How to be a Successful Online Teacher
You may have the necessary knowledge in your field and years of teaching experience, but unless you are somewhat familiar with how the online teaching business works, things may not go as smoothly as you are expecting it to. While you will still probably be teaching most of the same stuff, the setting is completely different to what you are used to. Therefore, it is advised you take a look at the following helpful tips if you are having problems adjusting to the new format.
It’s a Full-Time Job
A rookie mistake that many of us have made after entering the online teaching field is unwittingly or even sub-consciously considering it to be a “part-time” job. The truth is that it isn’t. In fact, if anything, it can be even more time consuming than a traditional teaching job with more or less fixed hours because online teachers have no fixed hours! Since you do not meet your students on a regular basis, you will have to be available to them 24/7, in case they need you, and they will need you a lot.
Implement the Right Technology
When your profession is entirely dependent on technology, you need to implement technology that will aid you in your teaching process. To begin with, make sure that your site is being hosted by one of the best web hosts UK. You don’t want your site to go down in the middle of a video seminar. Speaking of video seminars, invest in some quality shooting equipment and make sure that the internet connection is fast enough to broadcast lessons to your students in real time if you decide to schedule a live class. There are a lot of webinar services out there, so make an informed choice according to the needs and purposes of your teaching business.
Group Activities May Not be a Great Idea
Collaborative education is a favourite tool of the teacher who believes in the constructivist educational approach. However, it may not be ideal for the online scenario, in spite of the internet seemingly being the perfect place to put it into effect. There are controversies regarding collective responsibility even in traditional classroom settings, but those same old problems become whole new issues when the teacher does not have direct control over the situation.
Getting to Know Your Students will be Tougher
When you don’t exactly see the body language, class behaviour, or even share a verbal conversation, getting to know your students can get very tricky. Ironically, since you are not meeting or talking to them regularly, getting to know them becomes even more important to get your points across in a way that makes sense to the students. The key is to not be hasty in drawing conclusions about the personality and the abilities of a particular student. Studying online can be just as tough for some students as it is for new teachers; so give them time.
A point that any online teacher would do well to remember is the fact that online courses are about flexibility and freedom. You have probably entered the internet-based education field with more or less the same mindset and the students you are teaching almost definitely share your outlook. Therefore, even if you were “the man in charge” when you were teaching at your last school, maintain a less rigid attitude online. A teacher who tries to convince and influence his/her students will see more success as an online mentor than someone who tries to command.