The Minimalist Guide to Hiring Teachers on Contract | Grow your teaching business online

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My last post helped you to determine if you want an employee or a contractor to help lessen your workload and increase your income. If you determined that hiring teachers on contract is the way to go, here is what to do.

Find some guidance:

When you are growing a business, advice is essential. Fortunately for all US citizens, there is a tax-payer funded network of small business advisors, with over 900 Small Business Development Centers throughout the country. While each state administers its program slightly differently, they all have a huge array of services for small businesses. You can find the closest Center here. My advisor has suggested ways for me to grow my business and make more money with less work. She made spreadsheets to show me how much more money I could be making immediately by hiring a contract teacher or two.

Draw up a contract:

Yes, you can draw up a legal contract, all by yourself. Here are some resources to get you headed in the right direction:

The Small Business Administration (SBA) affirms that contracts need not be full of legalese nor blessed by an attorney to be valid. Contracts merely need:

-to have all parties in agreement about the offer made and accepted, and

-to exchange something of value for something else.

It is so much easier than I ever would have imagined.

The Freelancer’s Union has this Contract Creation Tool,that I used to create my contract. You can also check out this Wikihow article. My small business advisor suggested that I include as many specific details as possible in the contract. I will include the dates and times of the course to be taught, the curriculum that will be used, and the expectations for maintaining communication with me.

Find the right person (or people):

The job market stinks. There are scads of unemployed and underemployed people. I put a notice on Craigslist in several cities and I had plenty of applicants within hours. Fortunately, as I am hiring someone to teach online, interviewing them online makes complete sense. I am checking references and trying to make sure that the person I hire is easy to work with.

Create a handbook:

You will certainly want your contract teachers to have a clear understanding of your expectations. They should know how long they have to return corrected papers to students, to enter attendance records in your Course Management System and many other aspects of working with you. You probably have a dress code that you expect or a certain look that you want them to maintain. Whatever it is that you want, state it clearly in the handbook.

Orient your new teachers:

You will want to meet with your teachers several times in the online classroom to give them a chance to grow comfortable with the technology. However, as they are independent contractors, it is their responsibility to learn about the system. Fortunately, the WizIQ LMS has many resources available for a teacher who wants to learn how to use it.

Be sure that you are treating them as contractors, not as employees:

As I outlined in my last post, there are a number of things that employers cannot require of contract workers. For example, an employer cannot expect a contract worker to attend “trainings.” If you want them to learn how to use your organization’s systems, that is not training. It is an orientation.

Another way to help to define the contractor relationship is to insist that they invoice you in order for them to be paid. This way, there is no expectation that they are automatically paid. This helps to create clarity in the relationship.

After reading all of the government literature, it seems apparent to me that if you hire a person to use their own computer, from their own home, for a project that has a specific beginning and ending date, they are an independent contractor. That said, I am not a lawyer, and I do suggest that you check in with a local small business advisor.

Sharpen your curriculum:

Not all curricula are the same. Be sure that, as you pass the baton to another teacher, you have all of the essential materials in order. Suggest several ways in which they can make each class interactive. Have systems in place for them to communicate with you. Make it ridiculously easy for them to teach great classes.

The WizIQ system can grow as your business does!

One beautiful features of the WizIQ system is that it can grow as your business does. The solo teacher account is free. Each additional teacher is a nominal amount more. Whether you are tutoring one student or 500, there is a WizIQ plan to meet your needs.


I am a teacher, hiker, mother, dancer and home-maker. I have taught pre-school through SAT prep. I am exploring ways to create on-line learning communities for home-schooled middle school and high school students. In particular, I am starting a low-residency on-line middle school. I would like to help young people explore important ideas while enjoying their lives! You can learn more about my programs at

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