Whether you teach English, Chinese, French, Russian, it doesn’t matter. When you become a freelance language teacher on iTalki, it is essential to introduce yourself effectively and professionally.
The website offers a natural way of introducing yourself through your video introduction and your teacher account. Students look at these resources to help them decide who they should be learning from and whether personalities will mesh well. These videos help tutors and teachers build a good network of students.
Before jumping into creating a teacher introduction video, we will look at a general way to introduce yourself as a teacher. Whether you are in the classroom, teaching an online class, or teaching on iTalki, most of the introduction features are the same.
How Do I Introduce Myself as an iTalki Teacher?
As you begin thinking about how to introduce yourself as a teacher, think about your potential students. It is crucial to make the introduction age-appropriate as well as content-specific. If you wish to teach children lessons, your introduction should be on their level. If you plan to teach businessmen and women, be sure you are business-appropriate.
Start your intro with a greeting in the target language. This could be something as simple as “Good Morning!” “Good Afternoon!” or “Good Evening!”.
After a greeting, state your name. Be sure to specify what your students should call you. Will you go by your first name? Last name? Mr., Mrs., Ms., or something else? Many teachers on iTalki use their first names.
You can also state whether you are part of the community tutors or professional teachers at this point in your introduction. Are you one of the many native speakers on the language platform? You can also include how old you are, but it isn’t required.
As you introduce yourself, be sure to tell where you are from and where you currently live. Where you are from can play a lot into dialect and accents. Explain your living experience, such as do you move a lot? Are you a world traveler?
Hobbies and Interests
Take a moment to talk about your hobbies and interests. What do you like to do when you aren’t teaching languages? Do your hobbies and interests reflect where you live? Why do you like those particular hobbies and interests?
In a general teacher introduction, you can specify your teaching experience. How long have you been teaching? Do you have both classroom and online teaching experience? What educational background do you have? What have your years of instructing taught you? Do you have language coaching experience?
Mentioning both the hobbies, interests and educational background can help build a personal connection with new students.
What Should a Teacher Intro Video Say?
iTalki has provided an excellent way for teachers to introduce themselves on their profiles with an introduction video. After you have applied to iTalki, you must create your iTalki video. iTalki provides guidelines for your video as well as common dos and don’ts.
The purpose of your teacher intro video is two-fold. First, it is to introduce you as a teacher. It is also to help you gain new students to instruct language lessons. Your video is the most effective tool to market yourself and attract students.
Things to Include in Your Video
There are many aspects to include in your video to ensure you have the best chance of gaining a future pupil. To get started, we suggest you start your video with a general introduction like the one above. In the general introduction, be sure to include the languages you plan to teach to show your language skills.
If you hold a TEFL certificate and plan to teach English, it is best to speak English in your video. If your native language is something other than English, speak English. Make sure to tell your students what language you are a native speaker for. Be sure to list all of the languages you plan to teach and take a moment to talk in each language.
Talk About Your Students
After you talk about the languages you instruct, talk about your students. Who are your current students? What kind of people do you teach? Don’t give specific names but describe scenarios like countries they are from and what they do for a profession.
How Can You Help Them
Be specific in this section. Will you be partaking in a general conversation? Verbs? Idioms? What will you help them learn? To begin this section, you can use the hook “If you’re looking for…” For example, if you want to specialize in test preparation, you could begin this section “If you’re looking for help passing the most important test in your life, book a session with me.” People want to know what you can do for them.
This is where you could talk about your specialties. For example, if you are a conversational tutor, you can tell them you will teach them language to conduct more casual conversations. If you specialize in business conversations, tell them that as well. Your video needs to include these specialties to help students make a good decision about which instructor they wish to take online sessions.
What Type of Students Are You Looking For?
At this point in your video, tell your watchers what type of students you are looking for. What people do you want to help learn a new language? Do you want the beginning, intermediate, or advanced learners? Do you want students who want to learn grammar, prepare for a test, or business professionals? When you tell future students what you are looking for, they know what they can expect from your instruction.
What to Expect in a Lesson?
In your video, make sure to review what to expect in a lesson. Start with what to expect in a trial lesson and how you will use it to learn about the student’s motivation and why they want to take language lessons. You should also plan to ask some questions and listen to responses. This can be a diagnostic tool for how you want to conduct future sessions.
