4 Tips on How to Prepare for Teaching Online
Shifting from classroom teaching to online teaching can cause great strain to the mind. Now with the rise of online learning, especially due to the pandemic, virtual classrooms have become a teacher’s latest obstacle. Strong lack of non-verbal communication and close to nothing other than one’s voice to keep the attention of several students, virtual classrooms have proven to be very taxing. Thus, being prepared for each class is of great importance to ensure an easy-going session.
So, to rid you of your anxiety here are some tips to get you started into your journey of teaching in virtual classrooms.
Master the platforms you use for teaching
Not all teachers are tech-savvy so when starting a virtual classroom ensure you choose a platform that you are well-acquainted with. Understand the platform well, and a few days before the classes are due to begin, get to know the platform inside-out. Not only will this help you focus on teaching instead of fussing over the platform, but also allow you to help students struggling with it. Don’t forget to also consider other basic technology, like being able to fix minor wi-fi issues or any other problems with your device or site. Knowing the technicalities well, before starting your classes, will ensure a smooth sailing class.
Create an adequate working environment
This is one of the most important aspects to consider. Working from home can prove to be very non-productive if not done well enough. The first step to getting work done is to set up an environment that boosts your productivity. Choosing a comfortable spot may seem like the go-to, but upon consideration, do you want to melt into a lazy puddle and doze off during class?
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Picking a place where you got any extra work done, when you weren’t working from home is a great option. A clean place with easy access to your notes/files that requires you to maintain your physical posture would be ideal. Also, remember to ensure you have good lighting and perfect temperature at your spot along with dressing semi-professional to set the right tone.
After setting up the perfect work environment, establish a routine. Discuss convenient times with all your students and stick to the routine. Condition your mind and body to follow this routine before the official start of the classes. Work the remainder of your day around this time and make sure you’re adequately prepared for each of your classes. Developing this system will allow you to have a well-regulated and disciplined class and retain the sense of routine from schools making you and the students comfortable with the familiarity.
Don’t try to tackle everything in class
Remember, the major difference between a real and virtual class is that you are not physically present for your students. Attempting to tackle the syllabus and issues as you would a normal classroom will result in 0 progress. Having shifted to online media, use them to your benefit. Divide the burden of your work between different platforms. Use PDF or other documents to give students additional notes instead of wasting time dictating them. Drop assignments over email/ text or google classroom. Make sure to stay connected to your student personally through mail/text where they can easily avail you to clarify doubts. Keep in mind that teaching is no longer limited to 4 walls and use the vast amenities online to your benefit.
I’ll leave you with these tips to get you started. Crossed fingers and some YouTube videos to guide you through tech details should complete the job.