​Which One Are You? -The 5 Kinds of Online Teachers

5 kinds of online teachers title photo

It only takes a quick look at Facebook groups or online forums to find members of ‘work-from-anywhere’ groups arguing over what it really means to live a ‘laptop lifestyle’. palm tree sign post

You’re not even nomadic: you’ve stayed in the same city for like, a whole week.

You visited the Eiffel Tower and you call yourself a traveler?  Pfff tourist is more like it.

It’s a bit comical, and I do my best to avoid it-everyone travels and lives differently, and it’s tough to group individuals under specific labels when situations tend to change so often. In fact, I’d say the one consistent characteristic in living this lifestyle would be the inconsistency.

But if you can’t beat ‘em, sometimes you might as well have a little fun and join ‘em.

So that’s what I set out to do here in this post as I give the five kinds of online teachers (yep, only 5 have ever existed. Ever.)


1. The Homebody

You teach online because you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years and you’re not stopping anytime soon.  You’re used to working from home, spending time with the kids, and controlling your own schedule. Perhaps you’re even a stay-at-home dad and do this-I’ve heard they do exist! slippers coffee fireplace relaxing

Answer to a boss?

No, thanks.

Morning commute?


Galivanting across the globe might not be your main goal for teaching online, but you could do it at the drop of a dime if you chose to.


2. The Weekend Warrior

Teaching online allows you the perfect opportunity to work when you’d like during the week and save up for those weekend getaways.

Plus, you can even add on a few more classes while exploring new cities nearby if you can’t stand being away from your students.

(Will my regulars still book with me if I take an hour off of peak-time??)

Once again, teaching online allows for the freedom to balance a comfortable life at home with short trips to reward yourself every time your partner or friends get a day off from their day job.


3. The Road-Tripper

Now we’re getting mobile.

You’re living the van life, your husband’s a touring musician, you’re a touring musician, or you just love cruising around the country in a sweet RV.  Whatever your story is, there’s one thing coming with you:

Your online teaching gig.RV with stars

I’ve seen some vehicular classroom setups that blow my current classroom away, and I’ve read some cool stories about teachers taking their work on the road-I can’t help but feel a rush of adrenaline each time I see them!

You’ll want to start getting into the tech side of online teaching if you haven’t yet, especially when it comes to reliable internet.


Check out our review of the TEP mobile hotspot to see if it suits your road-trippin’ teaching needs!


4. The Search-and-Settler

If I had to label myself, I’d say I fall somewhere in a category like this.

The search-and-settler moves around a bit, teaching a class here and there in different cities until they find the perfect place to set up shop for a while.

Here’s where the argument really heats up:

How long in one spot constitutes a settler?  When does a nomad become more of a search-and-settler, and when does a search-and-settler turn into a weekend warrior or a homebody? How long is too long for each category?

I’ll let you guys hash it out in the comments, but my time in Granada was a search and settle move:

I knew I was leaving within a year, but I settled in and made it my home for the time I was there.


5. The One True Location Independent Digital Nomad Travel Hacker

(Enough buzzwords in there?)

From Rio to Medellin, with a side trip to Chiang Mai, you’re teaching in closets, in restaurants before dining hours, or in the cafeteria of an Ikea (not recommended).  You open last-minute class slots and teach on the fly as you move from one spot to the next.

You’ve definitely got a TEP or some form of mobile data, as you’re never sure where you’ll end up next, but you know you’ll need to teach again at some point.

beach ball in pool

Your gear is ultra-packable:

We’re talking ‘beachball for a whiteboard (can’t wait to try this), felt for everything because felt sticks to felt, 2D reward binder’ packable.

If this is you, you’ve added some locations to the map for the rest of us who aspire to teach and travel as you do, right?


The Final Word: We’re in it Together

While I’m a firm believer in the ‘HYOH’ motto in the hiking world (Hike Your Own Hike…TYOT in our case?), one thing is clear:

We all teach online for various reasons as it allows us the freedom to do other things a typical 9-5 job might not.  We value it, we’re proud of it, and we should be!

In order to broaden that sense of freedom for everyone, I’d like you to think back on your own travels:

Have you taught from a reliable space other teachers can use? Feel free to add it to the map.

Do you have a story about your online teaching experiences that might help a fellow teacher? Shoot us a message and get featured (you’ll get the added bonus of exposure to your blog or side project).

We want to give back as much as we can do this community, and we’re looking forward to a successful year of online teaching!

5 kinds of online teachers title photo


So, which traveling teacher/online teacher are you? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “​Which One Are You? -The 5 Kinds of Online Teachers”

  1. I was a long-term search and settler when I first started teaching online. Spent 6 years in France, totally worth it!

    1. 6 years, awesome Jacob! Yea I’ve now settled again in a different part of Spain, love the style of living over here, the people, history, food. Highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried living in another country but always wanted to.


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