Teaching online has opened the doors for hundreds of job seekers and learners from around the world. It has paved the way to an increase in flexibility and an international network that is often absent in localised settings. The online TEFL industry is booming in countries like China and Japan, creating a huge demand for passionate and progressive teachers. There are already hundreds of online learning schools offering different curriculums to a wide range of students, from young children to adults. The Online Teacher has made things that much easier by bringing together the most trusted schools with the most passionate teachers. It provides a simple, but effective platform, where teachers can create their own profile complete with a personalised schedule and a self-recorded interview. Teachers can be sure that the opportunities and offers they receive will be tailored to them, and at companies we trust.
Each school is different, and will require different levels of experience or qualifications. You could have years of ESL teaching experience behind you, or perhaps you have recently completed a BA in primary education. Maybe you recently gained a TEFL certifiation but lack any hands on experience and don’t know what to do next? Whatever your situation, take some comfort in knowing that all kinds of people with lots of different experience and skills can and do teach online. We have put together our 3 top tips for online teaching to help you get started:
1. Good equipment
Before you can start teaching online you need to make sure you have all the right equipment. You want the online learning experience to be as good as it would be in a classroom. This is even more important for language learners as a big part will be listening and speaking. Imagine if you were trying to learn a language online and your teacher’s voice kept cutting out over a dodgy connection, or was muffled through an old headset. There are three main things you will need to get started: A webcam, a headset and a reliable internet connection. Good quality equipment will provide more productive sessions that will help to inspire your students, and in turn feel more rewarding for you as the teacher.
2. Good resources
Most online schools will provide you with the resources, lesson curriculum and lesson plans. On the other hand, you may want some more control over you’re teaching. A good idea is to find a balance between the two. You obviously shouldn’t stray from the agreed lesson plans or course that the students have signed up for, but don’t feel afraid to find additional educational resources to incorporate alongside it. The most important thing is to know your students and adapt your lessons in a way that is engaging and productive for them. The internet literally has an infinite amount of resources, there are hundreds of websites and blogs dedicated to ESL teaching advice and learning.
3. Know your student!
Each student is different, they will have had their own experiences with their own unique perspective on life. This will affect the way they learn and think, what may work for one student might not work for another. It’s important to pay attention to your student and the way they react to aspects of your course, get to know what grabs their attentions and what sends them off into the clouds. It can be even more challenging to maintain the students attention in an online setting. By getting to know your student you can hope to foster a productive and professional relationship which will develop mutual respect and rewarding sessions!