Discuss the material you plan to use for a regular lesson and your plan for the student. Will you be using a purchased curriculum, or have you created your own? Are you planning on including writing, proofreading, reading comprehension, etc.? What technology do you plan to use, for example, share Google Docs, Skype, Zoom, share videos, social media, etc.? Try to find free resources, so students don’t have to pay for a membership.
To introduce yourself on iTalki is essential, but how do you end your video? After you’ve completed your video, make sure to thank the watchers. Say goodbye and encourage them to book a lesson with you.
Let’s take a look at Caleb’s introduction video on iTalki:
There are several technical aspects to keep in mind as you create your video. From the background to the microphone, make sure to plan it all out to help attract future students to you.
Your virtual classroom background needs to be convincing. Keep your desk organized and clutter-free. Clutter shows disorganization, which deters people. Use books, maps, flags, or objects typical of the countries that speak the language you are instructing. Don’t wear the same color as the background. Make your background professional. Have a space you plan to teach classes and use this space for your video as well.
Editing your video is strictly optional. Your video doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles. It just needs to be purposeful. There is plenty of free video editing apps available if you wish to edit.
There is no need to go out and buy a new webcam for your video. Your smartphone camera will get a decent video. Do not try to use your built-in web camera as the quality is generally not very good. Be mindful of the lighting as you shoot your video. Try to use good, natural light as much as possible.
It is best to have an external microphone so you are not picking up a lot of background noise. Good sound quality is essential. You want a clear picture and clear audio. Do not wear headphones in your video, as they can be considered unprofessional.
When you shoot your videos, shoot only in horizontal mode. Do not shoot in vertical mode or square mode. Use the HD setting with 480P. Try putting your camera on a tripod, so your video is stable. Do not hold the camera with your hands. Your camera should be on the level with your eyes. Don’t be afraid of the camera, and be sure to look into the camera as you talk. Take your time.
iTalki Teacher Account
Your introduction video will be uploaded to your teacher profile. Your account is another place you can introduce yourself to your future students. There are specific questions for you to answer include your native language and other languages you speak. You can include the number of years you’ve been teaching or speaking the languages you speak.
Teacher Account Features
Your teacher account on iTalki gives you different features that will help you introduce yourself to future pupils.
About Me Feature
This feature allows you to introduce yourself and include all of the necessary information for an introduction, including languages you speak and teach, your traveling/living experiences, and general lesson information.
You have a place on your teacher account that you can upload your resume to help give students an idea of your work experience, education, and certificates.
iTalki keeps track of specific statistics that might help draw future pupils, like how many completed lessons an instructor has achieved. The response rate of an instructor and attendance rate are other statistics tracked.
There is no better way to get to know someone than reading reviews posted by other pupils. Your teacher account will post reviews that will help people decide if you are the teacher for them.
Future pupils can also contact you, book a lesson, and check your schedule for availability from your teacher account. You can post the classes you offer and the prices.
There is a place to upload a picture. This picture should be of you smiling and shot shoulders up. Be sure to have a planned background and don’t wear the same color as the background. Don’t wear sunglasses or headphones. Remember, it should be professional-looking.
A Few Final Tips
This guide has directed you by creating an excellent iTalki introduction video and introducing yourself in general. iTalki also provides free guidelines and resources for making a good video.
As you create your video, be sure to speak like you usually do, maybe a tad slower if you are a fast speaker. Do not over-enunciate your words. Students aren’t looking for an instructor who is going to make them feel dumb.
After you have been teaching on iTalki for a while, you may want to update your video to be more specific about your lessons and students after seeing what works and doesn’t work.
Time and Script
Your video should be at least one minute long but not more than four minutes. Don’t read a script. You can write a script out, but don’t read it word for word. Your video should be a good conversational language, which is hard to accomplish when you read a script.
Finally, not all videos and introductions are the same because not all teachers are the same, and not all students are the same. To introduce yourself professionally is important to get in contact with iTalki students. Your videos will help attract people to your profile.
Be confident and think about how you come across the screen. Make your videos and intro unique and fit you. Take your time. Relax. Enjoy making your intro video and give a good smile!