Outschool Review: An In-Depth Guide To Teaching With Outschool
Outschool is a platform that connects online teachers with students from around the world. Teachers create their own lesson materials and teach classes about subjects they're passionate about. It's a great platform and puts teachers in control of their own success!
- You set your own pay
- Schedule classes whenever you want
- Teach about your favorite subjects
- Some extra work to create your own lessons
- Dealing directly with parents
- Outschool charges a commission
I started as an Outschool teacher in May 2020, and I still teach with them. Before writing this Outschool review, I taught about 20 classes on the platform.
My classes are mainly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), but you can offer classes that cover most subjects, as long as they are secular, objective, and age-appropriate.
I earn a great income as an Outschool teacher, and I plan to continue teaching Outschool classes in the future!
Do you want to teach with Outschool? Use my Outschool referral code by clicking the button below!
Teaching With Outschool: What Is It?
Before I dive into my Outschool review, it’s important to know exactly what the company actually is, and what it’s like teaching with Outschool.
The Outschool platform connects teachers of any subject with students around the world for fun, unique, and educational classes.
The Outschool age range of students is between 3 and 18 years old, and they come from all over. I have had students from the US, England, Kuwait, Spain, and Japan. They all speak English, too! Outschool focuses on classes for kids, so there are no adult students on the Outschool platform.
The company started in 2015 and has grown a lot since then. Because of its huge amount of classes (over 15,000!), some people even refer to Outschool as the Netflix of learning.
Outschool Classes: What To Teach
You can find Outschool classes about science, art, mindfulness, English, social studies, life skills, and anything else you can think of. Whether you’re interested in engineering, classical music, or something completely different, you can create an Outschool class.
A lot of other online teaching companies only offer specific subjects, like English as a Second Language.
With these companies, you teach the exact same lessons with the exact same teaching materials every single time. Teaching the same classes every day with the same materials can get really boring after a while.
The flexibility to teach what you want is a huge advantage of being an Outschool teacher. If you want to offer yoga classes and biology classes, you can! You can also choose how many students can attend each class.
Is Outschool Legit?
Outschool is 100% legit. It’s a great way to work from home and earn a dependable side income. A lot of Outschool teachers are even able to make their Outschool jobs into a full-time income.
The important thing to remember about being an Outschool teacher is that it takes some time and effort to create classes and build a following of students and parents. Once you do this though, you’ll have a consistently full schedule!
You get to meet a bunch of kids from around the world and teach them the subjects you love, too. It’s a really rewarding way to earn money, and you can do it on your own time.
This Outschool review will walk you through what it takes to become an Outschool teacher, as well as what it’s actually like working with Outschool.
Ready to apply to Outschool?
Outschool Requirements And Qualifications
Compared to other online education platforms, the Outschool requirements and qualifications are very flexible. The Outschool job requirements are:
- A completed Outschool background check before your first class
- You must be a resident of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the United Kingdom
- You must be at least 18 years old
The Outschool qualifications don’t require formal teaching credentials or certificates to teach. You also don’t need a degree!
The Outschool teacher requirements are really flexible because the company believes anyone can offer valuable classes based on their experiences and interests. I think it’s important to mention in my Outschool review that the company welcomes people from all walks of life! All you need is the right equipment.
Outschool Tech Requirements
Since Outschool is an online platform, you’ll need to have the right gear to teach. The Outschool tech requirements are pretty straightforward though.
All you really need is a reliable internet connection (over 3Mbps) and a dependable device that can access the Outschool platform. Outschool recommends that you use a headset, too.
A lot of other online teaching companies require you to use a laptop or computer, an external webcam, and a headset with a microphone.
With Outschool, you can teach on whatever device you choose (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or computer). All Outschool classes take place on Zoom, which is free to download or use on the Zoom website.
The most important tech requirement with Outschool is that you can comfortably run your class using your technology. Students want a smooth and issue-free class.
If you’ve never used Zoom before, practice using it before your first class. This will help get rid of your pre-class jitters and ensure a great experience for your students!
Outschool Schedule: Minimum Hours and Working Hours
Once you have all the right technology, you’ll need to think about how much time you want to dedicate to Outschool. There are no minimum hours required at Outschool, which is a great benefit.
You can teach as much or as little as you want! This allows you to have a very flexible teaching schedule and truly be in control of how much you earn.
Other online teaching jobs may require up to 10 hours per week from teachers. This can be difficult to do if you still work a full-time job or have other commitments.
