepted by one school

Cons:

  • Inconsistent and hidden pay rates across schools and between Native and Non-Native Speakers
  • Two interviews required (one with iBestTeacher and one with the school)
  • Little control over which online school you’re sent to
  • Must commit to a fixed teaching schedule for 6 months, so little flexibility from week to week

Is iBestTeacher Legit?

iBestTeacher was founded in 2017 and is a subsidiary of Baifenshuo Education. They are based in China, but have offices in Canada, the US and the UK. They do not deliver English instruction themselves, instead they are recruiters for 16 Chinese online schools (including ShuoDuoDuo) and over 100 domestic schools, and they claim to have placed more than 10,000 teachers into ESL jobs online or within China. They are thus similar to COREnglish.

iBestTeacher Salary / Pay

Because they work with a number of schools, iBestTeacher pay can vary dramatically depending on who the teacher is and where they’re placed. For example, while a qualified and experienced Native Speaker might be offered US$22-24 per hour to make instructional recordings for ShuoDuoDuo (as described in the review video below), we’ve also heard Filipinos only be offered $3 to teach a small group class for another school. There therefore seems to be a discrepancy between what Native and Non-Native Speakers are paid, which we unfortunately see elsewhere in the industry, though iBestTeacher claims your pay rate is determined by your TPR training result and demo class performance.

Payments are paid on the 15th of every month for the previous month’s teaching. iBestTeacher offers multiple methods to receive payment, though some carry transaction fees/delays:

  • Cash (Shanghai only): no transaction fee
  • Domestic (Chinese) bank transfer: no transaction fee
  • Overseas transfer: RMB200/per transaction (takes 2-5 working days)
  • Alipay: no transaction fee
  • WeChat: no transaction fee
  • PayPal: 4.4% +$0.3 USD/ per transaction

iBestTeacher contracts last a minimum of 12 months and renewal is based upon performance. Evaluations of your attendance, punctuality and teaching quality are carried out every 3-6 months and will determine whether you qualify for a pay rise.

iBestTeacher Hours

iBestTeacher requires teachers to work a minimum of 2 hours per day for 2 days a week. These can be any time between 9am-10pm (Beijing Time), Monday to Sunday. Flexibility is limited once you sign a contract, however, and you’re expected to maintain your contracted schedule for at least 6 months, so it’s best not to over promise hours in the beginning. If you do have to change your schedule, you must provide 30 days’ notice.

iBestTeacher Requirements

Both Native and Non-Native Speakers can apply, so long as they have a neutral accent and can speak English at an idiomatic level.

Though a Bachelor’s degree, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate and teaching experience is preferred, they are not essential requirements to apply, and iBestTeacher even promises to help you acquire a TESOL certificate for free if you work with them for a year.

iBestTeacher Technical Requirements

  • Computer with webcam (HD preferred)
  • Google Chrome browser
  • Headset with microphone
  • Stable internet connection with a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps and upload speed of 2 Mbps (you can check your internet speed here)

iBestTeacher Hiring Process

The iBestTeacher application process follows several stages:

  1. Register your personal details and upload your CV/resume
  2. Record a self-introduction video
  3. Initial interview with iBestTeacher
  4. Internet connection testing & System training
  5. Study video recordings of qualified teachers
  6. Second interview and demo class with school
  7. Sign the contract
  8. TPR training
  9. Probation performance review
  10. Get hired and start teaching

You begin your iBestTeacher application on their website, where you will need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Highest degree obtained
  • Nationality
  • Main occupation
  • Current country
  • Current city
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • Skype ID
  • Recruiting channel
  • Teach online or in China?
  • Resume/CV (upload)
  • Professional photo (upload)

You should receive a response within 3 business days, but if not you can contact them directly via these contact details:

  • Email: ibestteacher@ibestteacher.com
  • Skype: ella@ibestteacher.com
  • WeChat: 17521020877

You will be invited to record and send a 2-minute self-introduction video, where you will be expected to convey the following:

  • Your basic information (name, age, nationality, educational background, teaching certificates, where you’re currently living)
  • Teaching experience (how many years teaching, age of students taught, online or in-person?)
  • Prefered teaching methodologies (e.g. TPR)
  • Teaching example (e.g., in 1 minute explain the difference between “pen” and “pencil” to an 8 year old Chinese student, using TPR, props, colorful pictures or games)
  • The whole video should last no longer than 2 minutes

Here is a video from iBestTeacher outlining this advice and providing a visual demonstration:

iBestTeacher Interview

Should you pass their initial screening, you’ll be invited to the first iBestTeacher interview. This will typically be on Skype or WeChat and last around 30 minutes.

Here is a list of iBestTeacher interview questions that have previously been asked (so we suggest you prepare answers to them in case they arise again for you:

  • Where are you from?
  • What is your work/teaching experience?
  • What experience do you have teaching English? / How long have you worked as a teacher?
  • What level of students are you most comfortable with?
  • What ages of students do you have experience working with and are willing to teach?
  • Why do you want to teach people the English language?
  • Why are you interested in teaching English online?
  • Do you prefer to work with smaller or larger groups of students, or one-on-one?
  • Do you prefer working for an institution/organization that requires a set schedule or a more flexible schedule?
  • What is your available schedule?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Do you have any questions about the company?

Once you pass this first interview, you will receive a link to your teacher portal and account, and a recruiter will help conduct your internet connection testing and system training.

In around a week’s time, iBestTeacher should match you with a suitable client and you will be invited to a second interview with that school where you will have to provide a class demonstration displaying your TPR skills.

One advantage of applying through recruiters like iBestTeacher is that if you are unsuccessful with one school, they can recommend you to others they’re connected with.

Here is the recorded account of one teacher who successfully completed the iBestTeacher application process to become hired by ShuoDuoDuo:

iBestTeacher Online Teaching

As iBestTeacher recruits for a large number of different schools, the exact nature of the teaching will vary depending on where you’re placed. However, most common are classes lasting 25-30 minutes for small groups of Chinese children between the ages of 4-16 years. As the previous video mentioned, instead of teaching live classes, you may be expected to pre-record instructional videos.

iBestTeacher says that you will not need to prepare any of your own teaching materials, as their Teaching Research Department will provide you with the latest original, ‘quality’ materials that you’ll only need to preview before classes.

iBestTeacher Reviews

iBestTeacher receives a very high rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Glassdoor, with 100% of reviewers willing to recommend them to a friend. However, this is from just 11 reviews, and none more recent than 2019. Also, bear in mind that your experience will be determined by not only iBestTeacher but the school you end up working for through them, which is much more difficult to ascertain. Unfortunately there is an absence of more recent first-hand accounts elsewhere on the internet, however, these reviews at least provide a balance of both positive and negative perspectives (though it seems teachers are generally satisfied with the company):

Conclusion – Is iBestTeacher Worth It?

The fact that iBestTeacher sets virtually no barriers to entry whilst providing multiple schools for employment should make them an attractive option for many. The main caveat is the uncertainty around salaries, and whether it’s worth the effort of preparing for and going through two interviews before finding out what you’ll be paid. Unless you need a lot of flexibility from week to week which would prevent you from committing to the same schedule for 6 months, we think iBestTeacher is a good option for those who might not meet all the requirements of other companies, or have been rejected elsewhere.

You can apply to iBestTeacher here.

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