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Online Kids Academy Review Summary

Online Kids Academy is a Turkish ESL school hiring Native Speakers and Filipinos to teach group and private child classes. The pay is relatively low for Natives, high for Filipinos, there’s little written feedback, decent bookings, and non-Asian hours complement other jobs, but communication can take time.

Pay (per hour):$5-16
Native / Non-Native Speakers?Both
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?Yes
Degree / diploma required?Yes
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1-12
Minimum hours (per week):0

Online Kids Academy Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Hires Native and Non-Native Speakers
  • Good pay for Filipino teachers
  • Most qualified candidates won’t have to teach a demo
  • Daytime hours for North American/European/African teachers – complements Asian jobs later in the day
  • Good booking rate
  • No written feedback for each class (just once a month), and lesson materials provided means little unpaid prep time
  • Secondary rewards system not required – stars can be used in the platform

Cons:

  • Relatively low pay for Native Speakers
  • Need to be an experienced online ESL teacher, not for beginners – no training provided (other than for platform)
  • Application process can take weeks as they hire according to need
  • Poor communication with teachers
  • Lessons can be monotonous
  • Platform technical issues – sometimes can’t hear students

Is Online Kids Academy Legit?

Online Kids Academy (sometimes abbreviated as OKA) is a newer start-up company based in Turkey. They claim to have over 500 certified American teachers, though they hire other Native Speakers and Filipinos too. Most of their students are from Turkey or surrounding countries, are aged between 3-15 years, and take a variety of individual and group classes lasting between 10-30 minutes.

Online Kids Academy Salary / Pay

The Online Kids Academy salary is advertised as US$12-16 per hour for Native Speakers (based on teaching 2 standard classes an hour), though everyone starts at the lowest rate of $6 per 30-minute group lesson. This is slightly misleading as the hourly rate is potentially lower if you’re teaching 25-minute private individual lessons, as these only pay $5 per class. Here is a breakdown of the different pay rates available to Native Speakers:

Class/lesson typeLength (minutes)Pay rate (USD)
Regular group30$6
Private individual25$5
Trial20-25$4
Speaking test/exam10$3

Online Kids Academy pay Non-Native Filipino teachers $5-6 an hour ($3 per 30-minute class and $2.50 per 25-minute class).

No additional bonuses/incentives are offered and the contract is for a minimum of 6 months.

Payments are made via Wise on the 10th of every month. Whilst there are reports of teachers receiving their pay later than this, Online Kids Academy have provided us with the following explanation:

We always pay on time, (10th of each month we are sending money.) As you know Paypal is non-available in Turkey, for that reason we are using “wise.com”. If a teacher is new, the Wise system is correcting the person for the first money transfer, so it may take time sometimes, sometimes not. But after correcting the person, teachers won’t face any problems about payments.

Online Kids Academy invites any teacher experiencing payment issues to email [email protected] as soon as possible.

Online Kids Academy Hours

Online Kids Academy’s working hours are 9am-1.30am the next day (Turkey Time/TRT), though different types of lessons take place at various times of the day. Mornings and early afternoons (Turkish daytime) usually feature large-group school classes involving approximately 12 students. Individual and smaller group classes (2-4 students) usually take place later in the afternoon/evening following school, including the Online Kids Academy peak hours of 6-9pm (TRT).

There are four types of classes available at Online Kids Academy, each offering a different pay rate:

  1. 30-minute group classes (small groups of up to 4 students, large groups around 12)
  2. 25-minute private individual classes
  3. 20-25-minute trial classes (length dependent on level)
  4. 10-minute speaking tests/exams (to determine student level)

Note that if you’re teaching consecutive 30-minute classes, these will run back-to-back without any breaks.

One advantage of teaching at Online Kids Academy is that they don’t require written feedback after every class (just a short student evaluation once a month), so this saves a lot of unpaid time which can prove demanding at other companies.

Group classes can be booked via the teacher dashboard, so you are flexible to only choose those that suit your schedule. Be aware that they can disappear quickly, and the best time to log-on is at 3am on Friday mornings (TRT), as this is when new classes are usually posted for the following week. To acquire private individual classes you will have to set your available schedule, as these are booked directly by the parents.