You’re in complete control of your Outschool schedule though. Just make sure not to cancel classes you have scheduled!
Outschool Cancellation Policy
If you need to cancel a class, you’re in luck. As far as cancellation policies go, the Outschool cancellation policy is pretty flexible. If you need to cancel your scheduled classes for any reason, all you need to do is work it out with the parents to either refund or reschedule their classes.
There’s no set policy or penalizations for teacher cancellations. This is just one of the many ways you’re truly in control of your success with Outschool.
Other online schools, like VIPKID, have pretty strict cancellation policies. This not only makes teaching with VIPKID less flexible, but it also causes a lot of unneeded stress if you need to cancel classes for any reason.
This is one of the many reasons I love working with Outschool, and that’s why I included it in this Outschool review. They’re open-minded and accepting of all people, and they understand that teachers are people!
Things come up sometimes, and they get that. Don’t think you can just cancel classes whenever you want though.
Cancellations can affect the parents and students in a negative way, and your goal is to keep them coming back for more of your classes.
If you meet the requirements and can commit to your schedule, you’re ready to start your Outschool application process! I’ll walk you through the process from start to finish to help you make the most of your Outschool experience.
What Is The Outschool Interview Process?
The Outschool interview process is quick and easy. First, you submit general information about yourself, like why you’re interested in teaching with Outschool. You also submit an Outschool intro video for the staff to review (more on this below).
After the Outschool team approves your initial application, there’s a background check. This is a requirement for everyone who applies. It doesn’t add much time to the Outschool application process though, so it’s not really a big deal.
The final part of the Outschool interview process is to submit your first class for approval. This process took about one week for me, but it may be different depending on how many classes need to be reviewed.
The whole Outschool interview process is really straightforward compared to other online teaching jobs. Other online schools require a live interview and multiple mock classes before you can teach. After that, it’s a toss up if you pass.
Outschool really wants to help you get teaching quickly. They make it really simple to apply, and the whole process is relaxed and comfortable.
Become an Outschool teacher today!
Making Your Outschool Intro Video
Remember the Outschool intro video you need to make? A lot of people get nervous about this, but there’s really no reason to. You don’t need to teach a mock class before becoming an Outschool teacher, but you do need to submit your Outschool intro video.
It’s a quick video you can film right on your phone, and it doesn’t need to be super flashy or anything. It serves as a quick interview video so the Outschool staff can get to know you a little more.
After Outschool approves your application, you’ll need to make another intro video for your prospective students and their parents to watch. Your Outschool intro video is a great way to show off your teaching skills!
For your video, I suggest having an educational background, good lighting, and concise content. Bring energy and explain what you’re passionate about and why you want to teach.
Here’s a great example of an Outschool intro video:
The Outschool interview video is your first impression to new students, and you want them to remember you. It’s worth thinking about and planning a great video because you only need to do it once!
If you make a great video, you’ll have your first class in no time!
Outschool Review: Prepare For Your First Outschool Class
Everybody is nervous before teaching their first Outschool class. It’s a new and exciting experience, and you definitely don’t want to mess it up.
There’s no reason to worry though!
Even though you may be nervous, these students chose your class for a reason. They are interested in the subject you teach and they really enjoyed your Outschool intro video!
You already know your Outschool lesson plans really well (since you created them), so there’s no need to prepare too much more in that respect.
There are still a couple other ways you can prepare though. One of the best ways to prepare for your first Outschool class is to practice hosting a meeting in Zoom.
You can create a private class on the Outschool platform and then open up the live meeting with no students. This will help you practice using the different functions. I did a “rehearsal” of my first class the night before and it made me feel a lot more comfortable.
There’s not much more to it than that!
Once you get through your first class, you’ll be excited to teach more and more classes. Remember, everyone is nervous for their first day of work. It’s all part of the process of starting a new job, and it’s all worth it when you get your first paycheck!
Outschool: Apply now!
Outschool Teacher Pay and Earnings
Speaking of pay, what would an Outschool review be if it didn’t discuss the pay? Outschool teacher pay is really straightforward because you set your own pay rate. Most one-time classes go for around $8 to $12 USD per student depending on the length and content.
You only receive payment for classes that are booked, so have a great Outschool intro video and be sure to open your schedule as much as possible!
It’s important to have open and consistent availability if you want to teach with Outschool. If your students know when to expect your classes, they’ll keep coming back for more.
For me, bookings have been pretty consistent on a weekly basis. Each class fluctuates with the number of students though. I’ve been building up some regulars recently, and I hope to continue growing my following.
