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Becoming a Freelance French Teacher

By Yann, published on 30/05/2019 Blog > Languages > French > Becoming a French Private Tutor

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” – Albert Einstein

There are around 900,000 French teachers in the world and they either teach either French to native speakers or students learning it as a foreign language.

Did you study French at university? Would you like to teach in France or elsewhere? Why not become a freelancer?

Whether you’re in France or another country, you can work as a freelance teacher or a private tutor and teach French as a foreign language.

So how does it work?

In this article, we’re going to see whether or not freelancing is the perfect option for French teachers, how you can become a freelance French teacher, how to declare your earnings as a freelancer, and provide you with some advice for teaching French as a freelancer.

Is Freelancing the Perfect Option for French Teachers?

There are tonnes of teachers who decided to become freelancers or private tutors.

How do you become self-employed? When you’re self-employed, time is money. (Source: Alexas_Fotos)

The steps to becoming a freelancer are different in each country. Generally, you’ll need to register as self-employed, a sole trader, or a freelancer.

As a freelancer, you’ll have to find your own students, teaching jobs, and do your own taxes. Of course, you can always hire an accountant to help you with this.

In many countries, you can register a freelancer online. In other countries, you’ll have to pay a visit to the local government.

If you teach French as a foreign language, you should be passionate about teaching and transferring knowledge to your students through engaging teaching approaches.

Teaching French as a foreign language doesn’t always come with the best job security. That said, you don’t have to worry about working for the department of education.

That said, as a private tutor or freelance teacher:

  • You’re your own boss and you can decide upon your schedule.
  • You can set your rates for your language lessons.
  • You’re free to work for various companies.
  • You can provide private lessons to fill up your schedule.
  • You’ll do your own taxes or you can hire an accountant.
  • Usually, you’ll contribute to social security or national insurance just like any other employee.
  • Many countries provide tax benefits to freelancers.
  • You can also work as an employee of other countries at the same time.

That said, your status as a freelancer may make regular employment a little tricker in terms of paperwork.

How Do You Become a Freelance Language Teacher?

As we said, in most cases, becoming a freelancer is quite simple. In most countries, the only thing you need is Internet access.

How do you find students as a private French tutor? If you want to teach private French lessons, you’ll need to find students. (Source: StartupStockPhotos)

On most government websites, you can change your status to that of a freelancer, self-employed, or a sole trader. You’ll usually have to declare your field of work. Usually, there’s a field for teaching. Don’t panic if you can’t find it. There are usually guides to help you find the right field.

If you want to teach several languages, there’s usually a field for that. You’ll need to provide more information:

  • Your name, surname, nationality, date of birth, address, etc.
  • If you have a dependent other.
  • Your business address.
  • The date when you plan to start businesses.
  • The type of business activity.
  • Your social security or national insurance number
  • Any other jobs you may have.

After that, you’re usually ready to start. In some countries, getting an official company number or freelancer number can take some time.

And that’s it!

Are you ready?

You could also consider teaching French as a language assistant.

Signing Up as a Freelancer

Once you’ve got the appropriate number as a freelancer, you can start earning and declaring your income. Usually, to do this, you’ll only need:

  • Your business or freelance number
  • Your social security or national insurance number
  • On government sites, you’ll usually have to create some login details or an account.
  • You’re often allocated a password, but you can change this later.

Benefits for Freelancers

In a lot of countries, there are programmes or benefits for those who sign up as freelancers.

Since they have less job security, a lot of governments try to help people who are working for themselves. Usually, they have to pay less in social security or national insurance.

How Do You Declare Your Earnings as a Freelancer?

As a freelancer, you’ll have to declare your own earnings. The regularity of these declarations varies by country so make sure you declare your earnings when you have to.

How do you declare your earnings when you're self-employed? You’ll need to declare your earnings to the appropriate authorities. (Source: PublicDomainPictures)

In some cases, employers will do this, but it usually falls on the freelancer to do it.
In other cases, you’ll have to declare yearly and in others, it may be every three months. You probably won’t be reminded, either, so it’ll be on you to do it.

Certain countries have you declare a year after earnings and others have you declare within the same quarter. For example, you mightn’t have to declare any earnings until the next tax year.

Many countries also allow you to manage your declarations and contributions online. As a French tutor or freelance teacher, you have a lot more freedom when it comes to your work.

The situation for VAT is different for different countries so check whether you need to include VAT on your invoice or not.

Advice for Succeeding as a Freelance French Teacher

For many, working for yourself is the dream and it’s very achievable as a freelance teacher.

What should a private French teacher teach? As a tutor, you’ll be expected to teach about French culture, too. (Source: MustangJoe)

However, your first challenge will be finding students.

After you’ve studied French and teaching, would you like to become a freelance teacher or tutor?

Here’s some advice for getting started:

  • Establish a routine. Even though you won’t need to get up early every day for classes, you should get into a good routine. Following the same routine will give you time to keep on top of housekeeping and administrative tasks.
  • Don’t procrastinate. As a freelancer, you’ll need to be proactive since you’re your own boss.
  • Know when to stop. Make sure you set aside time for yourself and don’t work too hard. You’ll often work from home and you may be tempted to work all day and night. Make sure that you set aside time for your hobbies, friends, and family. Set a time limit for when you stop.
  • Create a dedicated workspace. To get the most out of your work, dedicate a room or area for your lessons and work.
  • Don’t forget to take breaks.
  • Head out and see people. The work of a freelancer can be lonely. While you’ll see students, you may miss having colleagues. Make sure that you keep your social life alive.

So are you ready to start teaching as a freelancer?

If you need help with French or teaching skills, you can always get assistance from a private tutor on Superprof. There are three main types of tutorials available and each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your learning objectives and budget: face-to-face private tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.

Group tutorials tend to be the cheapest per hour as the cost of the tutor’s time is shared amongst all the students in the class. If you and a few friends are interested in getting private tutorials, group tutorials could be a cheap way to do it. However, you won’t get all the one-on-one time you can expect from the other two types of tutorials.

Face-to-face tutorials involve one student and one tutor. This allows students to benefit from tutorials that are tailored to them as a student and what they want to learn. Of course, this type of bespoke service comes at a cost. However, these are also the most cost-effective tutorials since your tutor will be focused on you every minute of your tutorial.

Online tutorials also have the advantage of being one student and one tutor. That said, your tutor won’t be there in the room with you as they’ll be teaching you over the internet with the use of a webcam and software such as Skype. Without travel costs and time, online tutors can charge less per hour as they have fewer outgoings.

With many tutors on Superprof offering free tutoring for the first hour, you can always see whether you get along and also work out the finer details of how you’d like to learn. Getting along with your tutor is very important as you’re far more likely to listen to someone’s advice and teaching if you like and respect them. Of course, you should also check out their rates, qualifications, and experience before you decide to start learning from them.

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