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Outschool Review Summary

Outschool is a teacher marketplace hiring residents of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England or Wales to teach children online. Teacher satisfaction is good, no formal qualifications are required, and almost any subject can be taught, though securing bookings for more generic courses can be challenging.

Pay (per hour):$10-50*
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Both**
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?No
Degree / diploma required?No
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1+
Minimum hours (per week):0
*based on average recommended rate, teachers charge what they want
**Must be a resident of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and Wales

Outschool Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Can teach virtually anything (subject to approval)
  • No degree or teaching certificate required
  • No interview
  • Class length determined by the teacher
  • Potentially high pay rate if multiple students sign up for the same class
  • Extremely high ratings on Glassdoor show teacher satisfaction

Cons:

  • Must reside full-time in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England or Wales
  • Outschool retains a 30% commission on earnings
  • Saturated marketplace makes it difficult to attract bookings on common subjects
  • Only child students, no adult classes

Neutral

  • Some teachers will enjoy the flexibility of creating their own curriculum, while others might prefer companies that provide this

What Is Outschool Teaching and Is Outschool Legit?

Outschool is a legitimate online teacher marketplace, founded in 2015. The Outschool headquarters are in San Francisco, USA, while they teach over 1 million children from pre-Kindergarten to High School level (ages 3-18 years) all around the world.

Outschool teaching is not limited to English/ESL or other languages, and classes can be delivered on any topic you are passionate about and are experienced in. All curricula and lesson materials are thus designed by the teachers.

How Long Are Outschool Classes?

There is no set length to an Outschool class, it can be as short or long as you want to make it.

What Platform Does Outschool Use?

Outschool online teaching is delivered via Zoom.

Are Outschool Classes Recorded?

Classes are recorded for teachers to be able to review and improve their Outschool tutoring, for parents to be able to check on their child’s progress, for teacher coaching, customer support, and compliance purposes.

How Much Does Outschool Pay?

As a marketplace, the Outschool salary is determined by what the teachers wish to charge for their classes. The company typically suggests setting your Outschool teacher pay rate for each learner at around $10-15 per hour. However the average Outschool teacher salary turns out to be much higher (according to the company), at $50 per hour, as multiple students may sign up for a class.

Another characteristic of being a teacher marketplace, is that the company deducts a 30% commission from any Outschool income.

How Do You Get Paid on Outschool

Outschool teachers are paid via PayPal, after adding their linked email address to their Teacher Profile under ‘Payout email’.

How Often Does Outschool Pay?

The regularity of Outschool payments depends on the number and type of classes you offer, but it is possible to be paid weekly each Sunday. The company pays the full amount 7-10 days after the start date for fixed-duration classes, or on the next Sunday 2 weeks following any ongoing classes.

Outschool Schedule

As Outschool is a marketplace, they have no fixed schedule or minimum/maximum hours that a teacher must commit to. Outschool tutors are free to set their own class times and, as their student base is global, this can be at any point in the day or night (though it is worth factoring in the time zone of your primary audience). The company does, however, suggest that afternoon and evening classes fare better than the middle of the day (though there are some homeschool students and holiday periods), with the optimum being weekdays between 4-6pm (Pacific Time).

Outschool advises using standalone and short-form introductory classes (meeting 1-4 times) to reach new learners, build your reputation and attract reviews more quickly, whilst offering longer semester-long classes to allow students to engage more deeply in the topics you deliver.

A sizeable number of Outschool teachers have complained about their difficulties in attracting bookings, illustrated in this sample from an extensive Facebook teachers’ group thread (there were more comments than could be fitted in the screenshot!):

You will likely find that broad, common subjects such as English/ESL will be too saturated and so, to be successful, research less competitive niches on the platform and offer your own unique angle to them. Outschool provides the following tips to help increase student uptake:

  • Offer something unique.  Show your passion for your subject and create classes that you might like to do yourself.  If you are offering a common topic, then make it unique by bringing your own approach to the class.
  • Create high quality listings. The more information that parents have, the more likely they are to enroll.  And make it compelling! Pick a title and summary that will catch the interest of parents and learners.
  • Build a following.  Deliver a great learning experience. Ask your parents to leave reviews and to spread the word about your classes.

Outschool Cancellation Policy

If an Outschool teacher cancels, misses, is late or shortens a class meeting, then the affected learner(s) are entitled to a refund from them.

Outschool No Show Policy

A learner is not entitled to a refund if they do not show up to a class meeting. If three consecutive classes are missed without communicating with the teacher, then the learner forfeits the class fee and may be withdrawn.

