My Palfish Experience
I’ve been with teaching with Palfish for a couple months now and I’ve found some things I’ve loved about the company. However, there has got to be some bad to balance out the good, right? It’s time to give you guys the inside peek at the pros and cons of Palfish, based on my personal experience.
The #1 reason I joined this platform is for the FLEXIBILITY. You guys have no idea how great it feels to be able to choose your own hours, to work whenever you want, wherever you want (or maybe some of you lucky few do). If travelling is something you are passionate about, you’ll know that the two biggest challenges are time and money. With Palfish, you’ve got both!
Unlike many competing ESL companies, Palfish lets you take charge of your own schedule. There’s no need to wait for admin to assign you classes, you can go get them yourselves. Set up your own schedule on the app and students will book with you directly. The best part about this is, you don’t need to send a schedule over to the admin. You don’t need to commit to the same hour every week. Wanna take a week off to swim with the turtles in Barbados? Go for it! The power is in your hands.
Another benefit about Palfish is that it’s a phone app. It’s one app for everything. There’s no need to buy a laptop and carry it around while travelling. Everything works from your smartphone (or tablet). This also allows for great interactive features on the lesson slides, such as AR filters, on-screen drawing, drag and drops, etc.
As of March 2019, Palfish does not require you to work any number of minimum hours. They recommend you work at least the peak times (5pm-9pm BJT) but if you don’t, there is no penalty. You just get less bookings. You can stop whenever you want. I think the policy at the moment is – if you don’t teach a single class for 2 months you will be removed as an Official Kids Course teacher. If you’d like to return after a 2-month hiatus, you can message the Team staff.
Arguably, this is one of the easiest way to make $22/hr. Depending on the time and where you happen to be, you just need to put on a blue shirt, open up the app, and teach! Time flies really quickly and before you know it you’ve taught for 4 hours straight. That’s $88* in the bank.
Finally, let’s talk about the kids. They are Chinese children age 2 – 13. Every single one of them is different. I have had a 12 year old in level 1 and a 6 year old in level 3! Either way, they are all super adorable and (most) are eager to learn! I’ve enjoyed teaching all levels but I had to keep remembering to adjust to each child. Having children of different ages keeps you on your toes and pulls you out of the monotony of teaching everyday.
*Subject to your teaching level and exchange rates at the time
Honestly, I haven’t encountered a lot of cons with this platform. But here are the few I should point out:
Most of the teachers are located in North America. That means that 8pm prime time in Beijing, is 4am PST. I’ve somehow managed to survive by having two naps throughout the day instead of sleeping through the night. Many teachers have their own routines but I find this works best for me.
So I set my alarm to 1:50am, just in time for my 2am lesson. I go to bed and when I wake up, ready to teach, I see that the student has cancelled while I was asleep! Oof. I woke up for nothing?! Yeah so students have up to 3 hours before the lesson to cancel. If this happens, teachers do not get any compensation. However, if they cancel within those 3 hours, you get half pay! So it’s not all bad.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had some lessons (mostly trials) where kids just do not want to learn. Maybe they just came home from school and they’re tired. Maybe they’re younger children without prior classroom experience and they don’t know how to focus. This is just another reason for teachers to give them that boost of confidence. They need that motivation to keep going. Keep the lessons fun and don’t dwell on the small things if they just can’t get a word right. If you make it fun for them, you’ll make it fun for you.
And lastly, I’d like to point out something that most people don’t realize about Palfish. It’s actually just like an educational social media platform. Now this could be a good or a bad thing. What’s worth mentioning is that people spend countless unpaid hours perfecting their profile, updating moments, live broadcasting and so much more. This is all actually necessary marketing for you to be able to receive more bookings than others. It’s a competitive platform and teachers want to get as much exposure as possible.
My Personal Path to Palfish
Overall I have loved it – it’s been really good to me. In the past few month I have worked with Palfish, I have managed to accumulate some regular students, helping me fill out my time slots. This has led me to be able to make up to $2000 per month, which means I can now travel and do what I love! I am super grateful and I would recommend you give it a try.
One of my favorite things about this platform is the supportive community. Palfish works similarly to a social media app so naturally there are constant chatrooms filled with a supportive community of teachers. If you ever have any questions or doubts you can reach out to anyone and 99% of the time they will help you! You will also get to meet other teachers going through the same process as you, whether you are just starting out, or you are a veteran.
More on the social media interface – I just think it’s great! It’s a lot of fun to be able to post daily moments and live broadcasts and share with everyone what you’re up to. It’s a great way to network and get yourself out there, so that kids and parents get to see if your personality matches theirs.
Finally, I’ve had such great kids to teach. I’ve loved being able to communicate and connect with children from the other side of the world. They are all interesting individuals who are eager to learn some English. It’s so amazing to see that kids in China are willing to let you into their lives to bring in a little bit of your culture. If you’re lucky, you get to see a bit of theirs too!
Who should work for Palfish?
Trying to decide if this is the right fit for you? This job plays on so many different skills and personalities, I would say it would most people.
Definitely give it a go if you are:
- A homebody –
Teach in your pajamas! You don’t even have to leave the house to be able to make a few bucks.
- A stay-at-home-mom –
Spend time with your children WHILE still getting paid. Teach around the kids’ routines and work in flexible time blocks around the day.
- A digital nomad (that’s me!) –
Want money but still need the flexibility to travel? There’s no better solution.
- A workaholic –
If you hate sleep and love work, this is a perfect second job. You can teach throughout the night before/after your regular 9-5.
Why not try it out? You’ve got nothing to lose.