Published 21st May 2020
Is anxiety about online teaching holding you back? Are you exhausted just thinking about your online lessons? We understand that our learners can find online learning both mentally and physically challenging, but us teachers can feel the exact same feelings. We get this. So take a deep breath, pour yourself another cup of coffee and have a look at our top motivational tips for online teachers that will make you want to log in and start teaching right now!
Ok, coffee first. But right after that!
1. Keep track of your lessons
For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned. – Benjamin Franklin
Being organised is a good way to keep your head in the game. Make notes after each class, not only a record of work but also any important information you may want to remember about a particular student or class. This will help you prepare for your next class, which will make you feel more organised and motivated to work.
2. Get to know your students and let them get to know you
So often you find that the students you’re trying to inspire are the ones who end up inspiring you.
– Sean Junkins
Personalisation is a great tool for the online classroom. They can make your lessons much more special to your learners because they can relate to the material, and to you. At the same time, getting to know your students will help you connect with them, which will make your lessons much more enjoyable for you. It can be the difference between dreading going to work and looking forward to catching up with your students.
3. Get outside
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. – Anne Lamott
Anyone who works at a computer all day will tell you that it’s hard. People are not supposed to sit down for long periods of time, so if you’re teaching a lot of lessons in a row, your body will not be happy with you. And if you have a sore back or eyes, you will not feel the greatest and this will affect your mood. Make sure you walk away from your screen and step outside every hour or so – even if it’s just for five minutes – to recharge.
4. Be good to yourself
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. – Chinese proverb
Teaching in any situation is challenging but teaching online is a whole nother animal. If you are finding it difficult in the beginning, understand that the majority (if not all) of teachers find it tough initially. But we learn as we go and as we become more familiar with the technology and the limitations and possibilities of the online world, we get into a groove and soon it will feel like you’ve been doing it for years.
5. Push yourself
If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow. – John Dewey
It can be easy to fall into the trap of teaching English online with minimal resources. In other words, you use Skype or Zoom to teach – and that’s about it. The beauty of teaching online is the resources that are available to you. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the websites and apps which you can use to make your lessons better. Yes, this will take some time, but in the end you will feel better prepared for your lessons, your lessons will be more interactive and engaging and you will enjoy your teaching more.
Even if you are starting out as an online teacher, the reality is that you might be doing it for a lot longer than you originally thought. This is why it’s important to look after yourself and make sure you are motivated in your work, otherwise you will soon lose interest in teaching English online – which would be a shame, because then you’ll need to find another way to earn money, and it’ll be tough to find a job with as much freedom and flexibility.