Tips for online teachers: how to make the most of your online course

Teaching online can be a real challenge for all professionals who are passionate about their work and want to add value to their students’ experience. It is a two-sided process that often lacks a recipe for success. Different approaches work differently both for students and teachers. Still, there are some expert tips from veteran teachers that can make your work truly effective and a worthy experience.

Know Your Subject

  • Find your passion – passionate teachers create passionate learners. Find the subject you are best at, find out everything that you can about it, invest in deeper expertise, and pass on your knowledge. Passion plays a crucial role in our lives, in our interpersonal contacts, and, yes, in the classroom. Be the expert every student wants to follow
  • Integrate technology – help your students learn by implementing technology within the teaching activities. Extra challenges give extra results. Some of the best ways to ensure attention and awake curiosity in students is to conduct highly interactive sessions – the core of VEDAMO’s virtual classroom.
  • Be a contemporary educator – what does it mean to live in the 21st century? It means to devote your time to developing yourself by using all possible online resources. You should integrate different tools and practices to maintain a high level of interest in your classroom such as various types of learning materials, quizzes, and exciting educational activities.
  • Teacher mindset matters – the reasons why teachers do certain things in the classroom and what they hope to achieve has an effect on student progress. Mike Askew, the author of Effective Teachers of Numeracy, found that beliefs about the nature of math and what it means to understand it, along with a teacher’s ideas about how children learn and their role in that process, was an important factor in how effective they were.

Know Your Audience

  • Get to know your students – your accomplishments will double if you find the time to get to know your students. Teaching is a personal act; as soon as you stop caring, you should move on. Knowing your target audience also means that it will be easier for you to find the best one for your online course (read more here).
  • Your first class defines the whole course – if you want to have meaningful interactions, make sure to be very personable and show interest in your students on the very first day of class. Provide your students with clear guidelines and respect. This will pretty much set the tone for how your whole class will progress over the course of a month or year.
  • Clear communication code – how well you communicate with your students and families is truly a reflection of your commitment to them as their teacher. Communication from the beginning and throughout the school year is very important. It’s vital and essential that it is ongoing and creates an environment of collaboration.
  • Learning is meant to be hard – or at least – at first. Approaches that appear to make learning harder in the short term can actually lead to students retaining more information in the long term. Varying the type of tasks you ask pupils to perform improves retention even though it makes learning harder initially.

Know Yourself

  • Don’t push yourself to the limit – you can’t do it all at once. You are, after all, a human being, and need to motivate yourself from time to time – remember why you started teaching as often as possible and focus on the big picture. Smile when you encounter difficulties, and whenever you have doubts, think about all that you have achieved to this moment.
  • Accept that you will make mistakes – teachers are not perfect so don’t expect to know everything under the sun. Don’t be afraid to apologize to students for a mistake and remember that a lesson is just a plan that sometimes can’t be strictly followed. Read more about the teaching profession and give yourself a rest before you burn out.
  • Develop yourself professionally – it’s vital for every teacher to attend some new courses or professional conferences. There are many amazing online opportunities that are just waiting to be explored. Join discussions, webinars, and communities. Change your teaching style and add some new resources to make your job thrilling and to make you excited about it (see more about the benefits of e-learning for teachers).
  • Feel comfortable failing – failing is inevitable at certain points of your professional life. So what should you do? Pick yourself up and move on. It is OK to fail and as soon as you understand that fact, the more enriching your teaching experience will be. Learn to embrace failures and start enjoying the opportunity for new beginnings.

 

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Tanya Ilieva has strong experience in journalism, advertising, creative copywriting and digital marketing. She has a PhD in Graphic design from Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Some of her creative works in advertising has been rewarded both in Bulgaria and abroad. Her fields of interest include: philosophy of language, semiotics, visual metaphors, linguistic.
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