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Curriculum: To buy or not to buy?

Guest posts

Every independent ESL teacher has been faced with this question. Is it really worth purchasing an online ESL curriculum when you can simply make one yourself? Ultimately, it depends on how you teach, how much you charge and how much free time you have on your hands! Let’s discuss some points to consider when looking to buy an ESL curriculum.

  1. Save Time

This is the obvious one! Creating a detailed lesson plan from start to finish can take up to 8 hours. Sure enough, you’ll have that one lesson plan in the bank. But, if you are planning to teach multiple hours a day - it just isn’t possible to create lesson plans for each student’s individual needs.

  2. Save Money

    Save money? What do you mean - I thought I had to BUY the curriculum? Well, yes - but it definitely works out cheaper to buy when you consider the amount of time you will spend preparing for one class. Remember you don’t get paid for your planning time!

    Think about it this way - an ESL Pals subscription costs around $79 a year, which is the equivalent of only $6.5 dollar per month. This means you can pay for your curriculum by teaching less than one class per month. And, you will save 100s of hours through not planning! Definitely a no-brainer.

      3. Focus on Teaching

      Teaching online is not an easy job and most teachers suffer from burnout at some stage during their career. Buying a curriculum takes the pressure off and ensures that you can focus on what’s important - teaching! It is also worth noting that the more time you can spend on teaching vs lesson planning - the more money you’ll have in your bank at the end of the month.

        4. Why buy when there is so much free stuff online?

        I think the word stuff says it all! Information overload comes to mind when thinking about the endless Facebook groups, Google searches and marketplaces. Before you know it you’ll have spent 3 hours sifting through endless heaps of worksheets - only to find that the material is unusable.

        Furthermore, if you rely on finding new worksheets for each lesson, it will be difficult to make your classes flow from one lesson to the next. Whereas, if you buy a curriculum, all lessons will be linked which creates a natural flow, and ensures your students progress!

        Please also remember that using books and lesson plans shared online is illegal and can get you in some hot water.

           5. If you teach independently - time to focus on marketing

          The ESL industry is very competitive. As an independent ESL teacher, you need to put yourself out there and learn all the ropes of digital marketing. This ever changing market is difficult to grasp and takes time to master. It is much more beneficial to spend your time getting new students than creating lesson plans that can be bought at affordable prices.

          If you are looking for a complete ESL Curriculum that has lesson plans for kids and adults of all ages, then head on over to