10 Most Common Questions and Answers Moving From Platform Teaching to Independent Teaching

Why you should read this

Many China-based online ESL platforms are sadly phasing out. Online educators are looking for ways to continue a fruitful and rewarding relationship with their previous students. You might have questions regarding how to keep and grow the relationship. You might want to start your independent teaching chapter in a safe and culturally appropriate manner. These are my answers to these questions.

Do feel free to comment in case you have better/different solutions or answers.

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1. How do I stay connected with my students?

You can say/write/communicate the following message:

I really enjoy teaching you and knowing you. I would love to hear from you and we are just emails away’.


2. Why emails?

You might ask – Why do I need my students’ emails if I am already connected with them on WeChat?

You might lose your phone, your student might lose his/her phone or you might not have a WeChat all the time. Surprisingly having each other’s email addresses is still the most secure way to stay in touch with our families and friends.

3. Are there any platforms I can use to continue talking to my students?

If you miss your students, there are various ways to stay in touch and say hello. If you recommend other ways to stay in touch with your students, please feel free to write in the comment box.

  • WeChat video call, audio call or messages.
  • Skype (free)
  • Tencent meeting room
  • Zoom (free)
    • If your student managed to download Zoom, that is perfect.
    • If your student did not manage to download Zoom, you can give a Zoom link. Attending a Zoom call does not require sign in.
    • If the link does not work, your student can still type in meeting ID to join.
  • ClassIn (minimum RMB2000 per year) has a lot more interactive features such as playing slides, collaborative writing and drawing.

4. How do I show my continuous support to the students?

You can say/write/communicate the following message:

If you need help, I will try my best.


5. Can I still teach my students?

China’s recent education policy – Policy 720 states that China-based companies can’t hire non-Chinese nationals outside the country to teach Chinese students.

While aiming to reduce the stress and burden of academic pressure, it also emphasises the future direction of more holistic education, sports and art-related education, 21st century core skills such as critical thinking.

It calls for schools and parents to ‘guide children to participate in household duties, appropriate sports, reading, and art-related activities. Parents should actively communicate with children, care for their mental health, and help them foster a good learning habit (though the policy does not specify what this is)’

6. Can I still use the curriculum from the previous platform I taught with?

If parents ask for that, the polite way can be:

I would like to check out a solution best for your child and best in line with the government policy. Thanks for your patience, I will confirm my choice as soon as I find the best solution for your child.


7. Is it legal to promote myself?

China’s recent education policy – Policy 720 states that China-based companies can’t hire non-Chinese nationals outside the country to teach Chinese students.

8. What are some payment solutions that work in China?

Below are a few options I heard some people use but I have not tried myself. So please do leave in the comment box what works for you, what doesn’t. Therefore, this post can benefit everyone.

  • Zelle (please send me a private note on this one)
  • Transferwise
  • Alipay
  • WeChat pay
  • Stripe
  • myteachershop.com
  • If your parents have an ICBC (a leading Chinese bank) account, they can use it to pay to an international visa/master card.
  • The strikingly.com service seems to be accessible from China

9. How much should I charge as a private tutor?

The price you charge is a balance between what the market is ready to pay for a similar service and what you would need to cover in terms of cost.

Please read the How Much Should I Charge for My Online ESL Classes for more details.

Please read the How Chinese Parents Choose Online English Platforms to find out how much VIPKid lessons cost.

The cost includes marketing, curriculum development, use of technology, on top of your teaching time cost.

10. How do I get new students?

The marketing cost to get new students are notoriously high. Averagely it costs a platform US$600 to get one new student.

There are various ways to get more students:


Join our digital course ‘From Good to Great, Level Up Your Teaching Business’ to empower you to develop a sustainable and successful independent teaching career. Read our course page to find out more.

Having obstacles launching your independent teaching path? Book my 1-1 business coaching via the link.

Teachers, Be Fearless!