The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Starting from the end of 2019 and throughout 2020 if there is one thing that we can be absolutely sure of is that humans will always be ready to adapt to a different lifestyle when the situation demands it. The closure of all educational institutions throughout the world due to the pandemic saw the popularization of online teaching techniques by using video and voice sharing software.
Entire classes began to be conducted via the internet and despite the drastic change in the teaching methods and time, it took for teachers to get accustomed to these new techniques of online teaching. It has become almost a necessity for every single person wishing to start their career in teaching or to continue their teaching profession to learn everything there is to know about online teaching so that they may be able to keep up with the practices. As you continue to read on you will find basic points that you should absolutely know about in order to make it easy for you to adapt to the online world.
Despite being a major change to decades-old methods of teaching, online teaching and virtual learning are turning out to be extremely popular throughout the world. The pandemic saw one of the highest percentages of laptops, webcams, and microphones being bought for the sole purpose of gaining an education. Teachers have always been restricted to get the most out of their profession but with online teaching, there is no longer a limit on how many students can a single cater to. The students can belong to different geographical locations but with a good internet connection can learn at the same time.
Online teaching saves a lot of fuel as transportation is no longer a necessity and saves a lot of printing costs as everything is easily available online. Touch screens and the usage of writing pens provide the same classroom experience and the students don’t even have to get out of bed. Everything from tests and quizzes to lectures can easily take place without time, expensive tuition fees, and location ever being a factor. Not only is online teaching great for the teacher it is also an amazing opportunity for the students that are international students and wish to learn from an expert teacher.
Who can teach online and does it pay?
When it comes to teaching online you should know that it’s a lot like anything in life. You need certain things that enable you to teach or learn. A laptop with moderate specifications, a working camera, and a microphone whether external or built-in would be great as it would ensure you have the tools needed for a steady interaction. You would also need a strong internet connection so that you are able to teach without any disruptions or delays.
Except for the equipment needed to kick start your career in online teaching you will also need to decide what to teach. It is extremely important that you get yourself a subject that you have a strong grasp of. Online teaching is different than conventional teaching, the last thing that you need is teaching a subject that you completely do not know how to teach. A great way to start online teaching could be by starting to teach a lower grade. It is much easier to teach younger grades as their curriculum is much easier, and the teaching is based a lot on personal creativity. Once you are absolutely sure about how to teach and can easily tackle the challenges related to online teaching you should look to choose a subject that is on the technical spectrum. Subjects like mathematics and statistics pay a lot and provide you with a higher average pay per hour. Students find such subjects harder to understand on their own or with the help of their peers which is why when you are thinking to start online teaching consider the fact that your time will be much more profitable if you are teaching someone a science or a mathematics subject.
Tips while teaching online
Much like any business or job that you may have had in the past it is always in your best interest to be aware of a few tips in the profession so that you are able to capitalize financially to the best of your abilities. One of the ways in which you can ensure that you will be able to have the best experience during online teaching is by being aware of the payment methods available and choosing the mode that you are the most comfortable with. Depending on who your client is and whether the students are local or international, you will have to set up a payment method for them. PayPal is always a good option for payments that you receive locally, however, for international students, it would be best if you set up a bank account that is capable of receiving international transactions. Make sure that you mention the date of your fee collection beforehand so that there are no misunderstandings in the future.
Another tip that may help you is that when joining the teaching profession, consider it more as a business and less as a job. As you are your own boss, and the students are clients that are tied to the profit loss of your business it is essential that you are able to cater to your customers for longer periods of time. Consider that you have a student that pays you 25% more than your average per hour rate but only wants tuition for a couple of months in comparison to a student that wishes to take tuitions for the year but on your average per hour rate. In this case, you should be giving priority to the student that wishes to avail your services for the average rate, in other words creating a loyal and regular customer.
It is true that in order to accomplish online teaching you do not need a laptop with high specifications or even spend too much as an investment, in most cases, it might be possible to find the gear in your home. However, upon research, you will find that investing a little in online teaching has a great impact on your students. Creating a little classroom atmosphere in your house, having a good quality microphone and video camera, and setting up a whiteboard to use during the live sessions might be just what you need in order to attract more students and get better feedback from your current students.
In summary to online teaching
It is true that with the ongoing pandemic there has been a lot of demand for online teaching and more and more teachers are opting for this method of earning but at the end of the day online teaching is a branch of freelancing and ghostwriting services and in most cases is based on hourly pay which is why be sure to have a financial backup so that you are able to survive when you do not have as many students as you hoped or if you are short on your earning goal by the end of the week.