Cambly Kids: The Ultimate Guide

What is Cambly Kids?  If you don’t know, you aren’t alone because up until very recently, I hadn’t heard of it either.  And as with many companies that I hear about online, I was super-skeptical.  But, as I began researching, I became convinced with the legitimacy of it.  

What is Cambly Kids?

Cambly Kids, a US-based company founded in 2012, is a global online ESL platform with the goal of helping students ages 4-15 learn English.  Live classes are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and parents select from a variety of native English-speaking tutors to teach their child one-on-one.

What is the difference between Cambly and Cambly Kids?

Cambly is the online platform designed to help adults learn English while Cambly Kids is the kid-friendly version.  You can choose to teach on just one of the platforms or both, but if you choose to tutor on both platforms, you immediately increase your flexibility and income potential.

How much do I make?

The pay rate is $10.20 an hour for Cambly, which is tutoring mainly adults, and $12 an hour for Cambly Kids with the opportunity to earn bonuses during peak hours on both platforms. Tutors are paid every Monday via PayPal.

How does Cambly Kids Work?

Students reserve classes for times the tutor has opened on their calendar.  Tutors receive a reservation email for each class booked and need to confirm the time in order for the class to appear on their schedule.

What are the lessons like?

Lessons are one-on-one lasting 30 minutes. They are immersive, which means tutors only speak English during lessons, and they are conversational with a focus on grammar and vocabulary.

Tutors use the Cambly curriculum (in the form of slides) to teach the lessons, but are also encouraged to find and use props for extension and re-teaching, as well as incorporate lots of encouragement, TPR, and positive energy.

Because Cambly does not provide these extra props, I created no-prep, topic-based bundles of flashcards, vocabulary words, and sentence stems that align with all the themes you will encounter.  These flashcards are organized and labeled by category so you can quickly grab them to use during your class.

Tutors are also expected to use the digital star reward system that is built into the Cambly Kids platform.  To make this even more engaging, I have created several different reward systems that are perfect to use in conjunction with the online stars including…

What do I need and is there a lot of prep?

One of the best things about the Cambly Kids curriculum is the minimal amount of prep required!  Because the company provides the curriculum, you are just in charge of getting your own props, flashcards, and/or realia to make the lessons more engaging.

With that being said, there are a few items that you will NEED in order to become a successful Cambly Kids teacher including a…

  1. Computer (preferably with a webcam)
  2. External webcam (if your computer doesn’t have one)
  3. Fast and reliable internet connection
  4. Headset with microphone (choose one with volume control & a mute button for added flexibility)
  5. Good lighting (this can be in the form of ring lights, lamps, or windows)
  6. Non-distracting background

At the very least you need to have the first three, but if you want you to be truly successful, you need to eventually invest in the other things as well. You can always earn some money first, and use that to invest in the other items!

Here are some of the best options with four star + ratings from Amazon. I’ve used several of them in my own classroom, but I also included some that were more highly rated, budget-friendly options.

What are the hiring requirements?

Cambly’s requirements are probably the simplest in the ESL industry. You do not need to be a teacher, have a degree, or any special teaching certifications, and you do not need to commit to any type of teaching schedule. You are free to teach as little or as much as you want.

The only true “requirement” is that you must be a native speaker who is at least 18 years old.

To be hired you will need to…

  • Fill out a basic information form
  • Create a tutor profile including a picture,
  • Record an introduction video, and
  • Complete an internet connection test.

Keep in mind when you’re creating your profile and your video that should you be hired, these will be shown to parents of Cambly students. So, make sure you put forth your best effort in order to get booked as quickly as possible. For example, make sure that your photo is clear and not blurry. The best photos are “head” shots.

After completing the application process, applicants typically receive notification anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

*Special note: Due to recent changes in California, Cambly cannot hire tutors from California.

What do other teachers say about Cambly & Cambly Kids?

Teacher satisfaction is very high with Cambly Kids. Unlike other ESL platforms, there is no pressure to complete all the lesson slides.

The company has a more forgiving cancellation policy than other ESL companies stating in their tutor guide that, “Consistently canceling or missing reservations will temporarily limit your reservation calendar to regular students only.”

You can easily overcome this issue by marking every student that you teach as “regular” in the platform.

Tutors really appreciate how easy it is to communicate with their students outside of class using the message feature in Cambly. The company itself also does a great job of communicating with their tutors.

Tips: Working Priority Hours with adults helps your profile to get viewed by more potential students and parents of potential students. In order to work Priority Hours, you simply log in during the peak times specified and start accepting calls. It’s that easy!

The bottom line

As with any company, there are pros and cons you will need to consider. But as you can see in the chart below…there are a lot of pros with Cambly Kids.

Pros 👍

  • Simple application process
  • Work from comfort of home
  • FAQ guide & short “get started” videos
  • Quick & easy to get booked
  • Flexible hours
  • Hiring based on demand = steady bookings for teachers
  • Teachers are in control of their own schedule
  • Little to no prep
  • Simple platform to navigate
  • Great communication from Cambly
  • Tutoring hours available all day with international students
  • Flexibility in teaching both adults and kids
  • Great job for traveling teachers
  • Great for filling in schedule gaps from other online teaching companies
  • Referral bonus

Cons 👎

  • Low pay
  • Reservation only system for Cambly Kids
  • Classes are 30 minutes long which means you have to schedule your own block breaks

In a nutshell, it’s a great place to begin getting your feet wet in the online teaching world. It’s an American company with excellent company communication, and because it’s been around for a while, Cambly is a leader in online ESL teaching.

This company is a wonderful option for teachers who want to leave the classroom, but need to make money while figuring out their next steps. Our community director, MaryEllen Kiser, is currently working with Cambly Kids and by using her referral code, you will have her direct support during the hiring process and beyond.

Click here to get started now!