Online teaching dos and don’ts

The rise of online teaching and the willingness to study online has increased at unprecedented levels. How do we keep demonstrating our professionalism and ensure our classes are fun, productive, and engaging even if when we have no choice but to teach online? Here are nine tips to help:


Make sure every technical aspect of the class is well prepared in advanced


Ensure your mic is working, your screen is clear, you master the different online tools, you have a neutral background and you are online a few moment before your students are due to connect.




Make sure you read the syllabus. What’s the aim of the course? How long will it take to reach the course objectives? Are there any offline resources available which students should know about? The face-to-face syllabus cannot be expected to be followed online ad litteram. What acceptable modifications/adaptation should you consider? Are they approved by the school?



online teaching tips




Who doesn’t remember this video?

Children, pets, family members- all need to be prepared to give you the space and time you need for your classes to be taught without interruptions. Maybe lock your door, have some Do Not Disturb posters, or any other measures that can keep you safe from ‘intruders’.


Online resources


There are so many online resources available for free to anyone interested. Some of them are available here: Free teaching materials. Make sure you research them and find the ones that make the lesson more interesting and engaging. For online games click here: Free printable worksheets for teachers




At times a luxury, but if you get to chance to not reinvent the wheel, take it. Speak to your peers and share ideas, materials and lesson plans to ease each other’s preparation time. If a lesson works well, it’s worth sharing with other students. Conversely, when a topic or exercise just doesn’t work, you want to let your fellow teachers know.


Speak up!


Teaching online can be quite lonely. Watch out for symptoms which might have an effect on your health. Do you know how to take care of your mental health? Does your school have a mental health program for teachers/students who might need it due to the ongoing pandemic, scary news, political and social unrest, etc? Here is a link you might find useful: Teachers wellbeing: schools that care


Build community


Although students are online, allow them time to socialise. You can split them into groups for better communication, give them projects which require collaboration and teamwork, or discuss informal topics which are in the group’s interest.




Make sure students know exactly how to communicate with you when they need to do so. Maybe you want to indicate a clear time and days of the week, especially when they are allowed to call or text you.




When teaching online it can be a bit more difficult to understand a student’s mood, how they feel about a topic or the pace of your class. Surveys are a great tool to find out exactly where everyone is and allow you to take either group or individual actions.


Can you think of any other tips we should include here?



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