Tips for Success in Online Teaching
In the end, success in online teaching is no different than success in the traditional classroom. Teachers must make policies that they stick to and create a positive, warm learning environment.
Although teachers do not see their students in person, they still can convey their high expectations through comments and phone calls. An important benefit of online learning is that teachers can truly work to meet the needs of each individual student in a way that they could not in the traditional classroom.
Phone calls are probably the most important factor in having a successful career as an online instructor. When teachers do not call their students each month, they find that some students actually work less or stop working altogether. Students will feel disconnected and parents will not be a central part of their child's education.
While the time it takes to make phone calls can sometimes be daunting, by dividing the phone calls into small daily amounts, you will be able to achieve your goals of reaching each student. Some phone calls will require more time if, for instance, a student is struggling or not working. Take this into consideration when setting aside time for those calls. Also, it would be a very good idea to schedule more than one phone call a month with those students.
Online educators spend a great deal of time trying to reach students who are not home. Set up times for students to contact you, or have students send you windows of time when they will be available. This will cut down on the time you spend making phone calls.
Just as with the traditional classroom, an essential quality of an effective teacher is flexibility. Even more than in the traditional classroom, online teachers have to accept and embrace change and uncertainty. They have to be willing to have students starting at different times during the year.
They also have to understand that the Internet is a continually changing environment, and they might have to adjust to new teaching platforms every couple of years. Only flexible individuals will be able to thrive and be happy in an online teaching environment. They will also find great rewards for being involved in such an exciting endeavor.