For one reason or the other, online teaching/learning is booming. Hundreds of platforms recruit teachers, especially English teachers, to teach online to students around the world. Due to the latest health scare around the world, thousands of children in various countries are trying to keep up academically while learning how to use EdTech. What do students expect from their online teachers? How do you ensure success as an online educator?
Here are some suggestions. Students really appreciate their online teachers when:
They manage to use media creatively.
It seems like many teachers rely on the camera and personality to keep an online class going. If you are hired by a great online teaching platform, they will be able to provide you with online teaching materials to ensure quality and variety.
They define clear expectations.
Defining students’ responsibilities, how they should work offline, and a clear time frame to achieve various objectives should be made available to students from the very beginning. Working towards accomplishing short-term and then long-term goals defines commitment and professionalism.
They know how to use online tools.
Virtual whiteboards, screen recording, video editing, digital pens, etc. will all make your classes productive and interesting. Moreover, you will look professional and prepared.
They set up virtual discussion groups.
If you have the opportunity to teach a group virtually they might be missing the classroom dynamic and interaction. These days you have the option to set up virtual discussion groups. Whether you choose to monitor them or not, such spaces give students the freedom to ask each other for advice, exchange opinions on a given subject, talk about their preferences and bring on board suggestions for future development.
They show availability/ flexibility.
Your students will appreciate you a lot if they feel you are there for them to ask questions, discuss doubts, re-explain concepts, give them time to grasp a language concept, etc.
They show enthusiasm.
Try to infuse your personality in your explanations, feedback, positive outlook and use your communication skills to inspire passion for what you do.
They make the lesson as visual as possible.
Video clips, imagines, objects, charts and graphs are great online teaching visual hooks to keep students engaged.
They show cultural awareness or are eager to know about their culture.
Students love asking teachers about their culture and customs, but they are also eager to share their own experiences. Some of my best teaching English lessons were when my students could speak about something typical in their country that I had known nothing about. They felt proud of themselves for having communicated a lot in a foreign language, but also for having brought to my attention something new about them.
They provide interesting lesson content.
We all know exactly what that means!
They praise their progress.
Students like it when their teacher notices their progress and acknowledges it, verbally or in writing. Some teachers are very lively when they praise, others are more realistic and use the same phrase each time. Students love the feeling of accomplishment and love teachers who praise them!
From your experience, what else do students appreciate their online teachers for?