Table of Contents

Proximity Learning Review Summary

Proximity Learning hires Americans and some international English Speakers to teach US children. Teachers livestream into school classrooms with help from a facilitator. Pay is $20-30 an hour with benefits, you must be certified, have a degree, and be available for 20-35 hours a week, though classes aren’t guaranteed.

Pay (per hour):$20-30
Location / language requirements?Remote/English speaker
Degree / diploma required?Yes
Teaching certificate required?Yes
Teaching experience required?Yes
Student age (Adults/Children)?PK-12 children
Class size:Varies by school
Minimum hours (per week):20-35*
*depending on position

Proximity Learning Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Higher pay than a lot of online companies
  • Employee benefits (again, unlike many online companies)
  • Choose your classes and work from home
  • Normal US daytime school hours

Cons:

  • Pay less than a ‘brick and mortar’ teaching position
  • Unpaid time for prep, meetings, professional development, etc.
  • Hours not guaranteed, especially over the summer
  • Must learn to work across multiple online platforms

Is Proximity Learning Legit?

Proximity Learning is a legitimate company, headquartered in Austin, Texas, and founded in 2008. The company’s leadership team is composed of former teachers, principals, superintendents, and others with a proven history of working in and around education. The organization’s legitimacy is underlined by partnering with over 100 school districts across the USA, including Dallas Independent School District and Chicago Public Schools, and being featured in a 2020 Chicago State University study which showed that Proximity Learning students had higher grades than the national average.

What Is Proximity Learning?

Proximity Learning beams into physical classrooms, providing live, real-time, teacher-led instruction through video conferencing software. In breaking down barriers of distance, the company aims to provide a more equitable education to young learners across the United States, while addressing issues of teacher shortages and substitutions.

How Does Proximity Learning Work?

Proximity Learning connects local schools with certified teachers, who livestream remotely into the physical classroom, assisted by a facilitator responsible for on-site classroom management. This is described in this short video:

Proximity Learning Teacher Certification 

Each US state has its own requirements for teacher certification, begging the question as to how Proximity Learning reconciles this when connecting local schools with teachers from out of state?

The company has worked out deals with some states, while in others teachers are required to gain certification to work in those schools. Proximity Learning pays for all teacher certifications in the reciprocity teacher certification process, and there is a full-time certification case manager to assist them.

Proximity Learning Curriculum

Proximity Learning delivers curricula to all its teachers, however lesson planning is still expected of them (time which is unpaid). Teachers are also encouraged to collaborate with Proximity Learning colleagues, local teachers in their assigned school, and the para professional in the classroom. Proximity believes that collaboration with others is the key to being successful at online teaching.

Proximity Learning Platforms

Proximity Learning teachers utilize Microsoft Teams and Zoom, making use of break-out room features for smaller group work or to communicate with individual students. Teaching is supported with resources and activities created through interactive education platforms such as Kahoot and Nearpod. Canvas is also used to provide access to the curriculum, training courses, and for recording grades.

Here is a recorded example of how a Proximity Learning live class is run:

Proximity Learning Pay

Proximity Learning pays US-based teachers an average of between $20-$30 an hour, depending on the position, the class you are teaching, and the school district it is located in. This is higher than you will find with a lot of online teaching companies, but lower than a ‘brick and mortar’ position.

For readers outside of the USA, note that Proximity also hires Virtual Teachers from other countries. Here is the annual pay currently offered to teachers based in South Africa, the Philippines and Mexico:

  • South Africa = ZAR 271,347.00 per annum
  • Philippines = PHP 941,559.74 per annum
  • Mexico = MXN 279,294.40 per annum

The company also promises the following employee benefits, which are also not commonly found within online teaching roles:

  • Work remotely
  • 21 Vacation Days
  • Unlimited Sick Time
  • Great healthcare + dental + vision coverage
  • 401k
  • Annual company retreats in Austin with guest speakers, winery and brewery trips, dinners around town, and more

Be aware that time for lesson prep, meetings and training is unpaid.

Proximity Learning Hours

Proximity Learning teachers follow a conventional school schedule (7am-4.30pm Central Time). You choose the classes you wish to teach but are expected to commit to at least 4 hours a day (3 for teaching, 1 for unpaid prep), which should remain fixed for a semester or year depending on the school. International candidates must be able to teach 7 hours a day.