As my following grows, so will my paycheck!
How Often Do You Get Paid By Outschool?
You get paid one week after you teach your class. I think this is really convenient because you don’t need to wait for one big payment at the end of each month.
It’s important to know that you receive your Outschool payment through Paypal, so be sure to have an account set up before you start teaching. My payments have come every week without fail, and the payment amount has been correct every time.
There are no transfer or bank fees to receive your Outschool pay. Some other schools charge a fee, so this is definitely an advantage. There is an Outschool commission that you should be aware of though.
What Is The Outschool Commission?
The Outschool commission is 30% of your pay rate. This seems like a high number, but you get used to it after a while.
Remember that with Outschool, you set your own pay rate and you can have multiple students in each class. Even with the Outschool commission, I still make more than I did at my other online teaching jobs!
To get an idea of how much you can make with Outschool classes, use this equation:
(Price per student) x (Number of students) – 30% commission = Your Outschool Pay Rate
Here’s an example:
($10 per student) x (5 students in my class) – $15 commission = $35 per class
I don’t know of any other online teaching jobs that pay this much. The best part is that you can earn this regardless of whether or not your students show up to class!
Ready to start teaching online?
Outschool Student No Show: Pay And Policies
So what happens if a student books my class but doesn’t show up? Well, you have a few options. You must wait in the classroom for at least 10 minutes to make sure they’re not just running late. If the student still hasn’t arrived after 10 minutes, you can choose to:
- Refund the student’s payment
- Offer to transfer the student to another section of your class
- Take the full payment
Remember that each circumstance is different. It’s important to be understanding when you’re deciding which option to go with. If you want to build a long-term teaching business and have regular students, it’s best to work with the parents to find a fair solution.
Outschool Review: A Walkthrough Of The Outschool Platform
Now that you know a little more about how Outschool pay works, you need to know how to navigate the Outschool platform. This is where you’ll find your Outschool pay and all of your other account information.
The Outschool platform works on your mobile device, tablet or laptop. It’s pretty easy to navigate and find everything, but here’s a quick walkthrough of the Outschool platform.
The Outschool Teacher Website
You can access all of your personal statistics and information on the Outschool website, like classes completed and upcoming classes.
On the Profile tab, you can submit your Outschool intro video and market yourself on the platform. Students and parents choose their own teachers, so it’s important to have a complete Outschool teacher profile!
To access your classes, navigate to the Classes tab. This will show you all of your approved classes. To see your schedule, go to Sections. This will show you which classes you are teaching and the times.
Once you become an Outschool teacher, it’s worth taking some time to click around the Outschool platform and explore the different areas. It doesn’t take long to find all the information you need!
While you’re learning to navigate the platform and preparing for your classes, you can also set up your background and props that you want to use.
Outschool Classroom And Additional Props
You can enhance your students’ experiences by having an entertaining classroom background and using props during your classes. Your Outschool classroom can be whatever you want it to be!
If you’re a creative or artistic person, you can express yourself through your classroom background. If that’s not really your thing though, there’s no need to throw something together just to have a background.
Depending on the classes you teach, an Outschool classroom background could make your students feel more comfortable. It’s definitely not a requirement, so the choice is yours. Remember though, with any online teaching gig, good lighting is essential!
As for props, I have a lot of hands-on STEM classes, so I tend to use props in all of my classes. I also create a Google Slide presentation for each class to show pictures and such. Again, using props is up to you!
Whatever you choose to do, you need to focus on making every class an amazing experience for your students. This will be a big part of your success with Outschool.
Outschool Feedback And Parent Reviews
After your classes, parents and students can leave you class feedback and reviews. Outschool feedback consists of 1 to 5 stars, as well as comments. Not only will feedback help you improve your classes, but it can also encourage other students to book your classes.
Outschool parent reviews appear on your profile and on the individual class pages. This is why you need to provide the best classes possible!
Outschool reviews are always in English because the families are English-speaking. This is a great advantage because you will always understand what they’re saying and nothing will get lost in translation. I find that most students and parents are really nice in their Outschool feedback, too.
At VIPKID, for example, the parents and students usually leave feedback in Chinese. The feedback is automatically translated, but a lot of the translations don’t make sense.
It’s really difficult to understand what the VIPKID parents are saying sometimes, and this can be frustrating because you don’t know how to improve your classes for them. This isn’t a problem with Outschool though!
