Students, who should be present in the classroom for their regular classes, are at their homes today. Similarly, teachers who would normally be ready for lesson plans, hands-on exercises, and ways to strengthen interactions with their students, did not have a classroom to attend. They have become online teachers.
But, like they always do, they stay dedicated and do their work to the best of their abilities. Our teachers, households, and neighbourhoods have been charged with exploring alternative ways to help children, due to COVID-19 forcing schools to close since last year.
As a result, including remote learning programmes, Online Coaching and homeschooling have taken the place of classroom teaching.
Changing from classroom to online teaching is a challenge, but with a little homework and practice, you can achieve the versatility and ease of access that students need.
Here are 7 things that will transform you into an amazing online teacher amidst these online class scenarios.
1. Make a class schedule
Your students are not physically present in your classroom. In an online classroom setting, planning is critical. Online students have unique requirements that vary from those of their physical peers. Before class begins, make sure the syllabus and materials reach each student. Students will see how the classroom (deadlines, supplies, and other requirements) will work with their schedules.
Whatever helps make you a perfect classroom teacher would also make you a great online teacher. Be open and honest with your goals, both for online learning and for academics, just as you will in the class. Use online skills tests and updates on assignments to get daily reviews. Best still, use the chat functionality to keep students on track, inspired, and supported. This is a good way to make sure that students can give you information while working on assignments or getting caught up.
The most important thing is to keep surprises to a minimum. Students need their own time to prepare themselves to take tests thoroughly as their teachers aren’t accessible immediately for clearing their doubts and queries.
2. Get technology ready and understand it
Teaching online necessitates a certain level of technical skill. No, tech help isn’t just around the corner, but you can do it! Foremost, make sure you have the necessary hardware and applications. You’ll need a dependable device, a good internet connection, and the best platform available for taking the class. Knowing how to use the online class platform would help you make your virtual classroom teaching the finest it can be.
3. Get a suitable working environment
The next struggle is remote working. Stay-at-home jobs can be a disaster if you don’t have the right atmosphere and self-discipline.
One can prevent this with a little foresight and planning. To begin, create a workspace. If at all workable, use this area solely for work. You want this area to be welcoming and helpful while still encouraging positive work activity. Avoid distracting factors such as TV, other family members, or domestic tasks in the workplace. Natural lighting and a comfortable chair will help you create the perfect work atmosphere.
4. Encourage discussions and interactions in a variety of ways
Your students must be able to communicate with each other and to you in whatever way works best for them. Find innovative ways to keep students remaining close to one another by making them collaborate online, depending on their age, access, and forum. Comments, text-based talks, and video clips are a few examples of how to get people talking.
Often, aim to arrange the learning experiences so that students don’t need too much instructor or adult help. This promotes students’ independence while allowing parents and older siblings to relax and concentrate on other things.
5. Communicate regularly
Be sure the students are aware of the right ways to reach you and when they should do so. Any student will get stressed because they don’t have a professor next to them. Attempt to minimise this by promptly responding to questions and offering enough instruction and advice via personal communications through telephonic calls or other means.
These days, students are quite active on different social media channels. You can create official groups on that platform that are easily accessible by the students. Be sure the notice gets circulated on several channels so that students and parents don’t forget important details. You can put it on the platform, email it, text it, and use community chats to set reminders. Ensure that students and parents have several opportunities to interact with you at the same time. Do include your email address and phone number for better communication at the end of each notice or file.
6. Encourage students
Each student has their own learning pace, and encouragement matters in the learning process. Although some students are self-motivated, others are not. The latter may choose to miss non-required assignments. Consider if you would encourage all the students to get the best out of class. Provide extra scores for online debates or optional activities. Deadlines will also help inspire the less inspired students to move on. You aim to figure out how to help the students get the best out of class without being physically present.
7. Seek assistance and feedback
Your students will provide you with useful input that will help you move your class forward. Since education is increasingly going online, the students have most likely already been in a virtual class. This knowledge will aid them in informing you about the advantages and disadvantages of your overall online classroom. Seek and interact with other online educators besides your students. Since education is a ‘sharing’ field, these partnerships could be extremely beneficial to your professional growth as an online teacher.
In conclusion, online learning is a wonderful experience. Online teaching isn’t an enormous challenge and isn’t as bold as it seems. Make your analysis, devise a strategy, and make a move.
Since online teaching is still relatively recent, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You could be at the forefront of the virtual learning revolution with some analysis and planning.
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