Hours are not guaranteed, however, with teachers having to apply for jobs in different states (which might have time zone implications for you), while work is limited over the summer months.

Proximity teachers are allowed a certain number of personal days, which is a benefit over many online companies.

Proximity Learning Requirements

Proximity Learning Virtual Teachers must meet the following requirements:

  • Fluent in English 
  • Be a certified teacher
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Credential Evaluation Report (for international applicants)
  • Creative, positive, and energetic disposition
  • Excellent organization and communication skills
  • Experience with both project-based and inquiry-based learning
  • Up-to-date computer with a stable internet connection
  • Availability during regular United States school hours (7:00am-4:30pm Central Time, USA)
  • Former J-1 Teacher a Plus
  • US Social Security Number is a big plus
  • Pass a Background check

Proximity Learning Hiring Process

The Proximity Learning application process takes around 1-2 weeks, and you have three methods for applying:

  1. Search the Proximity Learning careers page for a specific position (recommended for international candidates wanting a ‘Virtual Teacher’ position) and submit your:
    • Name
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • Physical address and country
    • Resume
    • Date available from
    • LinkedIn Profile (optional)
  2. Visit the dedicated ‘Teach with us’ page and scroll to the bottom to submit your:
    • Email address
    • Name
    • Are you a certified teacher?
    • What subjects are you certified to teach?
    • Are you authorized to work in the U.S.?
    • Do you live in the U.S.?
  3. Search and apply for open positions through Indeed.

Proximity Learning Interview Process

If you get invited to interview, you will first be asked to record and upload a Proximity Learning demo lesson of around 5 minutes. Here you should try and display your teaching style, lesson-planning skills, how you would engage students, DOL (Distance Online Learning) methods, and any activities or differentiations you use.

Most Proximity teacher interviews are conducted via Zoom, though some candidates have been invited to interview in-person at one of the company’s regional offices if convenient. You will be asked about your teaching experience and background, how comfortable you are with technology, and to confirm your internet connection speed.

There are a large number of webinars on the Proximity Learning YouTube channel that might help you prepare for this, and here are some Proximity Learning Interview Questions that have previously been asked:

  • Why did you get into teaching?
  • Tell us about your online teaching experience / How you ever taught or taken a class online?
  • What ways can you establish a relationship with students in an online learning environment?
  • How tech savvy are you?
  • Do you have experience conducting classes using Zoom?
  • What is your experience teaching online with Canvas?
  • How would you handle a technology issue?
  • How would you handle a student experiencing a technical difficult during your live instruction?
  • How do you stay organized?
  • What is your educational philosophy?
  • What do you like best about teaching?
  • What is the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of teaching for you?
  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • Show us how you would teach finding the area of a rectilinear shape (subject specific)

Proximity Learning Reviews – What Is It Like Working for Proximity Learning?

The Proximity Learning Glassdoor page currently gives the company an overall rating of 4 out of 5, with 79% willing to recommend them. Here is the summary provided from their Proximity Learning employee reviews, where positives include the flexibility to choose your schedule and work from home without having to deal with student discipline issues, though it is challenging to balance grading expectations for different districts, the curriculum is considered weak, while part-timers apparently don’t receive the same employee benefits:

Proximity Learning Glassdoor reviews summary

The Proximity Learning Indeed page provides a much lower average of 2.9 out of 5 (though from fewer reviews). The featured review warns about the unreliability of the hours, while another recent review complains about tasks that take up unpaid time, insufficient training for learning the multiple platforms, and a lack of classes:

Proximity Learning Indeed featured review

These points about the unavailability of classes are backed up by another recent Glassdoor teacher review:

Conclusion – Is Proximity Learning Worth It?

While on the face of it, Proximity Learning may look like an attractive option with the promise of employee benefits and a higher pay rate than a lot of online teaching jobs, there are drawbacks in that hours aren’t guaranteed, classes have to be applied for, prep time is unpaid, and part-time teachers reportedly receive fewer benefits than are advertised. The company might still offer you some opportunities, but don’t expect a secure and stable income or full schedule from it.

You can apply for Proximity Learning jobs here or international candidates can search for open positions here or on Indeed.

A list of other teaching jobs can be found here.

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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