In this virtual world that we live in, jobs aren’t what they used to be.
Even teaching jobs. In the past you set up your classroom, decorated the walls, arranged the desks, and made photocopies to your heart’s content getting ready for the first day of school. But today in the world of virtual living, not all teaching comes in a classroom. Not all teaching comes face to face. Sometimes teaching comes screen to screen as you impart your vast body of knowledge to English as a second language students through a virtual classroom. In other words, teaching online. But online education can be very different from your typical classroom experience, and how does a person know if teaching online is right for them? Only you can answer that question for yourself, but here are some perks that the world of virtual teaching has to offer.
6 Perks to Virtual Teaching
You’re Not What You Wear
Though some of your instruction will probably be via webcam and you’ll not only be face to face but recorded as well, not all of your teaching comes from the other side of a camera lens. A lot of online teaching is off camera, not teaching in front of your students. You’ll read the work they submit and give them suggestions and assignments through digital means. What it means for you is that you aren’t ON all of the time. You aren’t always in front of your class. That can take some of the pressure off you as a teacher. If you are more comfortable in your pajamas than a pullover, you can dress that way and not make a bad impression on your students. Online teaching can be more casual. More relaxed. And that may alleviate some of the stress that you might have if you were teaching in a traditional classroom where pajamas aren’t allowed.
You Aren’t Put On the Spot
One of the toughest and most uncomfortable situations I found myself in as a young teacher was when students asked questions that I was unable to answer. It’s part of the learning curve for English teachers, as I now know, but at the time I just felt like a jerk because I couldn’t explain the intricate intuitiveness with which I spoke English. When you teach online, you won’t often be put on the spot like that. Even if your students ask a question you can’t answer right then and there, your students aren’t often right there right then either so you’ll have a chance to think through your answer, do some research, or ask a colleague who can help you explain the things you do with English without thinking. Even if saving face isn’t part of your own values, it may make a big impact on some of the students you teach when they don’t see your research behind your answers.
You Can Make Good Money
Since you aren’t tied to a geographic location when you teach online, you have the potential to make a good amount of money. Not only can you seek out schools in countries that pay better than others, you may even find you can teach in multiple countries at the same time, reaping the financial benefits each has to offer. That’s not to say holding two or more online teaching jobs is easy or even doable for everyone, but when you aren’t tied to the place that you live, your opportunities to find a high paying job aren’t limited by your geography.
You May Have More Active Students
If you have ever studied a foreign language, and odds are you have at some point in your life, you know that it can be intimidating to talk in front of a large group when you aren’t confident in what you have to say never mind how to say it. Much of online teaching happens one on one, and you may find that your students are more willing to open up and take a risk by speaking English online with you than they would be in a class situation. This can make teaching easier since you will have a better idea of how well your students actually speak and what areas you need to focus on to propel them forward in their language learning process.
Your Students Won’t Find You to Be an Inconvenience
Let’s face it. Taking classes online can be a lot more convenient than taking them in person. It’s easier to fit education into busy schedules when you can learn any time of the day in whatever location works best for you. And the convenience that your students feel can mean good things for you since those students may be more motivated to do well in class and put forth their best efforts on a regular basis. When students have to be in a certain place at a certain time, those classes can become a low priority that gets pushed aside. You may find that teaching online gives you students who are more committed to doing the work and making a difference than ones that have to be in your classroom at nine a.m. on the dot.
You Can Tailor Classes Easier
Since much of online teaching happens one on one, you will find that you can give students what they really need when you teach online. Meeting the needs of fifteen students at once can be more than a challenge, especially if those students are at different points in their English learning journey. If you teach one person at a time you can really zero in on what each person needs to learn and where they are struggling. When you do this, you may see more progress in your individual students than you would if they were in a class with their peers. And that may give you the boost you need to remember that you are a good and effective teacher.
To teach online or to teach in person is a question only you can answer for yourself.
But don’t write online teaching off before you even consider it. Virtual classrooms have a lot to offer both the students and the teacher, and they are sometimes the best option of all.