Outschool Requirements

The Outschool teacher requirements do not include any formal qualifications or teaching credentials, but you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Reside full-time in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England or Wales (not other UK countries currently)
  • Have one or more topics of expertise or passion that you will base your classes around
  • Meet Outschool’s community standards, including prompt, professional communication with families and staff
  • Observe Outschool’s class content policy, including that classes are secular and objective
  • Have a good command of written and spoken English
  • Verify your identity and pass a criminal background check

Outschool Technical Requirements

  • A computer able to run Zoom video conferencing
  • A fast and reliable internet connection with over 3Mbps upload and download speed (you can test your internet speed here)
  • Technical know-how to effectively run online classes

How to Become an Outschool Teacher

There are seven main steps to the Outschool application process:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the company and complete Outschool 101
  2. Apply to teach
  3. Verify your identity
  4. Complete your background check
  5. Complete trainings on Class Content Policy and Safety and Privacy
  6. Complete your public teacher profile
  7. List your first class

The ‘Sign up to teach’ link can be found here. To apply for Outschool jobs you must first create an account with your email address and password, or by logging in with your Facebook, Google or Apple ID.

Click on ‘Apply’ in the Teaching Dashboard menu:

You will then have to complete the following Outschool application questions and agree to the terms of service:

  1. Learn about Outschool – Take 5-minute overview ‘Outschool 101’
  2. Fill in your application:
    • Public teacher name
    • Legal name
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • Location (City, State, Country)
    • List all of the experience you have teaching or working with youth, whether as a professional, a volunteer, or in your personal life. Be specific with how long you’ve worked with youth, the subjects you’ve taught, and the ages of learners you’ve worked with.
    • List any academic degrees, teaching credentials (current or expired), professional training, or other relevant professional certifications you hold.
    • Online profiles: do you have a professional website, Facebook page, or LinkedIn profile that helps describe your experience and expertise?
  3. About your class:
    • What topics are you passionate about teaching? Which ages of learners do you want to work with? What experience or expertise do you have in these subject areas
    • Write a sample class description. You should write this description as though it is for prospective families. Include information about what you will teach, how you will teach it, and what learners should expect from class time. This section should be at least a paragraph long (You may wish to consult Outschool’s sample class listings for new teachers)
  4. Record or upload an Outschool demo video – Record a 3-5 minute video where you teach a sample of the class you described above. You should:
    • Show (and show off!) the professional space where you will teach (with great lighting)
    • Show your teaching personality
    • Share your expertise! Teach something that you are excited to share with learners on Outschool and that they might not have seen/heard before
    • demo one of your favorite classroom activities, or teach your sample lesson to someone in your household
    • If uploading, the recording should be 100mb or less

The 24 Hour Teacher helpfully provides a comparative example of both their unsuccessful and successful Outschool application video attempts:

Your application will be reviewed against the following Outschool job requirements:

  • Have experience working with young learners or are excited to learn
  • Are experts in their field and have knowledge and passion to share
  • Bring creative and original class ideas
  • Have excellent written communication skills
  • Are ready to provide stellar customer service to Outschool families
  • Are full-time residents of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England or Wales

The Outschool hiring process will take a few days before you receive an outcome.

If unsuccessful, you have up to three attempts to apply for Outschool teaching jobs.

Outschool Teacher Reviews – Working for Outschool

The Outschool Glassdoor page gives the company an average rating of 4.6 out of 5, with 86% willing to recommend them to a friend, which is notably high especially as it is calculated from a sizeable sample of 85 reviews. Even more striking is the fact that there are no 1-star Outschool job reviews, just a single 2-star review, and four 3-star reviews, all the rest award 4 or 5 stars.

The positives to teaching with Outschool are summarized here as the freedom and flexibility to set your own prices, schedule, and class sizes for whatever subject you want. More negative comments mention the time it takes to acquire students, seasonal fluctuations to bookings which have overall slowed combined with teacher saturation, the 30% commission rate, Outschool’s tendency to side with parents over teachers, and issues with getting some classes approved.

Here is a recent sample of more-detailed Outschool reviews from teachers:

Conclusion – Is Outschool Worth It?

Outschool is one of the more appealing teacher marketplaces, on account of its high teacher satisfaction scores, straightforward application process, and the variety of topics one can offer on the platform. While the 30% commission rate is tough to swallow, it is not out-of-sync with what some rivals charge and can be offset if you are able and willing to accept multiple students in a class. Sufficient bookings are difficult to secure by just offering generic ESL, however, so you must be able to develop a unique niche or approach to your classes.

You can apply to Outschool here. You may also wish to consider these alternative teacher marketplaces.

Contact us to help update this article, share your experiences, or suggest other companies to review.


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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