When working with any online teaching company, it is a legitimate concern to be afraid of incurring penalties. With some companies, it seems too easy to be penalized, and ultimately it means having pay deducted from a hard earned paycheck.
I have been working for the online teaching company DaDa since July of 2018, and the struggle is definitely real. While my experience has been pleasant, even incurring a penalty just once can be enough to cause serious frustration.
Hopefully the best way to deal with penalties is to avoid them all together. These are just a few tips, but hopefully they can help you to protect your pay.
1. Don’t check in late.
Sounds easy enough right?
Yet it is all too easy to oversleep, run out of time, or run in to technical issues. Things happen.
Try to set your alarm with enough time to shower, grab coffee, splash cold water on your face, whatever you need to do to wake yourself up.
I like to be dressed, ready, and in my seat by 5:45. This way I can breathe for a minute, quickly review my lessons, drink some coffee, and most importantly…make sure my internet and equipment are working fine.
There is nothing worse than only having two minutes until the first class starts and then find out you are having tech issues.
2. Have a backup
This may not be possible for everyone, but if you have more than one computer, have the teaching platform installed on both.
If your main computer crashes or has connectivity issues, you can quickly switch to the other device.
DaDa also has a backup website to use if for any reason your desktop platform isn’t working.
If you have no internet…this happens…don’t panic! It is out of your control. Do your best to e-mail the company to let them know the situation.
With DaDa, this happened to me twice. I simply e-mailed them to let them know the situation and provided a notice from the local internet provider stating that my area had no internet during my teaching time.
The company was very understanding and did NOT penalize me.
3. Emergencies happen…They just might let you off the hook
Many companies are more understanding than you realize.
While they enforce strict penalties for no-shows or unplanned absences, don’t just settle for the penalty. Communicate with them and do your best to try to have the penalty removed.
Many times they will work with you if there was a valid reason, especially if you provide proof: doctor’s note, notice from internet provider, etc.
On one occasion there was a hurricane that caused power outages in my area, I used a screenshot of the local news coverage on the hurricane and that sufficed for DaDa.
4. Don’t be late for an individual class.
Try not to drink too many fluids. With only two minutes in between each student, you simply do not have a lot of time for bathroom breaks. However…sometimes nature cannot wait. And personally, I need my coffee…which makes me have to use the bathroom more than usual.
So this is hands down one of the best tricks I have learned, check out Teacher Jason's hack on never being late for class:
Using this hack will help you to make sure you always enter the classroom on time, but still have time for those emergency bathroom trips.
5. Use proper on screen behavior.
This sounds like a no brainer, but it’s easy to forget that lessons with students are recorded and reviewed for quality purposes. Slouching, resting your head on your hands, and other body movements like these are considered bad on screen behavior.
Avoid having to get up during class. Have water close by in case your throat becomes dry. However do not eat while in class, and keep drinking to a minimum. DaDa will have you watch a video on class behavior standards every 14 days to make sure you know what is expected of you.
6. Read Your Contract Carefully and Follow the guidelines when requesting leave
DaDa has improved tremendously in becoming more flexible with their penalties and requirements for leave.
Many teachers felt that the penalties were too strict. However, Dada truly seems to be listening to the concerns and complaints of their teachers and have been implementing changes.
For example, the deduction for short-term leave has been cut 50% and it is easier to take days off. You can ask for a leave almost last minute now, with only 24 hours’ notice being required.
However, you must be sure to keep up with their current rules and policies, if something is outlined in the contract and you have ignored it, it’s harder to make a case for yourself. Pay attention to the rules, not only for taking time off, but for everything!
While there is ease and comfort from being able to work from home, or from anywhere, just keep in mind that the professionalism you would bring to an office building or other outside place of work, is the same kind of work ethic you want to use for an online teaching company.
With this ethic in mind, incurring penalties will be infrequent and maybe avoidable all together. So keep teaching, and enjoying the perks of this kind of job, and may you continue penalty free!
Don’t let the fear of penalties scare you from your dream job, apply for DaDa today here! If you used to work for DaDa and perhaps the strict penalties led to the decision of leaving the company, DaDa has heard your complaints and there have been many positive changes. If you are thinking of trying them again, apply here:
Or if you want a new challenge, why not try out these online teaching jobs for teaching students in groups: