Looking to earn some extra cash, I joined Palfish around 6 months ago. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do!
I was initially drawn to apply for Palfish because of the potential for unlimited growth. Palfish is extremely flexible, in the sense that you completely control your hours week to week. Only two hours after being accepted for Palfish, I taught my first lesson and knew it was the right company for me.
Palfish stands out from other ESL companies because it is taught using an app on your mobile phone. There’s no need for ethernet cords or a fancy laptop, Palfish can be as flexible as you need it to be! You can teach at the beach or the comfort of your own home, it doesn’t matter!
Freetalk vs Official Kids Course
There are two main areas to Palfish: Freetalk (Palfish Adults) and the Official Kids Course.
Freetalk works similarly to other companies like Cambly where people can call you if you go online. You set your rate and trial rate and can also pre-book Freetalk lessons in advance.
When you first sign up for Palfish, you will only have access to Freetalk.
For higher income potential, you can then apply to the Official Kids Course.
The OKC is available for kids from the ages of 2-12. Kids are given free trials and if they decide to keep learning with Palfish, they buy a package with over 60 lessons. OKC is a lot more scheduled than Freetalk and there is a lot of room for growth.
The Palfish Algorithm
Palfish works a lot like social media. The more you engage and make yourself visible, the more success you will have with teaching.
Teachers can also post moments (similar to tweeting or uploading a Facebook status), create live videos (you can also get paid for these), and use the Palfish reading app to generate more interest.
The Palfish community is also very strong. When you get accepted, you are automatically added to a huge group chat with other teachers. Everyone shares their tips and tricks and you can ask whatever you need!
From the beginning, I have found Palfish extremely helpful and intuitive to use. Though I love the platform, Palfish isn’t perfect, so here are a few pros and cons to consider:
Pros of Palfish
1. The courseware
The Palfish courseware is extremely fun, interactive and colourful. Palfish offers a unique curriculum that ensures the student reaches their full potential.
The slides are very open to interpretation – teachers can modify their lessons to cater to individual student learning style. Students can listen to songs, play games, draw on the screen and enjoy the funny face filters. One of the key focuses of Palfish is for students to learn while having fun!
2. The community
I mentioned it above, but the Palfish community goes above and beyond. There are over 5000 teachers who are willing to share their secrets, tips and tricks of the trade with you. Being in the group chat feels like the closest you can get to an office lunchroom when you work online. The community is supportive of each other and someone will always answer your question within a couple of minutes.
3. The class size
I really enjoy teaching students one on one. For me, it’s a lot easier to gauge the level that the student is on and help them more efficiently.
4. The pay scale
If you’re an official teacher for OKC, you will be placed on a points scale. You begin on level one, where you earn 55 RMB / 25 minute class. As you teach, there is potential to move up the five levels and earn up to 75 RMB / 25 minute lesson. You receive points from teaching, referrals, students cancellations and perfect attendance.
Palfish is amazing because of its flexibility. You have complete control of your schedule each week and can easily cancel or reschedule classes if you do it in advance.
How much you work is entirely up to you – you can make it your full time job or you can just use it for some extra cash. I love the fact that I’m not booked until the week before, so I can chop and change my schedule if I need.
Once you build a group of regular students, you may have fixed classes every week. Most teachers have said that their students are very understanding though if there is last minute changes.
1. Hit and miss support
While I must say that Palfish in general has decent support (particularly when it comes to IT issues), sometimes it can take a little while to hear back from a head admin regarding an issue. It seems to be very hit and miss, and I have only really seen this issue from an outside perspective.
In the six months I have been with Palfish, I haven’t had any issues or needed to contact support. I have, however, had an IT issue in the classroom, which was fixed almost immediately after I contacted for urgent help.
2. Glitches and bugs
While it’s rare for it to cause huge issues, the app does glitch occasionally. The IT team is always onto it very quickly though and it has never caused a big enough problem for me to consider it a huge con, just something to be aware of.
3. The social media algorithm
For me this is both a pro and a con. It’s a pro because you can completely control it – but it has the potential to be a con. The Palfish platform works like a social media algorithm: the more you engage, post and follow people, the more exposure you will have to students. You can definitely use this to your advantage!
However, for purist teachers with no interest in social media engagement, it can be a negative. It is also creates a slight competitive element for student bookings, as opposed to a company like DaDa, where your students are found for you:
Palfish is evolving and growing everyday. There are some small improvements that I would like to see, but overall, I absolutely love working for Palfish. It is such a kind, caring and action-focused community. I know that you will love Palfish like I do!
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