What you should know before becoming an Online Teacher
There are a lot of challenges and question marks that bombard you as you begin your career in teaching so it’s best to understand what you should know before becoming an online teacher. This article is more so directed to the teachers who are teaching one-to-one students. However, those who work in a company with group classes might have similar issues too! This article will be looking at the top 10 things for what you should know before becoming an online teacher.
Don’t be afraid of silence
As a teacher, it might be awkward if there is silence in the online class. This is especially true if you are teaching one-to-one. You might find staring at the camera screen for 20 to 30 seconds strange but be relaxed. You should realize that the students need time to think, and that’s fine. Experts suggest that students should speak 80 percent in an online class. The teacher should be speaking for 20 percent keeping it as enjoyable as possible while incorporating bits of knowledge meticulously throughout.
Don’t take payments after the class
Taking the payments after the class can disrupt your relationship with the student. You would have to message the student for reminders repeatedly, which you might feel awkward too. This could also result in losing the student as some individuals don’t pay off easily. It is better to make the payment in advance to overcome this mess. The best way is to offer a free demo class of half an hour, and if the student is interested, you can offer them a package of ten lessons. Keep in mind, take payment in advance. In this way, you won’t disrupt your professionalism with the issue of delay in money and you won’t have to worry about being ripped off. If you’re working for a company, you will have to accept payments monthly more often than not. If a company shuts down or goes out of business (especially an online English company from China) there is a good chance they won’t pay the last month’s salary. Be careful with these situations.
Don’t do too many classes in a row
Some overly ambitious teachers can make the mistake of booking eight hours straight for lessons. This can cause burnout rather quickly leaving you questioning your choice of career.
Relax. Leave time in your schedule for bathroom breaks and lunch breaks. The online sessions can be mentally exhausting. Keep your mental health sharp and give yourself room to sit back and breathe. Always keep at least 10–15-minute breaks between classes.
Don’t get too personal
One more thing to remember is to keep a fine line between personal issues and regular discussions. You are not a therapist. The student might at times start trusting you with their emotional state. They could be depressed and consider you their therapist. you should try to avoid this and tell their parents if they are teenagers or children. If they are adults, you can suggest they go to a therapist, etc. It’s best to leave any advice you give them open-ended. You don’t want responsibility for a bombshell going off in the students’ lives because you gave them subjectively bold advice on a personal matter. However, encouraging them with a few kind words is never a bad idea. “Keep your chin up” “Stay strong” or “I believe in you”. Now let’s focus on some English for now.
Don’t accept extra work without payments
Some students might need extra help if their exams are coming up. Obviously, homework correction is your duty, and checking three to five writings per week is fine. Still, if a student needs extra help or wants to get extra homework checked, then you should negotiate extra payment. Especially if you have twenty to thirty students, which means you can’t cope with this amount of work easily. This also goes for specialized classes such as debate, business, etc. An extra charge for a specific niche of learning is necessary in most cases.
Don’t set unrealistic homework goals
One more thing to keep in mind is setting homework goals that students can easily do. Sometimes the student or parents might ask for loads of homework, and it might take hours to plan it. However, if the student gets busy due to workload or exam pressure, then this might lead to frustration. The student might be worried about the teacher getting upset. Whereas you might get frustrated over no response to the homework allocated.
Don’t plan too much
Don’t over plan and be strict with timings; instead, be relaxed and go with the flow. Reality isn’t like that, and the student can ask any question that is not expected, or the discussion can prolong. You should keep an overall plan and let the class go in a smooth, productive way.
Don’t choose narrow topics for lessons
When teaching General English, be sure to choose common topics that every student has good knowledge about if you have group classes. The students generally belong to diverse ethnicities and choose those types of topics which you can talk about with ten different students, such as “what’s your favorite restaurant?” In this way, you would be able to hold a good command over the lesson and keep it interesting and fun so the students can speak as much as possible.
You can find Online Teaching Resources HERE. And more ideas for lesson plans HERE.
Be prepared for technical issues
You should anticipate and have a plan B if any technical issue occurs, such as the Wi-fi stopping working or there being an electricity cut-off. You can do so by keeping your Mobile hot-spot on to replace wi-fi and keep your charger close by for laptops. In case there is a fault on your side, then try giving extra time, so the student doesn’t feel as if the teacher didn’t give enough time.
Online teaching is rewarding and challenging at the same time (What you should know before becoming an Online Teacher)
Online teaching comes with a lot of pros, and you are your boss. You can set your own flexible timings and rates. Watching a student’s progress is pretty delightful as well. You work from the warmth of your home, and that is an incredible part about our generations work. However, on the very same hand, there are some challenges that you have to face too. Too much screen time isn’t good for your health. You need to do some exercise too. Also, sometimes you might be busy over the weekends, which can be troublesome to manage. However, you should try to balance work and life and enjoy this beautiful career that creates other professions!
Hope this article brought some fruitful do’s and don’ts for what you should know before becoming an online teacher. Keep a balance, be dedicated, and be positive. After all, everyone learns from their mistakes. Also, you can find more teaching tips HERE.
Look for online teaching opportunities here!