ESL Desk: Top Desks for Teaching English Online

Best ESL Desk for Working from Home

a photo of a corner online teaching desk with desktop screens and a lifted laptop

Are you looking for the best ESL desk for your career teaching English online? Here are some top ESL desks.

Investing in a dedicated ESL desk marked a significant phase in my career progress. Full disclosure, I once taught sitting on a bathroom floor while my Mac Mini desktop was perched on the toilet seat of an Airbnb. (It was the quietest place I could find.) This is to say that you don’t need a fancy dedicated ESL desk to be a great ESL teacher.

a photo of my daughter pretending to teach English online and sitting in my ESL classroom wearing my headphones
This cheap IKEA desk and chair served as my ESL desk setup for years

Having said that, a full-time teaching schedule means you will be sitting at your desk for the entire day. You will need your wrists to be in the correct alignment. A desk that is too high or too short will cause you to develop serious hand pain. An adjustable chair will help with this, but the ability to adjust your desk’s height and angle will make a huge difference in your comfort level, too.

You don't need a fancy ESL desk to be a great English teacher.
You don’t need a fancy ESL desk to be a great English teacher, but…it doesn’t hurt.

ESL desk traits

Here are the characteristics to look for when choosing the best desk to teach ESL online from home.

  • adjustable desk height
  • lots of drawers
  • transforms to a standing desk
  • supports dual-screen set-up

a photo of my super messy prop bins

Ideally, you have a desk with a lot of organizational opportunities. A desk with lots of drawers and a tilted plane for your keyboard is ideal. However, you can add extra bins, drawers, or shelves later.

However, you can add extra bins, drawers, or shelves later. I paired these shelves with my simple Ikea desk. These simple organizational bins can be removed from their shelves and moved around.

I actually really liked the VADDO desk from Ikea that I used for years because it was so light and easy to move around.

However, if you want to upgrade your desk game, then you might want to consider a desk that can be adjustable and turn into a standing desk.

Standing ESL desks for online English teachers

Many teachers swear by standing desks. After a few classes in a row, it might be hard to be extremely energetic while teaching. A standing desk forces you to stay awake and alert.

Honestly, the cheapest way to make a standing desk is to grab your ironing board and plop your laptop right on it.

However, the second cheapest standing desk solution is a foldable ESL desk that perches on your regular desk. You can adjust it to various heights.  Press down firmly and evenly on both sides to lower the table and squeeze the handle.

However, the second cheapest standing desk solution is a foldable desk perched on your regular ESL desk. It can be adjustable to various heights.  To lower the table, press down firmly and evenly on both sides and squeeze the handle.

Many online teachers swear by standing ESL desks to minimize back pain.

But a standing desk also helps you jump, dance, and interact with your young students in a way that keeps them engaged. If you have taught little kids online before, you know they romp around their room a lot. You can jump around with them with a standing desk. So, if you are fully committed to standing, you can go all out and desk that primarily serves as a standing desk.

Even Ikea has a standing desk option!

For more inspiration, I suggest watching many youtube video testimonials from current teachers bragging about their online classrooms and ESL desk setup. There are tons of videos out there that will give you lots of good ideas for your remote classroom set-up.

ESL desk: a dual-screen set-up

Many online ESL teachers love using two screens while teaching. Why? You can work with your students on one screen and keep all your note on the other. Also, you can have one screen as a backup device. A desk that facilitates a two-screen set-up might be just what you need.

Don’t be shy! Do you love the desk in your ESL at-home classroom? Show off your ESL desk by adding a comment below, too.

And, as always, happy and comfortable teaching.

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Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL
Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL

Ingrid Maria Pimsner has been teaching for over a decade in various universities, nonprofits, and private academies. She has taught English as a Second Language for Lutheran Children & Family Service, Nationalities Service Center, Lernstudio Barbarossa Berlin-Tegel, and more. In addition to her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Art.