One of the challenges that teachers and tutors in the virtual classroom must overcome is losing motivation or focus from time to time. Although this is an inevitable part of the process, there are ways to get through these times and to continue to be the motivated teacher that your online students deserve.
Tips to stay a motivated online tutor
Being an online tutor can be like a roller coaster ride. It’s hard to keep up the good work and to remain motivated. If you have ever been overwhelmed with tutoring, then keep reading for some tips on how to stay motivated:
- Read: The key point here is to dedicate some time for yourself. Figure out what you love the most in your professional field and find a book with practical ideas. Another option is to choose a book with inspiring teaching approaches or bios of famous teachers and mentors. You can also find some good material in relevant blogs or magazines; even a self-help book will do the trick. If you prefer, you can also choose a more scientific approach and find an appropriate paper related to your field of study.
- Go to a workshop or take a continuing education course: If your temporary drop in motivation means that you are lacking the energy for a full-blown course, a workshop or a webinar could be the boost that you need. Taking a continuing education course will give you the feeling that you are back on track, and it will distract you from the adversity that you are facing. Adding a new professional achievement to your resume may also increase your confidence level.
- Get to know your students: After a few years of online tutoring, students tend to seem like one single organism. Therefore, the solution is to get to know them. Try to remember their names and learn more about their stories and hobbies. Plus, spending one class getting to know them could turn into an excellent virtual classroom activity. To sum up, ask questions and offer them a more personalized approach. You’ll be surprised how motivated you will feel when you know that your work can really make a difference for someone.
- Notice how far you’ve come: It is easy to lose sight of what matters when you are bogged down by your everyday duties. So, no matter how busy your schedule is, make sure that you take the time to note how far you’ve come. It is important to set goals before each year, course, or session. Then revise and celebrate success. Reflect on your past teaching experiences or try teaching an old lesson plan, and see how much better you can do it now. However, keep in mind that you can always perform better. Therefore, don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Lend a tutoring hand to others: Whenever you use your experience to pass knowledge onto others, you will feel more motivated than ever. Watching others succeed is a real motivation booster and it will make you will feel valuable and successful. It doesn’t matter if you help a colleague or your current online students, the feeling will keep you motivated for a long time.
Tips to avoid burnout in the virtual classroom
People who teach tend to be the caring, sensitive, and perfectionist type, which makes it easier for them to experience burnout. However, you can do something about it. Simply, switch up the routine, as there is a certain tendency for teachers to always be in teaching mode. They use their analytical thinking skills in everyday activities, even when they are off duty. Something like sitting down to read the paper turns into a huge intellectual effort. Online tutors often tend to search for a suitable lesson or challenging practice in their everyday surroundings. However, try to put your teaching manner aside from time to time. This way you will feel way more refreshed in the virtual classroom. Try these tips below:
- Take care of your physical and mental health: Eat well and go for a short walk during your breaks. Get more sleep. If you are an active person, exercise more often. Enjoy every step of the way in your own way. Meditate and be mindful. Be aware of your emotions inside and outside the virtual classroom. The less stress you allow to slip into your life, the more fulfilling your professional life will be.
- Expand your learning horizons: Updating your skills and knowledge in different ways can give you a breath of fresh air. The more you vary your interests, the clearer perspective you will have in the virtual classroom. Challenge yourself in multiple activities, which will keep your adrenaline flowing and stimulate brain cell growth.
- Love it or leave it: Online tutoring is a passion. Therefore, as soon as you notice that your desire to teach is slipping, change direction. Stimulate yourself and your students so that your educational process can be a useful journey for all. Focus on teaching a particular subject or topic where your enthusiasm is contagious and your students will be happy to participate no matter how skilled or advanced they are.
- Do the opposite: Sometimes you need to react totally differently in order to see facts in a new way. Break free of the plan. For instance, try a totally new approach to a lesson in order to escape from the boredom and structure of the learning plan. Combine subjects in an unexpected way or introduce a completely new assignment. Your online students need variety and challenge as much as you do.