One thing to be aware of while teaching is your internet connection and equipment. Make sure everything is working properly before your classes! Outschool parents reviews can be about any aspect of your class, and this includes IT issues.
A lot of negative Outschool class feedback I’ve seen or heard about has to do with IT issues. Sometimes issues are the teacher’s fault and other times they just happen. Either way, you should try and minimize technology issues as much as possible.
In case you do have issues before, during, or after class, you can always contact Outschool support. My experience with Outschool support has been pretty decent, and I’ve received responses in a timely manner.
I have not had any tech problems during class, but have had some other issues come up that needed to be addressed. Outschool support was easy to communicate with, and the problems were resolved within a couple days.
To contact support, there’s a chat box you can use on their website (mobile device or computers can access). This allows you to ask questions directly, and they usually respond within an hour.
You will get an email when they respond to your chat. They will email you the whole correspondence of the chat, too.
It’s always a good idea to save these emails in case you need them later, especially if it impacts your parent reviews. Outschool support is always there to help you because the company wants to ensure everyone has a positive experience on the platform.
One of the ways they show this is with the Outschool Happiness Guarantee.
What Is The Outschool Happiness Guarantee?
The Outschool Happiness Guarantee is part of the Outschool refund policy. The guarantee ensures that students always enjoy their classes on the Outschool platform.
The Outschool Happiness Guarantee also encourages teachers to make the most of their class time and make their lesson plans engaging and memorable for the students.
Refunds are mostly handled by the teachers, but sometimes Outschool needs to step in to resolve issues.
If you lower your chances of IT issues and are proud of the classes you’re teaching, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to the Outschool Happiness Guarantee!
Just like it wants its students to have a great experience, Outschool also wants its teachers to have a great experience. I’ve had some of my best teaching moments with Outschool!
If you’re new to the online teaching world, it’s important to know that there are a lot of teaching companies out there. You should take some time and research Outschool alternatives to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Outschool vs VIPKID
I currently work for both Outschool and VIPKID, and they are very different. Outschool has been a much better option for me overall.
Outschool allows you to have a lot more control of your schedule and pay, which are two of the most important factors of teaching online. I have struggled to get booked with VIPKid lately, but I have had several full classes with Outschool.
I averaged my Outschool pay out to $39 USD per hour, too! I can see this increasing as I get a larger client base, too. That kind of money just isn’t possible with VIPID.
In the long run, I think it’s possible to earn a more consistent income with Outschool. While I’m working for both Outschool and VIPKID right now, I would consider going “all in” with Outschool in the future.
Apply to Outschool now!
Personal Outschool Review: The Benefits
- You set your pay. Simple enough!
- You choose the content and how many students can be in each class. This means you can confidently teach the materials and show your true passion in the classes.
- 24-hour availability. Teachers can schedule classes whenever they want. This is very different from most online teaching jobs that have set hours and force you to deal with inconvenient time zone differences.
- You are able to market yourself. This means that if you have low bookings, you can do something about it, such as use social media to find students or suggest your classes to friends.
- Outschool also markets for you. If Outschool teachers are successful, so is Outschool! This extra marketing help can go a long way.
Start your Outschool application today!
Personal Outschool Review: The Downsides
- Creating your own curriculum. This can be intimidating for some, but this is actually a pro to me because I love designing my own lessons.
- You are in almost complete control. This can also be intimidating to some as you have to make decisions about when to offer a refund or how to market yourself.
- The company takes a 30% cut of your Outschool earnings to pay for the platform and marketing. I think this is pretty reasonable and provides transparency as to how much the company is taking, but it does seem like a big chunk at first.
Final Outschool Review: A Flexible Platform For Online Teachers
I love working with Outschool! It truly feels like I am my own boss. I get to set my hours, prices, content, and number of students per class. I love the students and enjoy the content I teach, and I even enjoy creating the lessons.
Based on my Outschool review, you can probably guess that I would absolutely recommend teaching with Outschool.
I started with VIPKid when I first became an online teacher. This was a good stepping stone, but being an Outschool teacher is significantly better for me. A lot of Outschool reviews from other teachers tend to agree, too.
I know it may not be the case for everyone, but it is quite freeing to feel so independent as a teacher. I feel like I am in control of my own business.
Outschool could also be a good fit for new online teachers. If you are feeling like you want more control over your online teaching business, this will be a great fit for you. If you are a classroom teacher in a brick and mortar classroom, I would highly recommend trying it out!
Outschool: Become an online teacher!