hello everyone and welcome to the sixth and final part of my series all about teaching English online with ice hockey this series is very much aimed at those of you that are considering becoming a digital nomads maybe you're looking at working remotely working online traveling full-time and earning money as you do so which is what I do firstly don't forget to check out the playlist which is linked above in the cart and also in the description down below and you can check out all the videos in this series as well as other videos I've done in the past on this subject and don't forget to subscribe because there may be further videos coming in future on this topic now as it is the last video I'm a bit more relaxed online back so sit back get a drink and we're going to talk about problems that you may face when teaching on a talkie trust me there's a lot of them so firstly probably the biggest problem that you will face and it's probably the question I've had the most when it comes to I talkie is all about Wi-Fi and connection particularly if you are traveling full-time like me and you go to places and you know you're not sure of what the Wi-Fi situation will be you know one of the things that I do before I arrive in a location is that in terms of my Airbnb host I will ask them what's the Wi-Fi light can you possibly send me a screenshot of one of those speedtest websites which shows you the upload and download speed you know it's a real problem when you get to a place and the Wi-Fi is disastrous so sometimes you might have to do audio only lessons which isn't great particularly if you're focusing on something like pronunciation if someone needs to see the movement of your mouth you can't do that if you're just doing it by audio you know so that's the problem and you know with what I find I have had numerous problems in the past when it comes to Wi-Fi completely going down for like a whole weekend or for a short period or during a lesson you know one of the things that you have to make clear to your is that you are traveling before time sometimes you might have these problems and if they expect that to possibly happen it's not such a big problem one of the things I do do if I do have a huge issue in the Wi-Fi goes down for days I will go to somewhere like Starbucks and message all of my students and say look I've got this problem can we reschedule for another time 99.999% of the time they're totally understanding and absolutely fine about it yeah because you've got to think about it you know they also have these problems with Wi-Fi it's not just you you're a human being you know you're not a robot you will have these problems okay the next big obvious topic is sickness and I said just now we are human we get sick right now I am sick throughout this whole video series I have been sick I've had a headache I've a sore throat numerous problems but I've still been continuing and that's a big question you know when you know what is your limit when it comes to how can I continue doing lessons if I'm really this bad because it can border on the point of unprofessionalism you know if I'm coughing or you know all the way through a lesson it's not entirely professional so you have to weigh that up in your head another thing to think about is if it's a toilet related issue I'm being specific which I've had before you know do you want to be running to the toilet every twenty minutes during lesson does that look professional no it doesn't so you know we get sick you know again be open or honest with students when it comes to explaining why you may need to reach out to a lesson obviously it's not great if it happens a lot maybe you have a health problem potentially with me I'm joking it doesn't mean that happen that often but you know it's just the same as Wi-Fi issues be open or risk for students and they will be absolutely fine about it when it comes to the point of rescheduling lessons I talked he is not great when it comes to this I've got to be honest so when a lesson doesn't happen for whatever reason there's various options but either you or the student can choose so student did not attend lesson teacher did not attend lesson or reached a prior agreement it's really important that you choose reach prior agreement you beat them to it effectively or you remind your student that they needed to choose reached prior agreement effectively you have you've talked about it you've let them know and you've agreed that you will reschedule for another time the problem that happens is if a student does select teacher did not attend lesson you get a warning your account gets closed off so you can't receive new requests from students if you receive this I think about three times you get banned you're gone for my talking I've got to the point where I there's one lesson missed away from being bound for my talkie but not because of my fault it's because of the fact that students are choosing the wrong option when it comes to rescheduling lessons that's a huge issue that I talked he would need to look at I've fed back on forums but as yet nothing has happened so hopefully I talk to you we'll do something soon for us sick teachers you know on to the next point something very important that I mentioned in a previous video is about setting your own terms and conditions on your profile your refund policy or reschedule policy things like that so for me I'll give you an example if a student has an issue coming to a first lesson or just doesn't turn up at all generally I give them the benefit of the doubt because more than likely something genuine has happened and they have been unable to contact me or have to reschedule that's fine I will allow them to do that some teachers will be slightly more strict and say no I will request payment for that lesson because it is time that you could have had another lesson effectively or you could have done the incident instant tutoring or something like that but you know it's my decision to be quite lenient about it considering the amount of issues that I have with Wi-Fi etc so it's very much up to you and you know after that if they keep doing that if a student keeps canceling lessons at the last minute within 24 hours before a lesson then you might make the decision to put on your terms of conditions that look after the first lesson you will request payment for every single lesson missed and that's absolutely fine you know don't feel bad about doing that end of the day you are earning money is it's your income it's your livelihood and you will effectively die through starvation if you can't afford food because you keep allowing students to reschedule over and over again and on the subject of canceling there there is another point to think about as well which is in relation to packages so you may have a student that will book a package and then they won't cancel lesson after lesson after lesson and you know if you are quite lenient you will allow them to keep doing that and then they may get to a point where their package has run out and then they request to extend that package obviously it's up to you if you you do that if you do accept that request then more than likely they will continue doing the same thing continuously and it will just waste your time so you don't be afraid of being strict and direct with students who do take the piss putting it in an informal way because some of the some people do do that and you know let's face it we're trying to earn a living we haven't got time to mess around with people like that another problem that you may face will be in relation to I talking classroom this is a video chat service available on the I talking website itself however I've never used it basically so it's primarily used for students in China that don't have access to Skype because Skype and Google etc are banned they have to use a VPN obviously not all students are able to do that so I talking classroom is available as another option for Chinese students to learn English however the issue that you more than likely will find at least at the time of recording I decide to emphasize that that when you try to access the my talking classroom you'll find them your internet isn't strong enough not enough bandwidth etc and it's a real issue so I've never used I talk to classroom sometimes you look at students in China who will request lessons on my talking classroom and you have to specifically say to them before accepting the lesson that you know have you got Skype I talking classroom doesn't work you know and more often than not they do reply and say look yeah here's my Skype address happy days and the last thing to think about is about China and I don't mean this in a generalized way or racist way or anything like that to clarify but I have had endless problems with students from China people that will book a lesson and they won't say anything in the lesson when they book it I will message them and say oh you know before I request accept the lesson can you tell me a bit about yourself things like that sometimes I have accepted the lesson but then I think about five times in a week it was at once I had five students new students in China they requested a lesson I accepted it this was in the early days and not one of them attended the lesson they didn't answer on our talkie anything like that and it was just a complete waste of science so generally I do not request except lesson requests from students in China some are do if they have messaged me beforehand and they seem genuine and another thing another issue with China is that you will get parents requesting lessons but then when you actually get to the lesson it turns out that it's their four-year-old child and you specifically said on your profile that you don't teach children so yeah just be wary when it comes to China I haven't had that issue with any other country if you talk about Hong Kong or Taiwan no problem at all it's just China where I've had that issue other teacher may say the opposite and the last thing to think about is time changes I'm talking about daylight saving time things like that I have had issues where I have a whole day of lessons booked but in some areas of the world the time has changed which means effectively you would have two lessons at the same time because in the other timezone of the other lesson that time hasn't changed if you know what I mean so I have had some issues when it comes to that not many it's fairly minor and you know but if you do have students from you know the northern hemisphere southern hemisphere you know Europe changes their time at a different time to Canada things like that potentially you will face issues I think that's it in terms of problems just be patient and remain sane when it comes to these issues because they will happen all the time so that marks the end of my sixth video series all about teaching when I talking I hope you've appreciated me sharing some of my experience over the last year one thing I just want it's obviously my experience will be different from everyone else as many people teach in a different way and see I talk he as a different teaching tool so it's not some people see it not just about conversation you might be more about exercises and grammar things like that so all in all every teacher is different you are probably different for me but hopefully hopefully this gives you a different perspective to think about when you are hopefully getting a proof while you're talking and getting started with your lessons so thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe and leave a comment tell me all about your teaching experiences some of the problems that you face thanks for watching cataleya