Online Kids Academy offers a ‘Flexible Schedule – Work when you want, where you want – with no commitment or minimum hours‘. Whilst there is a claim from one teacher who says that they were terminated for not opening up any slots, the company has informed us that ‘We don’t terminate the teacher’s contract if the teacher doesn’t open slots. We just faced this problem with 1 teacher and the reason was different which we shared with the teacher. Lots of teachers on the platform don’t open slots regularly but they are in the platform.(E.g. Teacher Lexi.)’.

Online Kids Academy Requirements

  • Native or Near-Native Speaking*
  • At least 1 year of teaching experience
  • TESOL or TEFL certificate
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Minimum internet connection of at least 4 Mbps (you can test your internet speed here)
  • Mac OS 10.8x / Windows 7 or higher laptop/desktop computer
  • Intel Core i3 processor or above
  • At least 4GB RAM
  • HD webcam (external or integrated)
  • A microphone headset with stable output and input connections
  • Google Chrome browser installed

*Some Online Kids Academy information specifically targets North American Native Speakers, but they are known to also hire UK, South African, and Filipino teachers.

Online Kids Academy Application Process

There are 5 main stages to the Online Kids Academy hiring process:

  1. Fill in and submit the application form (including an introduction video) on the Online Kids Academy website
  2. Attend a short Skype interview
  3. Walk through a training class to learn the platform
  4. Demo class with a real student (not required for everyone)
  5. Sign your contract and teach

To begin your Online Kids Academy application, submit the following information on their website:

  • First and last name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Where you are currently living
  • Nationality
  • Highest level of education
  • Time zone
  • Amount of experience teaching online (1 year/1-3 years/3+ years)
  • Can you teach kids and/or adults?
  • Introduction video link (uploaded to YouTube or Google Drive – make sure your video is unlisted or set to public)*
  • TEFL or TESOL certificate checkbox

*For the introduction video: introduce yourself, say where you’re from, talk about your degree, certifications and teaching experience, and why you like teaching. They want to hear about you and your accent.

It can take days or a couple of months to receive a response from Online Kids Academy as they hire according to their need and may put you on a waiting list until such time.

Online Kids Academy Interview

If and when your initial application passes their review, you will be invited to an Online Kids Academy interview on Skype. This will be relatively short and simple, with them reviewing your qualifications and asking you about your educational background and teaching experience. You will also be given an overview of the company and its policies and have the opportunity to ask any questions (which you should prepare in advance).

Following the interview, you will be invited back for training on the company’s platform, which is accessed via Google Chrome. Here you will walk through a sample lesson; the lesson slides are static but they contain pictures, activities and embedded videos, and can be annotated. You will also have another opportunity to ask any questions. Here is a recording of an Online Kids Academy lesson:

Not everyone is asked to teach an (unpaid) demo class with a real student.

Before you can start teaching, you will have to sign a 6-month contract, complete your profile by uploading an introduction video and certifications, and open your available slots.

Online Kids Academy Reviews

Being a smaller, newer online ESL company, there are not many Online Kids Academy reviews out there, nor does the company have a Glassdoor page yet. Most of the Online Kids Academy teachers we’ve found are in a Facebook group. Of what has been said, the positive comments generally mention good booking rates, daytime hours (for teachers in North America/Europe/Africa), and no regular written feedback. More negative Online Kids Academy experiences involve late pay due to the initial transfer system used (explained above), poor communication (the best way to reach them is via Skype), and a lack of sympathy regarding real-life emergencies/illness (such as here):

Conclusion – Is Online Kids Academy Worth It?

Whilst there is some trepidation about applying to a smaller, newer company with so little feedback, the fact that there are relatively few options when it comes to non-Asian students and daytime hours means that Online Kids Academy is worth considering if you are a teacher based in Europe, Africa and (especially) North America. In this instance, they could complement classes with Chinese companies scheduled elsewhere in the day/evening and thus offer supplementary hours and income. However, the fact that they pay less means it’s less profitable to use them as your primary job.

(If you’re looking to diversify away from Asian companies/hours/students, you may wish to also investigate Craving English, Open English and Skyeng. A list of non-China companies can be found here.)

You can apply on the Online Kids Academy website.

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Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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