This thread is a few months aged, but I'll throw in my $0.02 since this is in part what I do, and what I plan to do once I cast off the lines. Maybe it will help someone. The short answer is that yes, you can teach online and do it from a boat
. The bigger question is - can you earn a decent living at it?
A quick google
search shows that there's lots of job openings for online teacher/tutors, esp. at the K-12 level. In my part of the US, there has been an explosion of online private/charter schools, fueled in part by "school choice" laws that give parents a choice of where to send Jr. to school
(and their municipality has to foot the bill). Wages are highly variable, but if you teach an in-demand subject (like math, science) you can find jobs at up to $20-ish/hr. State-issued licenses and/or certifications may still be required to teach at the K-12 level, depending on the school
. Private schools are more flexible on requirements, but nearly everyone requires at least a Bachelor's degree.
Successfully teaching from a boat
will depend on the platform used and how you connect. Some platforms are more mobile/cell friendly than others. I teach a couple of courses with Moodle, which can be a good platform for low-bandwidth connections. I check in with students while on the road in my camper, and I often use a laptop
tethered to an iPhone
on an LTE connection. As long as the signal is decent, I rarely run into issues. Alternatively, if your school uses Blackboard or Adobe Connect, you will have endless bandwidth-related problems on anything but the most robust WIFI
or cable connection.
Live streaming video will probably be impossible, even if you don't mind being tethered to the marina's WIFI
. Maybe when 5G Glomex domes come out in the next few years, it may be possible in the more populated parts
of the coast, but for now plan on text and low-res images
If this is something you're seriously considering, I would recommend you explore teaching with an online school first before trying to hang your own shingle and trying sell classes
. The competition is fierce. If you plan to sell a course, it's likely that someone is already offering the same content for free on Kahn Academy, Lynda, MOOC/edX, YouTube, etc. It's hard to compete with free. If your goal is to someday run your own school, work
on it while you teach for someone else. Then you can be building your content and following while also earning a paycheck.
Tutoring can give you more control over your schedule, compared to teaching. You can set your tutoring hours and just plan on being available for those hours, giving you time to do boat-related things. You can set daytime hours for homeschool kids
, or do afternoon/evening hours for the traditional students who need homework help. Tutors can work
for a for-profit tutoring center or can work privately and get clients through word of mouth.
If you have niche experience in an area with little competition, you can also do well by promoting your services in specific school(s). That's what I do, and I have seen others get success this way. A former student of mine started a second career in electrical
engineering. What started as tutoring his classmates grew into a cult following for his online math courses geared towards EE's.
Hope this helps.