  1. Brilliant David. Watched the whole series. Thank you. I'm just about to send in my application and found your series. Slightly perturbed by the Chinese experience as it's in my local timezones. But will roll with the punches…Let me know if you come to Kanchanaburi 🙂

  2. Today I had a student who didn't show. Do you typically just wait around or give up after 15 minutes or so? I suppose the payment would be lost? I am just hopping it doesn't look bad upon the teacher…

  3. Thank you so much .. great video.. please make more video about this just in case you come across other problems… Because it really helps when you know what to expect. N thank you again 👏👏

  4. Wait, you're saying italki do'sent handle time changes ?? let's say a student books a lesson two weeks ahead but then within this period time changes in their country so the slot they initially picked is shifted to one hour later or earlier for us ?? What i'm dreading the most is if a student is a bit shy or not so good with communication and then i run out of ideas it would be quite awkward.. ever happened to you ? I need to send you an email about your conversation topics pdf. Thanks again for these tips

  5. Thank you for doing this series on italki. I'm planning on applying soon, and it was helpful to hear about different italki topics. Thanks!

  6. I had the ole "bait and switch" happen to me the other day. I was suppose to teach a nine year old student and the parent put her four year old boy. The thirty minutes of class was hell since he was not interested in learning. Not fun at all. Well, I hope that you feel better. If it's a cold, I recommend you eating "caldo de rez" (beef soup). It's my fave and of course there's, "caldo de pollo" (chicken soup), which is quite delicious too. Thanks again Dave.

  7. Do you get many messages from students asking for free lessons? Also I've noticed a pattern, if a student messages you first they probably aren't going to book a lesson they just want free messaging practice. Is this the same for you as well? Great series by the way!!

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